Britain has some amazing pilgrimage routes, and one of the best by far is the Two Saints Way. This 92-mile route between the cathedral cities of Chester and Lichfield takes you through beautiful countryside, past canals, and through a variety of lovely villages, towns, and cities. We wanted to highlight this route for anyone who is looking for a good long-distance walk to tackle over a few days, let's look at the route in closer detail and highlight the sights to see along the way. But first, let's look at the story behind the route:
What is the Two Saints Way and why walk it?
Chester and Lichfield were the resting places of St Werburgh and St Chad respectively, and this route is an attempt to connect these two cities. Both Chester and Lichfield were important as pilgrimage destinations and were used as stopping places for travelers embarking on pilgrimages throughout history.
Tackling the walk
Obviously, there are no set rules here, and the most important thing is to walk safely and at your own pace. Typically, people will split the walk into 7 days, walking an average of 13 miles per day. People also tend to start in Chester as the walking in the first part of the journey is relatively straightforward, whereas the later stages can get quite hilly.
Things to see along the way
Every good walk needs plenty of interesting things to see and visit along the way, and the Two Saints Way has plenty of that. We've highlighted some of our favourites, let's take a look:
This 13th-century castle is really impressive and provides some amazing views all the way across to the Welsh mountains on a clear day. You'll find it on Beeston Crag, and if you fancy a dig then you could look for the royal treasure of Richard II, which was apparently buried in the castle grounds. Don't waste too much time and energy searching for it though!
Nantwhich is a must if you're a fan of beautiful architecture - you'll see medieval timbered buildings around the town, so keep an eye out for them. If you've got time then our absolute must-visit location would be the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, a slightly surreal and interesting place to see. It's a a former government-owned nuclear bunker hidden in the countryside, but it's really fascinating.
This is the main church in Stoke-upon-Trent and is pretty impressive - the building originally dates from the 7th century, although much of it has been repaired and renovated of course. The organ in the church is from the 19th century and is impressive to see.
The Ancient High House
This Tudor building has a really distinctive and attractive look and is one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the country. It was originally built as a house in the 16th century, however visitors can now explore the house and learn more about its history via an exhibition and an interesting display explaining how the house was built.
St Chad's Church
The oldest building in Stafford is well worth a look, and it's right in the centre of town so you won't miss it. Like most churches you can simply walk in and admire the beautiful art and construction, maybe just make sure you clean your walking boots before going in!
Anything else to mention?
The route is well signposted and you should know where you're going, however, you may wish to get a guidebook to help you along the way. We'd recommend the guidebook from Northern Eye Books, which you can find here - https://www.northerneyebooks.co.uk/product/two-saints-way/