The Pilgrim's Way
[ISBN 978 1 908748 393]
Our Price: £9.95
134 miles/80 pages
The Pilgrim’s Way is a long-distance trail of some 134 miles from the Dee Estuary to Bardsey Island, tracing an ancient route across the stunning landscape of North Wales. The walk passes through the mountainous area of the country, and at one point reaches the foot of Snowdon itself. However the walk never involves severe mountaineering, although there is some rugged terrain and a few steep sections. On the whole, though, the Pilgrim’s Way is more a test of perseverance, and many stretches pass along river banks, through woodland, across fields and along the coastal path.
Each section can be walked in a day but getting back to your starting point can be awkward in an area where public transport is rather limited. The Pilgrim’s Way is well marked throughout, some sections better than others, with regular waymark plaques. Sometimes these are not always easy to spot, and often the waymark confirms your choice of direction rather than helps you make a decision.
The start of the Pilgrim’s Way is Basingwerk Abbey, situated in the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, Flintshire. The walk is divided into sections which can be managed in a day. Some of these can be sub-divided over two days, eg. Trevor to Towyn, with a break at Nefyn. 14 miles is the longest stretch.
There are many shrines and sights to see en route, and a short description in the text is included about most of them. Cathedrals, churches, holy wells, a Friary and abbey ruins form a cross section of the Christian heritage of Wales. There are also pagan and prehistoric holy places, a stone circle, a Celtic cross, burial mounds, not to mention natural phenomena: mountains, rivers, waterfall, woods. You may want to research some of these before you set out. It’s also worth pointing out that the Way passes through memorials of an industrial past, a cotton mill, a slate quarry, disused railway lines, not to mention old buildings that have fallen into disrepair or ruin, hospitals, houses, a watchtower, kilns and relics of former fishing industries.
A pilgrimage is a journey, usually a long one, undertaken by those dedicated in their quest to reach a sacred or revered place. There are many shrines and holy or spiritual locations on the way, and the route has been devised to link churches, shrines, and sacred places mostly Christian, but not exclusively. The Pilgrim’s Way will take you from Basingwerk Abbey on the Dee Estuary to Bardsey Island off the coast of North Wales. Why Bardsey Island? St Cadfan founded a religious community there in the 6th century and it came to be looked on as a special place.
The North Wales Pilgrims Way Committee have approved this guide book.