BBC Countryfile Magazine
DISCOVER ANCIENT CONNECTIONS
A new walking route celebrates the stories and Celtic heritage that connect Ireland and Wales.
HIDDEN HISTORIES AND BURIED STORIES
Walking pilgrimage routes has been a huge part of many countries’ heritage for centuries and Ireland and Wales are certainly no exception to this. An exciting new walking route is being developed that embraces the Celtic heritage of both of these places. The Ancient Connections project is reviving the links between North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire, celebrating the strong historical ties that these two Celtic lands share. The Wexford–Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way is an ode to St David, patron saint of Wales, and St Aidan (St. Mogue) of Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland. Many stories reveal the friendship shared between St David and his celebrated pupil St Aidan. This is why the dedicated pilgrimage takes walkers from Ferns in Wexford to St Davids in Pembrokeshire, connecting the route associated with the two saints near the coastline of both countries.
EXPLORE THE WEXFORD-PEMBROKESHIRE PILGRIM WAY
The new route allows present-day pilgrims to follow the journey taken by St Aidan to Wales to become one of St David’s most faithful disciples. After this, he returned to Ireland to become Bishop of Ferns, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Leinster, while remaining a lifelong friend of the Welsh saint. The route has been developed by the British Pilgrimage Trust and will involve pilgrims crossing the Irish sea via ferry, between Rosslare and Fishguard.
There are plenty of modern pilgrims retracing the ancient roots of Britain, Ireland and beyond — this is perhaps why pilgrimage is becoming increasingly popular with many travellers seeking deeper meaning from their journeys. All of the organisations involved in creating the route aim to inspire visitors from Ireland, the UK and further afield to explore the Wexford–Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way and experience the rich heritage that both Ireland and Wales have to offer. The aim is to bring a sense of connection to those who endeavour to take the journey. To reconnect to yourself and nature in the beautiful settings of Pembrokeshire and Wexford, appreciating the importance of protecting the land and sea. Discover more about the past and how its impact can be found in St David’s and Ferns to this very day. Find out more about the Wexford– Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way at: wexfordpembrokshirepilgrimway.org