abbey walks

The Walks

abbey monk

Welcome to the Abbey Walks walk route directory.  Here you will find both day walk routes, and long distance multi-day walk routes.


Every walk in this directory has been walked by us.  We have used roman roads and drover’s tracks as these may have been the routes taken by monks in the middle ages.  We have linked these ancient paths with modern day footpaths whilst travelling through medieval villages between abbeys along the way.


Each route has a description and walk notes, guidance text, photographs, a map, elevation detail,  GPS waypoint co-ordinates, and a walk time calculated using Naismith's rule.


Naismith's Rule is a commonly used tool, developed by Scotsman William Naismith in 1892, used to calculate the time it takes to walk any distance.  The time calculated to complete a route is generally understood to be the minimum time that a route will take, assuming that the walker has a good level of fitness and does not take extended breaks.


All of our routes are free for you to download and use for your enjoyment.


St. Bernard's Way is a newly created long distance walk starting at Rievaulx Abbey, Yorkshire, England and ending at Citeaux Abbey, in France.   Rievaulx Abbey was the first and most northern Cistercian abbey founded by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and Citeaux Abbey has been Mother House of the Cistercian Order since the middle ages.

St. Bernard’s Way follows the popular pilgrim route the ‘Via Francigena’  between Canterbury and Beaujeu, and then the St. Bernard’s Way continues on its own route to Citeaux Abbey, south of Dijon.


The Shining Lights of the North Way is a newly created 34 mile walk in North Yorkshire, England which incorporates Rielvaulx Abbey, Byland Abbey and Fountains Abbey.


There are other Long Distance walks on our Long Distance walks page - check them out too.


Search our walks by country, region and by distance to help you on your way to walking Abbey Walks !


Check out our Packing Lists and Hints and Tips to help you prepare for your walk!


Route Directory - Walks



Abbey Walks is a ' Pay as you Feel ' website

All information, walk notes and GPX files are free, but if you'd like to make a donation to enable us to continue researching, walking and providing this service, please click on the button below.



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We love to hear from fellow walkers and history fans. Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you when we’re back from our next walk !







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Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.