Thursday 10 July 2014
The North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is a 240km path linking St Winefride’s Well at Holywell to Bardsey Island and makes full use of existing footpaths and sections of the Wales Costal Path.
Following in the footsteps of centuries of pilgrimages to Bardsey, the path is an opportunity for modern day pilgrims to follow the path whilst visiting many interesting historical sites along the way and to marvel at the area’s natural environment.
The North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is a part of the Our Heritage project, a part of Cadw’s Heritage Tourism Project partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
The Our Heritage project aims to maximise the economic and cultural value of north Wales’s local heritage by working towards ensuring that visitors and local communities have lasting experiences by bringing local heritage and history alive and relevant to today’s population.
Councillor John Wynn Jones, Gwynedd Council Economy Cabinet Member said: 'The North Wales Pilgrim’s Way was developed in partnership between the Our Heritage project and the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way Volunteers. This is a great example of different establishments working together across north Wales towards the same common goal of attracting more visitors to the region whilst promoting its rich history.
'I’m confident that the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way will attract many more visitors to the area, as does the Camino de Santiago in Spain every year which inspired the re-establishment of this historical route.'
The official launch at Aberdaron was part of a series of events held across north Wales on 10 July to celebrate the official opening of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way including events at Basingwerk Abbey in Flintshire, St Asaph Cathedral and Bangor Cathedral.
Councillor Dewi Owen, Gwynedd Council Chairman who opened the official launch at Porth y Swnt added:
'I was extremely glad to take part in the launch of the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way, as the Pilgrim’s Way is a great opportunity to showcase some of North Wales’ most remote and beautiful countryside and historical sites.
'I hope the improvements to sections of the path and the instalment of digital hubs will encourage walkers and modern day pilgrims to follow the historical path all the way from Holywelll to Bardsey, just as so many have done before them.'
John Griffiths AM, Minister for Natural Resources, Culture and Sport, said:
'I am pleased that the Welsh Government has been able to provide significant funding for this project and it’s wonderful to see how the interest has been re-ignited in the centuries old tradition of pilgrimage from Holywell to Bardsey.
'This work connects individual heritage sites with other heritage attractions and local communities and surrounding areas, making links with broader interpretative stories and themes in order to help visitors understand and care more about our past. The Pilgrim’s Way will further strengthen appreciation of the historic environment.
'I’d like to thank all the partners which have worked together in the development of this path, especially to all the volunteers who have given of their time to help.'
A series of digital hubs have been developed and installed at many locations along the route of the Pilgrim’s Way. These hubs will display the new Pilgrim’s Way website and information about local history of the surrounding area.
From now until the end of August, an exhibition of work by local school children to develop stamps for the Pilgrim’s Passport will be shown at Oriel Pendeitsh, Caernarfon.
For more information about the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way, maps and route description from Holywell to Bardsey visit pilgrims-way-north-wales.org