A pilgrimage route which can be undertaken by cycle or on foot has been established between Swardeston, where the celebrated First World War nurse Edith Cavell was born and raised, and her grave in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral.
October 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of her execution for caring for injured soldiers in Brussels regardless of their nationality and for being part of the underground network assisting allied soldiers to escape.
She was born in Swardeston near Norwich in 1985, the eldest daughter of the vicar of St Mary’s Church. The pilgrimage takes in the house in which she was born, the Old Vicarage to which the family moved in 1866 and St Mary’s Church.
The walking route from Swardeston to central Norwich (or vice versa) is 7 miles and should take about 3 hours one way. An alternative is a 14 mile circular cycle route for which 2⅟₂ hours (with stopping time) should be allowed. Purple Line 37 buses service this route and bus stops are indicated on the map. Both routes are well indicated with signs including a logo of her head in silhouette.
Sights in the city associated with Edith include the site of the former Norwich & Norfolk Hospital, Thorpe Railway Station, her grave within the old monks’ burial ground known as Life’s Green at the east end of the cathedral, and memorials at Erpingham Gate and Koblenz Avenue.