Pilgrims' Trail

Owslebury - St Andrew's Church © Chris Talbot
The Bishop's Palace and Moat © Jim Champion
Tipner Sail © Liz Barnes-Downing

Follow a medieval route from the shrine of St Swithun at Winchester Cathedral, weaving across the landscape by way of Bishop's Waltham and Southwick to Portsmouth in the footsteps of the Miquelots, pilgrims who made the long journey to worship St Michael in Normandy. Today travellers have the advantage of special waymark signs - green in Hampshire, blue in France leading to the medieval sanctuary of Mont St Michel in Normandy France, 155 miles away.

We follow the trail from Winchester Cathedral to the Continental Ferry Terminal in Portsmouth. You can continue the route onwards to Mont St Michel, by taking the ferry to Cherbourg and following the way-marked route southwards through the pretty Normandy countryside.

To read a description of the trail by Hampshire County Council please click here.

If you are feeling fit you could walk the trail in two days or one very long one if you are in a hurry. However it would be much more pleasurable to spread it over several days, with overnight stops in the villages and towns along the way. A three day schedule is:

- Winchester to Bishop's Waltham (12 miles)
- Bishop's Waltham to Wickham (6 miles)
- Wickham to Portsmouth (11 miles)

Hampshire Cottages

Beautiful Hampshire holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation perfectly located for walking and cycling the trails of this unique county

Readers' Comments

  • Tue 2 Sep 2014, 18:57
    Tom Nichols

    We walked from Winchester to Bishops Waltham along The Pilgrims Trail. Where the signposts are good, its a doddle. However, around Upham its completely hit and miss. Take the OS Map and be ready to ask people the way. Everybody we asked were most helpful. We stayed in The Crown Inn at Bishop Waltham, very nice

  • Wed 31 Aug 2011, 17:07
    Simon and Fiona Clarke

    We did the trail to Portsmouth in 2 days staying at Bishops Waltham overnight. The second day was spoilt by the amount of road walking, which although on country roads and supposedly quiet, turned out to be without verges. We feared for our lives because of cars driven by nutters who all seemed to be late for something really important. The route is sadly lacking a few markers and the detailed guide purchased from the council has some atrocious errors. You are likely to do a couple miles more by mistake. Best to have an O/S map with you as well to avoid screwing up. The view looking down over Portsmouth and IOW is quite stunning and a great end to the walk, although please note, it took us an extra 2 hours to walk through the concrete underpass horrors of Portsmouth to get to the ferry port. Not many places to stay on route either. Hardly any B+Bs around.