Barbara at Ely Cathedral, 20 March 2016, on her 2,000 mile pilgrimage

My name is Barbara Foster and I have set myself the challenge of walking between all the 42 Anglican cathedrals of England, my route joining them together into a single interconnected web.


My pilgrimage is a sponsored venture in aid of Freedom from Torture, a national charity

which enables survivors of torture to rebuild their lives through a range of therapies,

specialist medical care and practical support. I chose this charity because I believe that torture must be the worst thing in the world. Being a relatively small organisation, I have been able to make personal contact with their staff, and I know that any funds raised are making a real difference to the lives of torture survivors seeking sanctuary in the UK.

My fund raising page can be found at

and any contributions would be very welcome.


My progress as shown on the map, has taken me to 39 cathedrals so far, covering more than 1700 miles in the last five years

Barbara's walks at the end of 2018


I have walked along Hadrian’s Wall (to link Carlisle and Newcastle), across East Anglia and the Fens, (from Norwich to Bury St Edmunds then on to Ely and Peterborough), followed the Thames from the source to the Barrier, then onto Rochester and Canterbury. Going west from the source of the Thames I have crossed the Cotswolds to reach Gloucester then continued to five more cathedrals to reach Lichfield. I follow ancient trackways, cycle tracks, canal towpaths, bridleways and footpaths the length and breadth of England. I often travel solo, but travelling companions for all or part of the journey have been welcome.

1st April 2015. En route to Canterbury


24th July 2017. Inside Wakefield cathedral, about to walk round the labyrinth before setting out for Sheffield.


27th July 2017. Sheffield Cathedral


The doves in flight over Salisbury cathedral nave


An appropriate lane between Lichfield and Chester


7th July 2016. Inside Wells Cathedral


With friends on arrival at Blackburn


Being welcomed at Liverpool cathedral


The old boots were leaking


And here are my new boots!


Please visit 

if you would like to make a donation.


2018 Update

My first trip this year was from Birmingham to Lichfield, mainly following canal towpaths (in the rain) but delighted to meet up with friends on arrival.  In April, I had a longer trip, still using towpaths; this time it was the Leeds/Liverpool canal which took me, and some of my relatives who supported me, from Bradford to Blackburn, both lovely cathedrals embedded in their communities. 


Next was a two day walk from Winchester to Salisbury, where the art installation by Michael Pendry was absolutely breath taking. The hundreds of white origami doves with their messages of peace, hope and new beginnings chimed with my appeal on behalf of torture survivors.


Over the hot summer I walked from Sheffield to Southwell  then on to Lincoln, from Lichfield to Derby and also along the Cotswold Way to join Bristol to my route to Gloucester. Two long walks in the autumn were from Blackburn to Liverpool, and from Lichfield to Chester via the 90 mile Two Saints Way.  By this time a new pair of boots was needed as my old ones were falling apart!


So far I have walked over 1700 miles and raised nearly £2300 for Freedom from Torture. In 2019 I will need to link Derby to both Southwell and Leicester, then join Coventry and Birmingham.  All that remains will be linking Chelmsford to St Albans, my home diocese and for the final day of the pilgrimage I am planning a celebratory walk with all the friends who have helped me.


I would be very pleased to hear of anyone else attempting to visit all the cathedrals on foot.

Contact me at