Friday, 26 February 2010

Becoming a pilgrim...and there's more

At the Practical Pilgrims’ Day I wanted to demonstrate that there are many routes to Santiago. I believe there is one for everyone! Some are long such as the Camino Francés or the Via de la Plata and some are short like the Caminos Inglés or Portugués.I explained that when I first walked the Camino Inglés I fell in love with this little route.

Traditionally the medieval pilgrims from Northern Europe arrived by ship in A Coruña on the North West Coast of Spain and made the short three day, 75 km, journey on foot to Santiago. In modern times it was recognised that walking less than 100 kms would not qualify pilgrims for a Compostela and therefore a route from Ferrol was devised. This route is approximately 110kms and takes 5 days to walk. The assumption is that not all medieval pilgrims sailed into A Coruña and some must have disembarked at other ports such as Ferrol. Both arms of the route meet at Hospital de Bruma which as the name implies was a hospital for pilgrims in the middle ages.

This route reveals a different aspect of Spain and has quite a different personality from other inland routes such as the Camino Francés. A Coruna is a seaside town with a large harbour. The promenade stretches for some 9 kms. The beach is huge and many Spaniards go there on holiday. You will only rarely hear an English voice in the many roadside cafes that serve fresh seafood caught that morning. Ferrol on the other hand is a still a working port with a large base for the Spanish navy. It was where Franco was born.

Ferrol and A Coruña are very easily accessible by bus from Santiago and there are direct flights from London to A Coruña. There is a very good bus service between A Coruña and Ferrol. The Camino Inglés is an ideal route for someone wanting to spend 5 days walking and 2days in Santiago or for a two week trip the Camino Inglés plus the route to Finisterre/Muxía.

Have a look at the wonderful sea views and pastoral scenes of the Camino Inglés.


  1. Thanks John - getting the Camino juices going in preparation for the Ingles next year,


  2. Yes, you've convinced me immediately. What a lovely little route. Great audio-visual, by the way!

  3. Thanks, Johnny Walker, for your great guide on the Camino Ingles, I walked it Holy week 2010 alone, a female. Will you please check something out for me as I do not speak Spanish? At the hospital in Bruma, Benino, the hospitalero was insistent everyone travel via Ordes and not via Sigüeiro. Some other pilgrims insisted I walk with them the next day, but I left before they were up and went via Sigüeiro. After the Café-Bar O Cruceiro somewhere in the forest, I felt an incredible sense of evil. The area was marked with a plastic bottle stuck upside down on a very tall sapling tree. Had some crime been committed? What was that man trying to explain to me? Just really curious if my intuition is correct. Thanks.

  4. Hola Jaki

    Well Benino knows the route well. I'll try to find out what is going on. I may be simply a temporary route disruption. I've had e mails from other pilgrims who haven't mentioned this.

    Let's hope all is well.