The Best Camino Guidebook for the English Way

Which is the best Camino Ingles guide book to help Pilgrims walking their own pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela ? What should you look for when choosing the right one for you.

In my opinion the best guide book for walking The Camino Ingles, otherwise called the English Way,  is the guidebook by John Brierley called “A Pilgrims guide to the Camino Ingles

This guidebook has everything you need to walk the Camino Ingles sometimes called The English Way or El Camino en Ingles.

If you’re planning to hike the Camino Ingles, you have a lot of options when it comes to your guidebook. With so many different publishers and authors out there, how can you be sure that you’re making the right choice? 

Here are some key points to keep in mind when choosing a guidebook, as well as some recommendations based on my own experience hiking the Camino ingles, which I did in 4 days before walking an extra 3 days to Finisterre which used to known as the ‘end of the world’.

I have walked the Camino de Santiago multiple times so I know a thing of two about walking this amazing journey and how to navigate along the way. 

The start of the Camino Ingles

Table of Contents

Do I Need a Guidebook for the Camino Ingles ?

I am always being asked this question especially by pilgrims planning for their first Camino. Unless you have ever walked a Camino pilgrimage it can be a bit of a mystery and hard to understand how each day unfolds.

This is especially important when thinking about which Albergue to stay in and which village to stop in.

If you are an experienced long distance walker and have walked The Camino before you can get by without a guidebook quite easily and just follow the yellow shell camino symbols. There are 1000’s of walkers that do this every year wanting to let the ‘camino spirit’ take them along the path. I have done this before and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

But if you are like the majority of new pilgrims who undertake the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela you will want to know some of the following things every day:

  • How far is the next stage ?
  • What is the elevation gain ?
  • Where is the next cafe ? 
  • Is there an Albergue at my destination ?

If this is you then having a guidebook is an absolute must and getting the best one is really important.

Knowing where your next Cafe con leche is coming from is crucial to some people. I know, as it’s important to me !

A lot of the amenities are only listed in the guidebooks so it can be really important to read and plan the journey each day.

TOP TIP I normally do this after I have arrived at my destination, had a shower in the company of a cold beer. Depending how I feel ( and how my feet are doing) I will decide how far I want to walk and plan out my next stage.

As a result, getting your hands on the best Camino Ingles guidebook can reduce stress as well as being a great talking point with other pilgrims who will be planning their next day too.

One the Camino other Pilgrims will be a great source of information. so chat away and learn as much as you can.

Camino Ingles Stage by Stage Blog

What makes a Good Camino Ingles Guide book

If you’re planning on going on a Camino de Santiago pilgrimage anytime soon, it’s important that you find the right guidebook. Getting the right guidebook is really important so you have all the information that pilgrims need to prepare themselves spiritually, physically and logistically before embarking on their journey. The camino English way is no different.

There are multiple guidebooks to the Camino Ingles and the other routes of the Camino de Santiago, and they all have their merits. The types of information available varies and totally depends on the user. The key bits of information I look for includes a Camino guidebook that is easy to navigate and read

  • The guidebook should have detailed maps
  • Includes detailed elevation profiles
  • Distance details
  • Stage by Stage profiles
  • Ave Temperature information
  • Cafe / Bar and Supermarket locations
  • Chemist and Bank information
  • Some information on the villages, towns and cities
I also like my Camino guidebooks to be compact and lightweight. You have to carry the guidebook with you in your backpack so think about this when purchasing.
 
Having a section with helpful Spanish phrases is also a good addition for Pilgrims that can’t speak any Spanish. 

What is the Best Camino Ingles Guide book

I have detailed below the best guidebooks I believe will help you on your way to enjoying the best The Camino de Santiago has to offer especially when walking the Camino Ingles ‘English’ route.  Buen Camino

John Brierley's 'A Pilgrims guide to the Camino Ingles"

This is the only guidebook covering this short route to Santiago de Compostela: the Camino Ingles, The English Way, also known as the Celtic Camino. It covers the route from Ferrol and A Caruna.

All reference information is accompanied by helpful spiritual guidelines to support the seeker’s inner journey as well as the outer pilgrimage. Newly updated to include the latest maps and photos, this lightweight guide fits into a walker’s pocket for carefree travelling

  • 128 pages
  • Weight –  very light

The maps feature contour guides to help distinguish the terrain that will be crossed each day, while full information on all pilgrim hostels, as well as details for alternative accommodation, allow travellers to plot adequate nightly stopping points.

What really impressed me about this Camino Ingles guide book was that John Brierley included not only every place where food or lodging is available but also every church, museum, hospital or other noteworthy site on the route from Ferrol and La Caruna to Santiago de Compostela.

Camino Ingles - Ferrol to Santiago on Spains English Way

This Village to Village Guide to the Camino Ingles is a comprehensive guidebook to walking the Way of Saint James from Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela.

  • 48 pages
  • Weight – very light

Walk the Camino Inglés or English Way from the Spanish seaport cities of A Coruña or Ferrol on the path long-trodden by British pilgrims arriving by sea. This lesser-known Camino route showcases the misty forests and enigmatic culture of Galicia, and can be walked in 4-7 days. With full-color stage maps and city maps, you ll always know where you and where you re going. 

Cicerone Camino Guide and Map Book

This guidebook to the Camino Inglés and Ruta do Mar camino routes through north-west Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The 116km Camino Inglés begins in Ferrol in Galicia and takes around a week to complete. 

  • 160 pages
  • Weight – 6 ounces

It offers reliable waymarking, pilgrim facilities, and the opportunity to earn the Compostela certificate on completion. 

An alternative start in A Coruña gives a walk of 73km but to get a Compostela you’ll have to walk 100km. This can include walking in the Uk before starting off n Ferrol

The guidebook presents the route in stages of a day’s walking. In addition to the route description, there is full information on facilities, food and lodging, 1:100,000 scale maps of the route and town maps for key locations. With notes on preparation and planning, travel and equipment, a list of useful sources of information, and a glossary. 

The book is an indispensable companion for any one walking this camino.

More Camino Ingles Guide Books

There are a few other guide books to The Camino Ingles as detailed below and all worth checking out dependant on your needs:

Pros and Cons of using a Guidebook for the Camino Ingles

Pros

  • Really detailed information
  • Great elevation profiles and detailed information
  • Historical and religious content
  • Pages for Notes
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • You have to carry the book
  • It has to be packed away
  • Getting it out of your backpack whilst walking isn’t ideal

Camino De Santiago apps

Its easy to get a guidebook for the Camino Ingles but some Pilgrims I have talked too recommend turning to apps. On my last trip on the Camino I spent 9 Days walking the Camino Frances and used different apps to see how they work.

There are so many different walking apps out there, so it can be a bit overwhelming and difficult to find the perfect one to use. 

I have tried to find the best camino de santiago app for your needs. My recommended 2 apps out of the list are the Camino Ninja app which is free and the Wise Pilgrim Camino Ingles app which is relatively cheap at $4.49. Both work a treat and I wouldn’t hesitate to use either of them again. The details are below:

Camino Ninja App

I have used this extensively and it works a treat. It’s easy to use, shows good detail when searching your stage distances. It’s 100% free and the maps work offline just in case you get lost. Cost – FREE

Camino Ninja

Wise Pilgrim App - Camino Ingles

This Camino app is packed full of detail, elevation profiles, Albergue details and off line maps. There is a small charge but well worth the cost. Cost – $4.49 on your mobile App Store.

wise pilgrim

Other notable Apps

  • Buen Camino App – Interesting app but takes a bit of operating. FREE
  • Camino Ingles BASIC App – Lots of info and videos. 

My personal choice would always be to walk and take it as it comes but both of my recommendations offer a good alternative to guidebooks. 

Watch this video to see how the Camino Ninja app works. This example is the of the Camino Fr ancestry but has all the Camino routes within it.

Pros and Cons of using a Camino App

Pros

  • Technology led approach
  • You don’t have to carry them
  • GPS Mapping as well as offline modes
  • Quick and easy to use

Cons

  • The connection with technology is never broken
  • The app may not be up to date

Camino Ingles FAQ's

Can a beginner walk the Camino Ingles ?

Absolutely. The Camino Ingles is a perfect starter Camino for anyone to undertake and only takes 4-6 days dependant on your walking pace.

It is totally accessible for anyone to walk this amazing pilgrimage although there is some preparation and fitness needed. A guide book would be a good accessory for a beginner.

Should I use a Camino Ingles Guide Book ?

A Camino guide book for the English Way isn’t compulsory and the walk to Santiago de Compostela can be achieved by just following the Camino symbols along the route. Just follow the yellow shell camino symbols..

Having a guide just helps with information especially when looking at distances and elevation.

Should I use an app instead of a Guide Book ?

In my opinion I would use the John Brierley guide book as a starter as the information in the book is really helpful. I use the app as a backup to the guide book information but its totally each Pilgrims choice. 

The whole Camino experience is yours and yours alone so just make a choice and enjoy it. I guarantee it will change your life, I did mine.

Summary

I know some Pilgrims that do not use a guidebook or app and just walk the Camino one a day at a time, totally disconnecting from their daily work and personal life.

My advise would be to use a guide book as an accompaniement to your walk and enjoy the experience. I personally still use my first guidebook from 2017 when I walk the Camino Ingles, enjoying my notes and details from each walk. The memories are amazing.

Buen Camino and leave me a comment below to tell me all about your Camino to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Ingles, The English Way !

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