My name is Joshua Bell, and until proven otherwise I am the youngest pilgrim from Canterbury to Rome. I left Christ’s Hospital in July 2009, and just under a month later, began my pilgrimage to Rome, taking a month to go through England, visiting churches and cathedrals and generally warming up and getting into the pilgrim rhythm.

On September 14th I arrived at Canterbury Cathedral and from there I picked up the “Via Francigena” – a pilgrim route dating from the year 990AD or even earlier – which runs, fairly directly, to Rome and the Vatican. I arrived in Rome on 1st December, four months to the day since I left home for Cumbria.

For more information:

  • Read the 2008-2009 issue of The Blue, which contains a very short piece about my pilgrimage and some photos. The article is on page 142 (the very last page!)
  • A longer article, written by me en route, appears in the first 2010 edition of the Old Blue.
  • Cara Hines, an American I met in Bolsena preparing to make a documentary on the Via Francigena, wrote a blog entry which features my exploits. Her website is and it’s all good reading, but the bit that concerns me is
  • Of course, the best way to find out what I did, and some of why I did it, is to read the articles on this blog! You will notice that in Pavia – almost a month before I reach Rome – the blog cuts out. I’m sorry for this.
  • My book is now out! It can be bought via Amazon. All you ebook lovers can go here. There’s also talk of it being available on the iBookstore, but that’s not happened just yet.