Thursday 05 June 2014
Peaceful Places is a heritage tourism trail, which tells the stories of a collection of churches and chapels across North Ceredigion.
It is not a faith trail in the traditional sense. Its purpose is to encourage visitors to experience churches and chapels from new perspectives - as places of inspiration and meditation; as opportunities to “do something different” and enjoy a change of pace; as destinations where “quality time” can be spent amidst the beauty and tranquillity of the landscape.
The trail spans fourteen destinations from the coast to the uplands, taking visitors on a journey to discover spectacular wildlife and natural beauty, family history and tales of human events and achievements, embellished with architecture, art and craftsmanship. It provides an alternative tourism experience to the sea, sand and shopping that the area is perhaps most famous for: a chance to escape the crowds and enjoy a real taste of the Ceredigion landscape and its culture.
Peaceful Places is a product of the North Ceredigion Churches Heritage Trail project, supported by Cadw’s Heritage Tourism Project using investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project is managed by Treftadaeth Llandre Heritage, a community group dedicated to celebrating natural and cultural heritage with the involvement of local people.
The project has been developed in partnership with local communities at each of the destinations on the trail, giving residents opportunity to share their stories and learn the secrets of the landscapes on their doorstep.
“Peaceful Places has been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate these special and sometimes hidden places for the benefit of both local people and visitors,” says Roger Haggar, Project Manager of Treftadaeth Llandre Heritage. “It brings to life the stories of people who have shaped this landscape and its communities throughout history. It has also provided a focus for our communities today, reminding us of what is special about these places and why they are so worthy of discovery”.
The Peaceful Places heritage trail was launched on Saturday 7th June at St Michael’s church, Llandre. The morning event featured speeches from Edwina Hart, Minister for Tourism; Bishop Wyn Evans; and representatives of participating communities. The afternoon event was open to everyone and featured guided walks, stalls, storytelling and other fun activities.
Minister for Tourism, Edwina Hart, said: “Increasing numbers of visitors are interested in visiting historical attractions and in experiencing the heritage and culture of the areas that they are visiting. The tourism strategy for Wales identifies heritage and culture as an area of competitive advantage for Wales and our Places of Worship are an important part of our heritage."
She added: "The Welsh Government launched a Faith Tourism Action Plan last year – which is the first of its kind in the UK – and has a challenging vision for exploiting the full potential of Wales’ Places of Worship for the visitor economy so it becomes an integral component of the visitor experience in Wales. This is an excellent example of making the Places of Worship in north Ceredigion more accessible by telling the stories associated with these places and bringing them to life.”
For more information, visit the Peaceful Places website