Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way
For Immediate use
A pilgrim journey to a sacred site has been a vibrant Celtic tradition since early Christian times. One of these ancient trails – the Wexford–Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way – is now being re-awakened to link the early Irish monastic site at Ferns, Co Wexford with St Davids in Pembrokeshire. When the full pilgrim way has been restored, walkers will follow a fully waymarked trail on mystical paths trodden by St Aidan of Ireland and St David of Wales. Taking 9 days to complete, the rebirthed trail will be rich with stories from many eras of Irish and Welsh history. Offering 5 compelling stages in Wexford and 4 hypnotically attractive days in Pembrokeshire, it allows for a relaxing Irish Sea crossing between.
Guy Hayward, director of the British Pilgrimage Trust, which is the lead organisation in the partnership behind the new route said, “We are in the early stage of this long-term project, but our team have already created a compelling route that bridges both sides of the Celtic Sea. It adds further levels of meaning to Pembrokeshire’s already world-class coastal path, and several cultural heritage sites bring walking through County Wexford to life – this is a pilgrim walk which many will enjoy and value for generations.”
Iain Tweedale is former head of online broadcasting at BBC Wales, a director of Journeying, (one of the partner organisations behind the route), and a member of the steering group for the new route. He explains that the new route will “ go from Ferns in County Wexford, which is the ancient capital of Ireland’s Southeast, down the coast to Rosslare. People can then jump on the ferry and cross over to Fishguard. They will then walk from Fishguard down to St Davids, which is about 160 km in total.
“It is hoped the extra visitors will boost local businesses during quieter times of the year. We’ve got a five-year plan to make this quite a significant path. We expect within five years that there’s going to be around 4,000-5,000 on the path every year,” said Mr Tweedale.
The new website (https://wexfordpembrokeshirepilgrimway.org) provides visitors with comprehensive maps and turn-by-turn guides via our mapping partner, Outdoor Active. We are also delighted to present our audio guide, triggered along the route by GPS data with music, stories and other information. This is a unique feature over such a long distance trail.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
David Pepper (Pembrokeshire Pilgrimage Officer) 07985339009
Eoghan Greene (Project Officer, Ancient Connections) 087 3386005
NOTES FOR PROGRAMME PRODUCERS / EDITORS
In both the southeast of Ireland and the southwest of Wales, a robust tradition tells of the Irish-born St Aidan journeying over the sea to study under St David, patron saint of Wales. Aidan was then given the special task of beekeeper for David’s hives.
His relationship with the bees was such that when he was finally about to return to Ireland, the bees swarmed onboard his ship. Seeing that a special bond had developed with Aidan, David gifted him the bees. Back in Wexford, the Irish saint founded a famous monastery at Ferns where the bees established themselves and flourished. A lifelong bond was thus created between the two holy men, with David later visiting Wexford and leaving his signature across the landscape. The new path celebrates the relationship between the two renowned Celtic saints.
Partners involved in developing the Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way:
British Pilgrimage Trust: https://britishpilgrimage.org
Pilgrim Paths Ireland: https://www.pilgrimpath.ie/
Guided Pilgrimage: https://www.guidedpilgrimage.co.uk
Ancient Connections: https://ancientconnections.org/
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