Salisbury couple begin epic walk to Rome!

Salisbury couple begin epic walk to Rome!

Published by Mike Draper at 4:01am 15th February 2020. (Updated at 9:25am 15th February 2020)

3 minute read

Tom and Julie are embarking on a huge 1,500 mile pilgrimage in aid of the three local causes.

  • Tom and Julie begin their huge trek today, Saturday 15th February 2020
  • They will walk a total distance of around 2500 km
  • The plan is to reach St Peter's in Rome by the end of the year


Tom and Julie will head out of Salisbury via the Clarendon Way to Winchester. Then they pick up St Swithun's Way and Pilgrims' Way to Canterbury. From Canterbury they cross the channel by boat at Dover and follow the ancient Via Francigena down through the Pas de Calais, Picardy, Champagne and Franche Compté; crossing into Switzerland at Pontarlier.

Then they head for Lausanne passing eastward around the Lake Geneva; up and over the Alps by the St Bernard Pass and down into Italy by the Valle d'Aosta. It's then across the Po Valley, avoiding the heat of the summer, over the Apennines to the coast, and then on to Rome via Siena.

Salisbury to Rome walking route map for Tom and Julie Austin from Salisbury.
SALISBURY TO ROME 2020: It's a long walk ahead for Tom and Julie.


The pilgrimage will be undertaken in stages, leaving time for respite and recuperation in between, but the hope is to reach St Peter's in Rome by the end of 2020, which is the 800th anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral.

Although their pilgrimage is personal and spiritual reasons, Tom and Julie are using it as an opportunity to raise money for three Salisbury based charities, with which they have connections. These are:

  • The Stars Appeal - for the Salisbury Hospital from which Julie has recently retired
  • The Salisbury Cathedral Choral Foundation – which supports music in the Cathedral helps fund places for young choristers at the Cathedral School
  • The Wessex Rivers Trust (formerly Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust) - an environmental charity which Tom set up and ran, which works to conserve and protect the precious river habitats of the region


You can support Tom and Julie by donating here at Virgin Money Giving.

Donations will be split equally between the three charities.  You can follow their progress on their blog site here.

Tom Julie have were asked recently if they plan walking home again afterwards, but they haven't given an answer yet!

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