15 Pilgrim Trails In The UK & Europe

The North Wales Pilgrims Way (Welsh: Taith Pererin Gogledd Cymru) is a long-distance walking route in North Wales, running from near Holywell in the east to Bardsey Island (Welsh: Ynys Enlli) in the west. The first half of the trail takes an inland route, with the second half (from Abergwyngregyn onwards) following the north coast of the Llŷn Peninsula. It measures 133.9 miles (215 km) in length and was officially launched at Porth y Swnt, Aberdaron on 10 July 2014.

Development of the trail started in 2011, and its official opening followed a number of alterations to the original route to suit local concerns. The route, which is marked by way-marker disks, makes use of existing public rights of way, including sections of the Wales Coast Path, and along the way it visits many small stone churches, many dedicated to key Celtic Saints, which can provide shelter and rest along the trail. Whilst, historically, pilgrims would have made their way across North Wales to Bardsey Island, known as the legendary ‘Island of 20,000 Saints,’ the trail is a modern interpretation and does not necessarily follow old routes. The Trail is a part of the ‘Our Heritage’ project, a part of Cadw’s Heritage Tourism Project; this is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government. Dr Rowan Williams, a Welsh Anglican bishop, theologian and poet, and former Archbishop of Canterbury, is Patron of the route. An annual pilgrimage is organised along the full length of the route for a fortnight every May/June, and in 2018 the North Wales Pilgrims Way Ultra – a 3-day race – will see runners competing for the North Wales Pilgrims Way Brass Shield.

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