A rather special group of pilgrims arrived in Santiago de Compostela yesterday, having spent five days walking from Ferrol, in the northwest corner of Galicia, to the city of Santiago de Compostela, 120 kilometres farther south – a route known as the Camino Inglés, or the English Way.
The group comprised representatives of the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) and Tesouros de Galicia, which is a member of INTO and aims to attract more visitors to Galicia by promoting its culture, heritage and interest as a tourism destination.
People undertake pilgrimages for many reasons – religious, spiritual or simply to enjoy the great outdoors and get fit. Although the members of this group no doubt fitted at least one of the categories above, their main motive was to bring this lesser-known route of the Santiago pilgrimage, in the province of A Coruña, to international attention, raise money through sponsorship and also plant 2,000 trees along the way.
Tesouros de Galicia is working with the A Coruña provincial council on a scheme to restore and improve access along the English Way. INTO and Tesouros de Galicia have this year also started to offer working holidays in Galicia, during which participants can take part in archaeological activities and other community projects where they can get to know local experts and learn about Galician heritage.