North Wales Pilgrims Way
Total distance covered; 78 miles (126kms)
7 days walking, based in Caernarfon
The North Wales Pilgrim's Way is a 150 miles (240km) route linking Basingwerk Abbey near Holywell to Bardsey Island. It follows in the footsteps of pilgrims who, for centuries, have walked through some of the most remote landscape of North Wales and the length of the Lleyn Peninsula to Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) - the 'Island of 20,000 Saints'. During Medieval times three pilgrimages to Bardsey Island were the equivalent of one pilgrimage to Rome and churches, wells and houses were established to provide shelter and refreshment to Pilgrims following the ancient route. Many of these lesser known and isolated historical and religious sites can still be visited today, on foot through some wonderful unspoilt scenery.
Although the route has been walked for centuries it has only recently been launched and waymarked as a recreational route. We shall be offering the North Wales Pilgrim's Way over two years, giving guests the opportunity to complete the route in manageable stages. The walk scheduled for 2018 covered the eastern section from Basingwerk Abbey to Abergwyngregyn, and for 2019 we are offering the western section from Abergwyngregyn to Aberdaron, the stepping off point for Bardsey Island. Even if you have no wish to complete the whole route either section is a great walk in its own right.
You can read more about the route and its background on the route's official website.
For 2019 we are offering the 78 mile (126km) western section from Abergwyngregyn, a remote village which lies just to the east of Bangor, and inland from the Menai Strait to Aberdare, the tiny harbour at the western end of the Lleyn Peninsula from which the pilgrims made the short sea crossing to Bardsey Island.
©Sebastian Wasek/age fotostock
The Llyn Peninsula is an extension of the Snowdonia mountain range and is made up of some of the oldest rocks in Britain. Ancient volcanic hills run down the spine of the peninsula and the windswept coast has a wonderfully diverse landscape; rugged cliffs, long sandy beaches, extensive dune systems, picturesque harbours and precious heathland where rare species of flora and fauna retain a foothold. Much of the area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and also a Landscape of Outstanding Historic Interest. Early and medieval Christian pilgrims travelled along the Llyn Peninsula to reach the the monastery on Bardsey Island, and their route is dotted with chapels and shrines. Older still are the standing stones and ancient field systems at the tip of the peninsula.
Highlights of this western section of the North Wales Pilgrim's journey will include Aber Falls; Dolbadarn Castle with its splendid views of the mountains of Snowdonia; Bangor Cathedral; the views from the flanks of Yr Eifi; the ancient church of St Beuno; the 'Whistling Sands' at Porth Oer; the beautiful settlement of Porth Dinllaen; the views across Bardsey Sound to Bardsey Island; and the boat crossing to Bardsey Island.
The cost of the boat crossing is included in the holiday cost, and we shall be able to spend around four hours on the island.
The royal town of Caernarfon with its mighty 13th century castle is our base for this holiday.
Day 1: Abergwyngregin to Bangor 13 mls (21kms)
Day 2: Bangor to Llanberis 11 mls (18kms)
Day 3: Llanberis to Pen-y-Groes 12 mls (19kms)
Day 4: Pen-y-Groes to Trefor 11 mls (18kms)
Day 5: Trefor to Towyn 13 mls (21kms)
Day 6: Towyn to Mynydd Mawr 13 mls (21kms)
Day 7: Mynydd Mawr to Aberdaron 5 mls (8kms) & boat to Bardsey Island
Currency Converter: All of our prices are in British pounds. To estimate the cost in another currency use the currency converter here.