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Need To Know


Where can I find maps and directions for the Athelstan Pilgrim Way?

The walking guides on this website and their printed equivalents contain detailed directions and maps that should be sufficient for walking the route. However, we recommend the use of the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 168 (and 169 for later sections), which contains full details of footpaths, bridleways and field boundaries along the route. The Ordnance Survey Maps app can also be used, and it is our intention that each section of the route will be available to be followed using the app.

The walking guides include the postcode and Ordnance Survey Grid Reference for the start of each walk.


Where can I Obtain the Pilgrim Passport and other APW literature?

The Pilgrim Passport and other printed literature can be obtained from Malmesbury Abbey Bookshop, which is open from 9am to 5pm each day. The Pilgrim Passport is free, and there is a charge for the walking routes and children’s booklets.


WILL THE CHURCHES BE OPEN?

Yes, in the majority of cases.

However whilst we would like all of the churches to be open for visitors at reasonable times during the day, there are situations where this is not possible. In this instance, Pilgrim Passport stamps will be made available in church porches and/or there will be up-to-date contact details for local key holders displayed in the porches. Alternatively, your Pilgrim Passport can be stamped at Malmesbury Abbey bookshop.


What facilities are available along the route?

The walking guides contain information on refreshment opportunities along the route (cafés, pubs, etc.), the location of benches for picnics, and the availability of toilets.


Where can I learn more about the churches and their history?

The Benefice websites for each group of churches are shared on our Routes page. In addition, many of the churches have information boards, leaflets or booklets containing more detailed information. And don’t forget the Pilgrim Companion publication, Past Present Presence, by Carole Britton, available from Malmesbury Abbey Bookshop for £5.


WHAT ARE THE TRANSPORT And Parking ARRANGEMENTS?

There are main line railway stations at Chippenham, Kemble and Swindon, with bus links from these stations to Malmesbury and some other locations on the Pilgrim Way.

Malmesbury has a long-stay public car park, and most other points along the route have roadside parking. Parking information is contained in the relevant section of the walking guides.

The Athelstan Pilgrim Way consists of 6 circular routes, one for each of the church groupings in the North Wiltshire Deanery, with the addition of linking sections connecting these routes. However, if only part of a circular route is being walked, transport will be required to return back to the start point. A two-car solution is a possibility, or walkers may use local bus or taxi services. However, North Wiltshire is a rural area, and the frequency of bus services may not be convenient.



WHere can I find information about accommodation?


WHAT CAN I DO TO ENSURE PERSONAL SAFETY WHEN WALKING THE ROUTE?

The landscape along the Athelstan Pilgrim Way is low-lying and fairly flat, with most of it given over to crop or livestock farming. The terrain is therefore easier and less remote than encountered when hill-walking, but some parts are still some distance from the nearest town or village. Therefore, care needs to be taken to ensure personal safety.

The walking guide indicates the level of difficulty for each stage of the route, and also known access problems at time of publication, e.g. broken stiles, or footbridges without handrails. Problems can be reported to Wiltshire Council, who have a duty to resolve them.

Wear suitable clothing and footwear, allowing for sudden change of weather. Some parts can be very wet underfoot in winter. Check the weather forecast before you set out.

Protect yourself against the effects of the sun, including the use of sun cream.

Take sufficient drinking water and also food, as necessary.

Take care crossing roads.

To avoid tick bites, wear long trousers and walking boots.

If possible, walk in a group. If you are walking alone, inform someone of your route and your likely return time. Take a phone.

Take care when walking through a field with cattle, particularly if they have calves and you have a dog.



Please note that we cannot take responsibility for your safety when you walk or cycle the Athelstan Pilgrim Way, or for the accuracy of information provided regarding the routes. Information in our printed/downloadable material is accurate at the date of publication, but may be subject to change. We will publish corrections/updates on this website’s Routes page when reports of inaccuracy have been verified.


The British Pilgrimage Trust lists hundreds of pilgrimage routes across Great Britain. We are excited to be working with them for inclusion in their listings, watch this space for more information soon.