New pilgrimage footpath across England

A pilot section has opened on the Mary Michael Pilgrims Way, a new 250-mile walking route being established between Cornwall and Norfolk

The path is designated as a pilgrimage route, connecting a large number of sites with historical, archaeological, spiritual and mystical significance, and is expected to appeal to people of any faith or of none.

The 140-mile pilot section begins in the west Devonshire village of Brentor, before traversing the plains of Dartmoor, passing landmarks such as Cadbury Castle, and winding up at Glastonbury Tor, said to be a place of pilgrimage for 10,000 years.

Way markers have been etched onto sustainably sourced oak plaques, fixed to existing footpath signs, to help with navigation along the pilot section, while a guidebook is also available.

The Pilgrims Way follows the Mary and Michael ley lines – thought to be currents of Earth energy – identified by the late dowser Hamish Miller, and Paul Broadhurst, who co-authored a book on the subject, titled The Sun and the Serpent.

Richard Dealler, who is part of the team behind the initiative, says: “In walking with a reverence and respect for the Earth not only do we receive the benefits of our journey but in some way are acting to restore and heal our relationship with the Earth.”

Accommodation along the path is currently limited. Options include wild camping (permitted on Dartmoor), B&Bs, and official campsites, although these are sporadic across certain stretches. Hosts are being sought to offer accommodation for pilgrims, in the spirit of generosity and hospitality towards strangers.