FULL - St David's Way, Pembrokeshire, Wales - FULL
3rd-8th May 2024
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TRIP IS FULLY BOOKED. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GO ON A RESERVE LIST SHOULD THERE BE A CANCELLATION PLEASE CONTACT THE LEADER BELOW.
Join us on the St David's Way pilgrimage on the wild and wonderful Pembrokeshire National Park Coast Path. In 1123 Pope Calixtus urged pilgrims who couldn't travel to Jerusalem because of the Crusades to go to Santiago in Spain or St Davids in Wales instead. Many people have been on the Camino already so the pilgrimage to St Davids is becoming the next place for a unique pilgrimage experience.
This 60km pilgrimage is an experience of a lifetime, with ancient Celtic churches, holy wells, stone circles, and amazing wildlife on what Lonely Planet describes as the finest coast path in the world. We walk on white sandy beaches, wild Celtic clifftops and holy hills with connections to St David, St Patrick and St Aidan. The pilgrimage culminates with a tour around St Davids Cathedral - one of Europe's oldest and most impressive medieval cathedrals dating right back into the sixth century.
This is the Welsh stage of the new Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way from Ferns in Ireland to St Davids in Wales. We are doing the Irish stage the previous week (28th April - 3rd May) so you can join us for the whole two country trip by signing up to both holidays or just join us for the Wales stage, maybe doing the Irish stage next year.
Walks and Excursions
3rd May: Arrive at the Old School House, Trefin
Please arrive at around 4pm for Welsh cakes and tea. Those coming from the St Aidan's Way stage in Ireland will arrive on the 9.30pm ferry.
4th May: Llanwnda to Pwll Deri
We start the day at Llanwnda where there is a beautiful church dating back to the 6th century. Opposite the church is a holy well that is said to have healing powers and was a place of rest and refreshment for medieval pilgrims heading for St Davids. We collect some holy water to take with us to the end of the pilgrimage. We then join the National Park Coast Path that takes us over majestic clifftops and hidden coves that are home to seals and numerous seabirds from choughs and kittiwakes through to gannets and cormorants. If we are lucky we may spot a dolphin too. We pause for lunch at Strumble Head lighthouse and continue round the coast to the Iron Age hill fort at Garn Fawr. We finish the day at a Celtic hermit's cell and at the memorial to Dewi Emrys whose poem Pwll Deri is so evocative of the landscape.
5th May: Melin Tregwynt to Abereiddy
We start at the Melin Tregwynt Woollen Mill where traditional Welsh Blankets have been woven for hundreds of years. We follow the coast path to Abercastle and then to the 4000 year old Neolithic cromlech at Carreg Sampson. After lunch we visit Melin Trefin, the old abandoned corn mill that inspired another famous poem written by Crwys, the Archruid of Wales. We continue on the wild coast path to the beautiful fishing harbour at Porthgain and then on to the Blue Lagoon, where the world cliff diving championships are held and then on to Abereiddy for a well deserved ice cream and paddle in the sea.
6th May: Abereiddy to Whitesands Bay
We pick up the path again at Abereiddy and walk on the most remote and wild section of the whole Pembrokeshire Coast Path. We can see the hills at Penberry and Carn Llidi in the distance and we walk over clifftops and through tiny coves where we may get chance to say hello to some wild Welsh ponies. We detour inland a little to have lunch in an abandoned Quaker village at Maes-y-Mynydd. We walk past the dormant volcanic hill at Carn Llidi where St Patrick is said to have been told by an angel to go to Ireland. We finish the day at the beautiful sandy beach at Whitesands where the site of 6th century St Patrick's chapel was recently excavated by archaeologists.
7th May: Whitesands Bay to St Davids Cathedral
Starting again at Whitesands we walk round the peninsula to St Davids. To our right is the island of Ramsey and we pause at the romantic ruined Celtic chapel at St Justinians. We follow the coast path round to Porthclais where St David - the patron saint of Wales - was baptised at a holy well. We then follow the path round to a real highlight of the pilgrimage - St Non's. This is where a ruined Celtic Christian chapel is located within pagan stone circle next to a holy well and a statue to the Virgin Mary. We pour the holy water collected on the first day at Llanwnda into St Non's and then we visit a recreation of the Celtic Chapel, taking time to reflect on the pilgrimage before we enter the city of St Davids - the smallest city in Britain. The arrival at the cathedral is the culmination of the pilgrimage and after a guided tour we have time to say a prayer at the shrine to St David. That evening we dine in the cathedral accompanied by live music from a Welsh harpist.
8th May: Breakfast and Leave for Home
After a hearty breakfast we have time to unwind and leave for home ahead of the weekend. We will provide lifts to Fishguard/Haverfordwest railway stations and to the ferry terminal at Fishguard for any guests returning to Ireland on the 13:00 ferry to Rosslare.
The walks are typically around 15km a day with steep and rocky coast path sections in places.
We will be staying for the whole trip in the cosy Old School House in Trefin where we have sole occupancy. The rooms are shared, each with their own shower-room and washbasin facilities. The kitchen and dining room with a large round table and sofas creates a real family atmosphere and there is free parking in an adjacent car park.
Each day our minibus will pick us up and take us to the start of the walk and it will bring us back to the Old School House each evning. This means that we can leave our luggage in one place without the need to pack up and move on each day.
Please arrive at the Old School House in Trefin SA62 5AU by 4pm on 3rd May in time for tea and Welsh cakes. If you are driving, there is a free car park a few metres to the right of the Old School House. We will have a pick up in the afternoon to meet the 14.36 train at Haverfordwest railway station for those travelling by train. We will also have a pick up from Fishguard ferry terminal for guests arriving from Rosslare on the 9.30pm ferry.