Journeys 2020

Way of St David Pilgrimage, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Date

27th June-3rd July; 18th-24th July; 15th-21st August

Nights

6

Cost

£790 for a single occupancy room.
£690 per person for a shared twin room. Please note on the booking form the name of the person you want to share with.

Description

In medieval times the pilgrimage route to St Davids was as important a destination as the Camino in Spain. Indeed, in 1123 the Pope declared that two pilgrimages to St Davids were the equivalent of one to Rome and three to Jerusalem. Thousands of pilgrims from the humblest through to Kings such as William the Conqueror and Henry II made their way to the small city in the remote south west of Wales.

Pilgrimage is a time to pause our lives and take stock. It is an opportunity to get away from the day to day to think about our choices in life, our relationships and maybe to look for deeper meaning. Walking the last 100km of the newly re-established Way of St David in the company of an experienced guide and a small group of like-minded people is an experience that will never be forgotten.

As with all pilgrimages, the journey itself is as important as the destination, but our destination at St Davids Catehdreal is tuly spectular too. The Norman cathedral from the 1100s stands on the site of the sixth century Celtic monastery of St David where we complete our pilgrimage at the recently restored shrine to St David, the patron saint of Wales. There we will give thanks and prayers and the pilgrims will be eligible to receive a "Ffordd Dewi Sant" certificate to show they have completed the Way of St David.

Walks and Excursions

For five consecutive days we will walk around 20km (13 miles) on what Lonely Planet describes as the finest coast path in the world. Day one takes us from Llangwm to Gelliswick Bay near Milford Haven. Day two is from Gelliswick Bay to Marloes. Day three is from Marloes to Little Haven. Day four is from Little Haven to Solva and the last walking day is from Solva to our destination at St Davids via St Nons. We will see waves rolling in from the Irish Sea, wide sandy beaches and clifftops, ancient Celtic churches, Celtic crosses and holy wells. We will see some amazing wildlife such as gannets and oystercatchers and we may catch a glimpse of some Atlantic seals and choughs. We will walk and talk, sharing stories and meals. We will meditate to the rhythm of our footsteps, and the silence of the glorious surroundings will still our minds and capture our hearts with a spirituality that can only be experienced on pilgrimage.

At 20km each day for five days, the walks are long by normal Journeying standards and should only be attempted if you are fit and are prepared for aching limbs and sore feet. We would strongly recommend that you only come on this holiday if you have trained in advance and are physically capable of long distance walking.

Walks are graded Long (13 miles/20 km) with Moderate-Challenging terrain. Typically we will be walking for 7 hours each day.

Accommodation

Although we will be going on five sequential linear walks, we'll be staying at a single location in a cozy self-catering cottage in the former fishing village of Llangwm. This enables us all to stay in one house together and we can leave our main bags there only having to carry a day bag with us on each stage of the pilgrimage. At the end of each day's walking we are transferred by car back to the cottage for an evening meal and time to discuss the day's experiences. The next morning we will be taken to the re-join the path where we left off the previous day.

Getting there

Please arrive on Saturday between 2pm and 4pm in time for a walk around the beautiful former fishing village of Llangwm at 4pm. For people arriving by train the nearest station is Haverfordwest, the county town of Pembrokeshire. We'll be making a collection from the station to meet the 2:37pm. If you're booking return tickets home, we'll be leaving by mid-morning on the following Friday. For those arriving by car the post code is SA62 4HP and there is free car parking on the village green near the cottage.

Contact

Iain Tweedale (07904 042976 tweedale.iain@gmail.com)