The Athelstan Pilgrim Way isa new 100-mile walking and cycling route, linking all 36 historic churches in theNorth Wiltshire Deanery. The route has been developed by the North Wiltshire Mission Area, a Church of England initiative in the Diocese of Bristol. The route takes in some of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the historic churches range from Bremilham, the smallest church in England, to Malmesbury Abbey, a popular visitor attraction.

The route takes its name from the first King of a united England, Athelstan, a Christian ruler who chose Malmesbury as his capital and was buried in Malmesbury Abbey after his death in 939AD. The church communities in the area continue a long tradition of Christian worship, celebrating their heritage and rural roots.

The route comprises a circular trail around each of the six benefices, with connecting links between them. In view of its size, the initiative is being developed in stages, with the first two benefice sections being included in the 30 June launch, and the other four sections following over the next 12 months.

Full details are available on our website: https://athelstanpilgrimway.org/ and we also have a Facebook page, 'Athelstan Pilgrim Way'.

The first two circular sections are 'Malmesbury & Upper Avon' (13 miles) and 'Gauzebrook (19.6 miles). The routes are now publicly available on the Ordnance Survey Maps app as:

· ATHELSTAN PILGRIM WAY: Malmesbury & Upper Avon

· ATHELSTAN PILGRIM WAY: Gauzebrook

The links to the routes on Ordnance Survey are:

Malmesbury & Upper Avon:

Gauzebrook

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