And we mustn’t forget the Canterbury Tales. When I was walking the Way, it would have only been a few years since I studied the Prologue at school and while Chaucer’s pilgrims took a different route from London their storytelling filled my youthful head with more romance. We spent ten days walking the 119 miles. A modest accomplishment but we were in no rush and some days walked very little.
I had always rather fancied the idea of a longer pilgrimage and what could be more appealing than St James’s Way to Santiago de Compostela or ‘El Camino’, perhaps one of the most unwieldy World Heritage Sites traversing 166 towns and villages, and including over 1,800 buildings of historic interest.
And the opportunity has now arisen! One of INTO’s newest members is Tesouros de Galicia, literally ‘Treasures of Galicia’ and they have invited INTO supporters and volunteers to walk the Camino Inglés from the port of Ferrol on the Northern Coast of Spain to Santiago. Used mostly by pilgrims coming from Northern Europe, Britain and Ireland since the mid-12th Century, the English Way promises coastal views, pretty towns and green countryside. Sounds very much like a Galician National Trust!?
But it’s not all about stretching our legs. Along the way, we will be joined by community representatives to raise the profile of heritage and environmental issues in Galicia and around the world. We’ll also be planting around 2,000 trees! And we will also be using the walk to raise funds for – and awareness of – INTO itself to support our programmes around the world.
I am hoping to raise £1,500 and would be very grateful for your support. You can either pay a lump sum or so much per kilometre walked (total distance is 120km). Please help me reach my goal so that INTO can better support heritage conservation projects around the world.
Perhaps the easiest for UK taxpayers is by visiting the INTO Virgin Money Giving page or by sending a cheque to us at 20 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH (please ask us for a gift aid form to increase the impact of your gift). It is also possible to make a donation in dollars via the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the US.
For other countries, or if you prefer, you may use PayPal
Note: The thermometer is not automatic, but is updated daily.