The Camino de Santiago (The Camino, The Way) is a series of pilgrim routes all leading to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain where St James, the apostle, is buried - a destination for countless pilgrims since the 9th century. The Camino has recently been made famous by films and documentaries mostly located on the Camino Frances, the French Way, often started at St Jean Pied de Port, just on the French side of the Pyrenees, and ending , 800 kilometres later, at Santiago.
Many who now walk the Camino would not describe themselves as religious but they do walk for something beyond merely the recreational or, perhaps, discover something beyond the recreational en route. It is not just a personal challenge, and it is certainly that, but it is also about us all and how we relate and support each other to reach that shared destination. It is a chance to connect with ourselves, all that is and with our fellow human beings in a way rarely experienced nowadays.
It’s not about fitness, profession or nationality – it is about my humanity and yours. I may walk alone for a whole day and so may you. I may meet you en route, chat a while and move on, or we may bond and stay together for the whole journey. We may eat together and sleep in neighbouring bunks. We share. We depend on ourselves and we depend each other - we become both community and truly ourselves, learning to listen to our bodies, take our own authority and see things with a simpler clearer perspective that promotes both resourcefulness and compassion. The Camino teaches us what we need to know and gives us all we need.
There are many dedicated people around the world whose work supports the Camino and peregrinos and peregrinas - whether intending, walking or returned. From the Hospitaleros in every albergue on the route, to Ivar's online community. In England, the Confraternity of St James, based in London but with branches nationwide run by volunteers, offers information, support and fellowship.
Gramarye House, through its association with the Camino and pilgrimage both spiritual and literal, offers the chance to discuss and reflect on all things pilgrimage related. It provides a place of fellowship for returning Camino pilgrims and a chance to reflect and ask questions for those yet to decide or for any considering other forms of pilgrimage.
You don't have to either have walked or be considering walking the Camino to come. All are welcome.
A pilgrimage retreat offers space, comfortable accommodation time to talk , reflect and to walk in some of England's most beautiful countryside. See below.
For all those considering a pilgrimage or thinking of pilgrimage in any way , you may like to come on a pilgrimage retreat weekend here to reflect, question and walk.
Price is just £155 per weekend sharing with one or two others.
Friday tea til after lunch on Sunday inclusive of all meals, guided walks and periods of reflection together.
For Confraternity of St James members, these are offered at a discount price of just £120 per person per weekend
Ensuite accommodation in twin, double or triple rooms.
NB Depending on numbers, there may be sole occupancy available.
Minimum number 6, maximum 9.
May 15, Sept 4, Nov 27.
To keep costs low, each person is asked to help for half an hour a day with either washing up, clearing, laying the table or helping prepare food.