The Pilgrims Way is believed to have been an ancient road that may have been used by pilgrims on their way from the south-west, via Winchester, to Canterbury to pay homage at the shrine of Thomas á Becket after his murder in 1170.
The route you see today was determined by the first governor of Ordnance Survey around the turn of the 18th century. There remain some quiet lanes at the base of the chalk scarp, below Ranmore Common and lower Box Hill, where you can imagine yourself on the pilgrimage to Canterbury. Bounded by ancient hedgerows these lanes provide a rich habitat for wildlife from primroses and cowslips to butterflies and a variety of birds.
For modern day walkers the North Downs Way has replaced the Pilgrims Way as the quiet walking route, which utilises much of the legendary track through this part of Surrey. People can be still be found following the route on their pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury.
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