The Pilgrim Way Church Trail

The Pilgrim Way Church Trail

Heritage Lottery Fund

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FINAL LEG OF THE TRAIL, FROM FRADLEY TO LICHFIELD HAS BEEN DISRUPTED BY HS2.

IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO UNDERTAKE THIS PART OF THE TRAIL WE SUGGEST YOU FOLLOW THE CYCLING ROUTE.

IF YOU ARE ALREADY ON THE TRAIL YOU CAN CONTINUE TO THE NEXT BRIDGE AND FOLLOW THE ROAD INTO LICHFIELD, WHICH WILL BE ALONG ROADS, SO EXTRA CARE MUST BE TAKEN.

New route map_4 

Trail booklets are now available, free of charge (P&P charges apply), online at our sister site, Alrewas Archives - follow this link

The Pilgrim Way Church Trail is a fourteen-mile route from St Michael’s Church in Tatenhill to Lichfield Cathedral. It follows an ancient path which may have been the route taken by Saint Chad on his journey to establish Lichfield Cathedral.

There are six churches on the trail which are part of two benefices and are fine examples of churches from the Saxon to Victorian periods. The route takes you through some of Staffordshire’s finest countryside.

You can walk, cycle or drive the trail and the three booklets give clear instructions and helpful photographs. 

How you approach the route is in your hands; it may be a spiritual journey, a chance to experience the rural beauty or simply hearty exercise with friends. Complete the trail in one go or take it in stages.

Whatever you do…enjoy yourself and tell us of your experiences!

The Trail

The walking trail follows ancient and established public footpaths. Most are off-road but there is some road walking at some stages of the trail. The car route is from smaller roads which are off the A38 between Burton on Trent and Lichfield.

Whilst working on two parallel HF Funded projects in the benefices of All Saints, Alrewas and St James’, Barton, it became clear that the six churches lay along some sort of track.

Local historian Norman Stubbs’ book ‘A History of Alrewas’ published in 1987 contains a map showing a track labelled ‘Pilgrim Way’. There was no other reference to it, and investigations have revealed no further mentions.

St. Chad, a very keen walker, would have made his way from York to Lichfield to establish the Cathedral. With the Roman Ryknild Road, a trade route to Cheshire and well-established public footpaths, it seemed highly likely that St. Chad would have followed a path not dissimilar to the one we have developed.

This was supported by a St. Chad-inspired Pilgrimage from Repton to Lichfield in 2019 which followed this trail. Thus ‘The Pilgrim Way Church Trail’ was born.

Pilgrims Way Trail Map

The Churches

These are the six Pilgrim Way Church Trail churches. 

Lichfield Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral is one of the oldest places of Christian worship.

Its iconic three spires are unique, and it is one of the UK’s most treasured landmarks.

Lichfield Cathedral is the burial place of St Chad, who is at the heart of the Pilgrim Way Church Trail and the culmination of the trail.

Trail Booklets

Whether you're walking, cycling or driving the Pilrim Way Church Trail, there's a detailed booklet to help you on your way.

Just select your booklet from the options below.

Trail booklets are now available, free of charge (P&P charges apply), online at our sister site, Alrewas Archives - follow this link