North Wales Odyssey
£770 single room
£680 per person for a shared twin room. Please note on the booking form the name of the person you want to share with.
North Wales has a combination of a beautiful coastline, valleys, hills, rivers and mountains. Steeped in Christianity - brought by the Romans and nurtured by hundreds of saints - the area has many "thin places". These are locations where many people sense the closeness of the spiritual.
Based at St Augustine's Priory in Old Colwyn, there will be opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside, tasting a little of the North Wales Pilgrim's Way and discovering more about the early Celtic Saints.
We will squeeze into St Trillo's seaside chapel for our own time of reflection, to climb up to one of Wales' remotest chapels to discover Celynin's holy well, take a tram up towards St Tudno's church and encounter St Dwynwen's love story in the ruins of her hermitage on an Anglesey island.
Welsh weather can be bright, sunny and calm. It can also be wet and windy. The programme of walks and activities will be flexible so that the more demanding walks will be planned for drier days.
Walks and Excursions
Celynin's Holy Well: After driving to Rowen, a village in the Conwy Valley we will afford look round the Methodist church before taking an hour's walk up to the chapel which provides an excellent lunch stop.
Aber Falls: A lovely flattish walk of a couple of miles is rewarded by views of a 100ft waterfall. The route continues across the valley and through the beautiful woodlands.
Newborough Forest and Llanddwyn Island: An opportunity to explore part of Anglesey. We walk through a Corsican pine woodland to an amazing beach and on to the Church of St Dynwen, the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine. Joined to the forest by a natural causeway, the beautiful church becomes an island at high tide.
Great Orme, near Llandudno: A tram ride to the top of the Great Orme provides the chance to discover this ancient land of limestone caves clifftop views across the Irish Sea, wild goats and the world's largest bronze age copper mine. It is an important site for the origins of Celtic Christianity and we will walk through the Country Park to St Tudno's chapel to investigate.
St Trillos' Chapel: Less than 2 miles from St Augustine's, walking along the prom, is the tiny chapel of St Trillo. Built over the pure water of a well, the chapel commemorates the ministry of St Trillo, a Celtic Saint and church planter from the 6th Century.
Crafnant and Geirionydd: Following a drive down the Conwy Valley, the walk heads up the Crafnant Valley from Trefriw to the reservoir and across to Llyn Geirionydd.
There will be plenty of opportunities to sample local cafés for coffee or afternoon tea. Packed lunches will be provided. All dietary requirements catered for.
All the walks will be easy or moderate terrain and short or medium in length. The greatest climb is about 1,000 ft. There will be stiles, including a high ladder stile and some rough walking. Boots are recommended and some guests may find walking poles helpful. For more details on how we grade the walks please click on our walk grading page.
St Augustine's Priory, Old Colwyn, North Wales. Known as the House of Prayer, this retreat centre provides mostly single rooms, all en suite. The accommodation includes a library, an art room and a garden complete with labyrinth. It is five minutes' walk from the beach. The holiday is fully catered, including all dietary requirements - please let us know your needs when you book.
By Train: the nearest station is Colwyn Bay. We may be able to pick you up from the station if you let us know the time of your arrival. Otherwise it is about a 10 minute taxi ride.
By Car: St Augustine's Priory House of Prayer is situated in Old Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, 5 minutes from Junction 22 off the A55 from Chester. At the end of the slip road turn left. At the roundabout take the first exit (Marine Hotel opp). Follow the High Street (Abergele Rd). Before the third pelican crossing take the left turn into Cefn Road, Pharmacy on the corner, this is a One Way road. Continue across Station Road into Cliff Road. St John's Church in Wales is on the corner. Continue along Cliff Road. The entrance to St. Augustine's Priory is approx 100 metres on the right.
By Coach: Colwyn Bay is served by Express Coaches
Please arrive by 1630 in time to settle in for our evening meal at 1830.
Rosemary Clarke +44 (0)1624 843 262, firstname.lastname@example.org Co-leader: Karen Garrett.