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

My name is Barbara Foster, and in 2014 I 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 was 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.

The pilgrims arriving at St Albans Cathedral


The pilgrimage was completed on 25th July 2019 with 30 friends joining me for the final 11 miles to St Albans Abbey. Yes, that was the date officially declared the hottest day ever in the UK. We had to walk 11 miles in temperatures of 37º, so the pilgrimage was a real challenge right up to the end. Thank you so much to the many people who supported me that day and a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to Freedom from Torture. The final total raised was £4,762, far more than I expected to raise and I know that the charity is very grateful for this boost to their funds.


I 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 crossed the Cotswolds to reach Gloucester then continued to five more cathedrals to reach Lichfield. I followed ancient trackways, cycle tracks, canal towpaths, bridleways and footpaths the length and breadth of England. I often travelled solo, but travelling companions for all or part of the journey were very 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


Nearly at Derby for the 3rd time! 


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!


My route to all 42 cathedrals


If you wish to donate to Freedom from Torture please visit their website at


I am now happy to give talks about my pilgrimage enabling me to continue raising funds for the charity.  If you would like to discuss this possibility please contact me at