English Route

English way to CompostelaWe are going on the English Way to Compostela, known like that because of the great amount of pilgrims from the British Islands.


It was from the 12th century onwards that pilgrimages from the Nordic countries and the British Islands started. The first one known goes back to 1147 with the arrival of a squad of crusaders who travelled to the Holy Land.

    The expedition took part in the conquest of Lisbon and helped the first king of Portugal in his fight against the Arabs. Before taking part in the battle, the members of the expedition visited the tomb of the Apostle in Compostela. That was the beginning of the English Way in the Western capital.

    Scandinavian, Flamencos, English, Scottish and Irish arrived in our coasts, crossing the Basque, Cantabrian and Asturian ports, but mainly those of Ribadeo, Viveiro, Ferrol and A Coruña.

    It is a fact that in the late 16th century there was in Viveiro (Lugo) a hospital dedicated to Santiago, where travellers, poor people and pilgrims were taking in ‘for being in a passing way of Asturias and Vizcaya and many other parts towards the Royal Hospital of Santiago, Portugal and many other places’.

Puertos de Ferrol y A Coruña

    But, owing to their exceptional strategic importance, Ferrol and A Coruña are considered to be the entrances to the so-called English Way to Compostela. The Way has 74 km from A Coruña to Santiago and 118 from Ferrol.

    The British came by boat during the long Hundred Years’ War against the French, not only pilgrims but also merchants as it was proved with all sort of discoveries carried out in Santiago and in the offerings at the Church of Santiago de Compostela.

    Pilgrimages disappeared under the kingdom of Enrique VIII because of the break-up between the English and Roman churches.

    In the archives of the hospitals of the route, there is evidence of deceases of English, German, Italian, French and Scandinavian people, which is a proof of the passage of pilgrims from these countries to Compostela.

    We walk the English Way and see all what pilgrims saw. We do not intend to follow the way step by step. We want to stop and see the traces of the work of men that have been respected so than anyone who contemplates these stones of history can also feel the amazement of the traveller before the beauty in the environment of our route.