St Winefride Pilgrim Trail

N Wales, West & East Midlands, 1 week

St Winefride Pilgrim Trail – 70 miles, 7 days. Shrewsbury to Holywell, Flintshire. People have walked the St Winefride’s pilgrim trail from Shrewsbury to Holywell since the 12th Century. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and kings as you walk the trail… Winefride, (Welsh: ‘Blessed Stream’) was the daughter of a seventh-century Welsh prince. She had taken a vow of celibacy. However, according to legend, Caradoc, a young nobleman, fell in love with her. One day, passions aroused, he made demands upon her which as a virgin and under her vow, she could not accept. She fled and he chased after her. He was so enraged at being rejected that when he caught her, he cut off her head, which rolled to where her uncle, St Beuno, was at prayer nearby. At this spot, now called Holywell, a well of pure water sprang from the earth. Meanwhile, Caradoc fell to the ground, dead, and the earth opened up to swallow his body. St Beuno replaced Winefride’s head on her body, and she lived. She became abbess of a nunnery at Gwytherin, North Wales, dying there fifteen years later. Her remains were brought to Shrewsbury Abbey in 1137. Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins tells the story here.

Low-cost hostels along route – Llangollen; and across region.

St Winefride Pilgrim Trail website

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