Welsh Cistercian Way

3 month, Wales

The Welsh Cistercian Way – 672 miles – 3 months – Caerphilly to Caerphilly (circular). This route is an ambitious and comprehensive immersion in the Cistercian heritage of Wales, and encompasses most of the highlights of Wales’ treasured naturescapes too. If you don’t know Wales at the end of this pilgrimage, you probably never will. The North section follows the North Wales Pilgrims Way from Conwy to Basingwerk Abbey, via St Asaph Cathedral and a mysterious Celtic cross, over hills and along dramatic seascapes. The Eastern route is from Basingwerk Abbey, up the verdant Vale of Clwyd and over the not insurmountable mountains to Valle Crucis. The route follows the Ceiriog Way to begin with, then some of Offa’s Dyke, before Strata Marcella and a women’s house of Llanllugan and its famous medieval stained glass. Then it gets royal at Cwm-hir, where the last Welsh Prince of Wales is buried, before getting bookish at Hay on Wye. The mountains follow, then it’s down the Wye Valley to Tintern Abbey. The Southern section of the route takes you over more hills in South Wales, but this time above valleys with terraced mining houses, along the coast within dramatic sight of Caldey Island and then the gentle Carmarthenshire countryside. The section starts at the shrine and well of Penrhys, and you follow the mighty ridge way above the Rhondda Valleys to Margam Abbey. The Western route rolls with the Carmarthenshire hills, passing through the watchful trees of Brechfa Forest and straight along the Roman road to the North Welsh coast. You can visit the abbeys at Whitland, Strata Florida and Cymmer, the Roman fort at Tomen-y-mur (location of the Mabinogion story of Lleu Llaw Gyffes) and Dolwyddelan Castle, traditional birthplace of the great Welsh ruler Llywelyn ab Iorwerth. The question is: will you ever walk it all? Now there’s a challenge…

Highlights
North Wales Pilgrims Way
Offa’s Dyke
Wye Valley
As much of an understanding of Wales as you are likely to get

More Info on The Welsh Cistercian Way 

Click to download route/s in GPX file format for your smartphone’s map app

Instructions for using a GPX file to show you the route on your smartphone

An aerial view of the Sugar Loaf mountain and farm land in Monmouthshire, Abergavenny, Wales

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