About North Wales Pilgrims Way
Centuries ago, pilgrims in their thousands were finding their way to Bardsey Island, drawn there by stories of the special peace to be found at the edge of the western world – drawn to the place of the setting sun, with only the vast ocean between them and the unknown.
Now the tradition of pilgrimage is being rediscovered and reinvented for a new age. The North Wales Pilgrim's Way is a spectacular 135-mile-long walking trail across North Wales from Basingwerk Abbey, near Holywell, to Aberdaron and Bardsey Island. It follows old routes and footpaths, across a stunning variety of farmland, moorland, mountain and shoreline. Tiny stone churches nestled into the hills provide shelter and rest along the way, much as they would have done in the past.
We walk and wonder. We wonder at the Celtic cross of Maen Achwyfan – a thousand years old, carved with Celtic knotting and still standing enigmatic and isolated in the middle of a field. We wonder as we pass the ancient pre-Christian stone circles above the Conwy valley, about life all those years ago. We wonder about the lives of the farmers, quarrymen and fishermen who work this land. We wonder as we soak up the extraordinary beauty of the Welsh landscape.
And traditional Welsh hospitality in village pubs, inns, bed and breakfasts and campsites gives rest, nourishment and a chance to chat and reflect on the joys and challenges of the day’s walking.
Maps, routes, accommodation and other information are available on www.pilgrims-way-north-wales.org
You may walk the whole route in one go, or dip in and out. You may walk alone, or join the annual pilgrimage walk in May. However you choose to walk, you will find pilgrimage is to go on a walk with an extra dimension. Engaging with the challenges of the terrain and the weather, everyday preoccupations are swept away and the pilgrim is caught up in the bigger picture. Perspectives change, priorities are reassessed. To cross the sea in an open boat and arrive on Bardsey Island itself is the pinnacle of the experience. And to carry home that peace and quietness is the gift that remains.