The English Way goes over the green Galician heart, from the coast of A Coruña passing through 14 different villages, all of them captivating places. It’s an alternative to the crowded French Way and the natural heritage is overwhelming. If you’re looking for a green landscape, a lot of calm and wild nature, this is one of your ways.
The history of the northern travellers
Visiting the saint’s tomb in Santiago de Compostela has been a fixation for travellers since the XI century, and from the XII century Compostela started to recieve also waves of pilgrims who came from the northern countries and Great Britain.
To board in a sea route, naturally reduced the duration of the journey from the usual 5 months by land to three weeks, more or less. The voyage by sea saved to the walkers the hard stages of the Pyrenees, which were also very dangerous areas because of the bandits and thieves.
That’s why the new visitors from the North decided to leave their lands on board a ship and arriving this way to the Galician coast. From there, they started their pilgrimage walking to Santiago de Compostela. It begun like this what we know today as the English Way.
Helpful information about the stages of the English Way
You can start your English Way from Ferrol, going across around 110 km divided in 5 stages to Compostela.
The other option would be to start in the city of A Coruña and in this case our pilgrimage will be 78 km long, more or less, in just 3 stages. Both alternatives converge once we arrive to a small village called Bruma, 31 km away from Coruña and 79 km away from Ferrol.
The different stages of the English Way in detail
Let´s now see in detail the differente stages of the English Way so you know what are you going to encounter in your way to Compostela.
#1 Ferrol – Pontedeume
This first stage is 29 km long and some guides suggest to divide it in half, making it two different stages: Ferrol – Neda and Neda – Pontedeume.
Anyway, the first stage starts in the Cruxeiras port, in Ferrol. In general, it’s a simple stage, with little slopes and the smell of the sea. The best part is the view to the magnificient Atlantic Ocean. The worst is, maybe, going through the industrial park of A Gándara, specially if we’re looking forward to see ourselves in a natural enviroment.
In this stage we’ll pass trhough three beautiful old quarters with big cultural significance: Ferrol, Neda and Pontedeume.
#2 Pontedeume – Betanzos
Green Green that I love you! In this stage we’ll go across 20 km of rural areas for the most part, se we can admire the Galician essence: green, rural and farmer. In this route we’ll find some important slopes and we’ll pass through two wonderful villages with all the services: Miño and Betanzos.
#3 Betanzos – Bruma
About 30 km in the meridian of the English Way and another hard stage like the previous one. Again, we’ll be surrounded by a rural landscape where we will see the farmers working their lands: ranchers, growers, neighbours of really small villages where you can breathe the most authentic peace.
#4 Bruma – Sigüeiro
This stage of the English Way, with 25 km, is like a break for the walker. It’s a soft walk through pave or dirt paths, but comfortable and flat. Moreover, there are lots of restaurants, bars and services, because we are only 40 km away from Santiago.
#5 Sigüeiro – Santiago de Compostela
Just 16 km between us and the Cathedral of Compostela! This stage, that goes by lands of Santiago entirely, do not lack anything. We’ll go deep into the most pure rural landscape again and we’ll see ourselves surrounded by leafy forests. Besides, we’ll be constantly seing the silhouette of Santiago as a background, so this panorama of the extraordinary cathedral will fill up our energy for this last stage.
We hope that our guide had inspired you to start walking from the seaside to the capital of Galicia. If you’ve already done any of the stages of the English Way and you want to tell us your personal experience, we’ll love to read you in our comments or through Facebook.