‘Pilgrimage’ denotes both an inner and an outer journey.
- Being in nature slows us down and returns us to our own natural rhythms
- Journeying by foot allows us to appreciate things we otherwise miss
- Arriving at a shrine / holy place after a challenging journey, gives us a real sense of achievement
- Walking with a guide means you can totally relax
- Walking with a group brings up different challenges
An Outer and Inner Journey
Through Guided Pilgrimage, there is a chance for you to step out of your normal everyday life and spend some quality time in nature, walking to your destination as pilgrims have done for millennia. We undertake an outer journey together and there is every chance that an inner journey will show itself of its own accord as so often happens when we give ourselves time. It is recommended to simply step out with an open heart and mind and you may be surprised with what insights appear as you slow down. And if nothing does, then at least you have had a good walk!
At Guided Pilgrimage, we are not just about walking. Each evening we will have a stimulating video extract from a current spiritual leader to give us food for thought about our own spiritual approach or health. Or perhaps we will get a local speaker to meet with us and tell us about the area. Or some of our trips might even be accompanied by a spiritual leader. We also include an opportunity for stretching / meditating either pre- or post- walking (or possibly both if it has been a challenging day!).
Is It For Me?
A Guided Pilgrimage is for open-minded, relatively fit people (ie can walk the required length each day) of any faith or religion, who are up for change in their lives. People who want to give themselves some space (and a lot of fresh air) to allow new insights to appear. Nothing is guaranteed but if you don’t give yourself the opportunity, you will never know!
It is also about shared experiences. We can take much of the hardship out of the walking by transferring your luggage each day so you only have to walk with your personal provisions (small supplement payable). Each pilgrimage is different but we provide food where required and hope that participants will muck in with the preparation as we share our mealtimes together.
Accommodation is comfortable, if not luxury! We use shared dormitory style bunkhouses where possible to keep costs reasonable and be in tune with the nature of a pilgrimage. Warning, in many parts of Wales, phone signals are patchy! That said because we are on the move, you will often go in and out of phone signal areas.
If this sounds the kind of trip you would enjoy, do come and walk with us!
Chris beautifully and thoughtfully opened the mind of the students for this experimental and experiential approach to heritage and dealt in a marvellous manner with language barriers and cultural differences.
What an incredible three days walking from the woods of LLanerchaeron to the tranquil ruins of Strata Florida Monastery! Chris thank you so much for this guided pilgrimage
Walk like a Pilgrim
3 Days / 30 Miles (48 Kms)
Departures: 04 – 06 May 2020 | 01 – 03 Jul 2020 | 14 – 16 Sep 2020
Small Group: Up to 6 pilgrims plus Guide
Offering delightful walking through the Aeron Valley before rising up towards the old drover’s town of Tregaron and then onto the impressive ruins of the 12th Century Cistercian Monastery at Strata Florida. Walking through this land gives us the opportunity for a deep connection, which nourishes and heals us.
Price: £295.00 pp – early bird price until 29 Feb 2020: £245 pp
The Call of St Davids
6 Days / 44 Miles (70 Kms)
Departures: 24 – 29 Apr 2020 | 04 – 09 Sep 2020
Small Group: Up to 6 pilgrims plus Guide
This is such a wonderful walk through lands which are steeped in Celtic heritage from standing stones to holy wells. It connects the dramatic Preseli Mountains with the splendour of St David’s Cathedral, a truly special place. We are also delighted that on the April departure we will be joined on the last day by Phil Cope, author of ‘The Living Wells of Wales’ for a really great finish to our pilgrimage. Can’t wait to walk it with you!
April Departure: £795.00 pp (includes Phil Cope) – early bird price until 29 Feb 2020: £695 pp
September Departure: £745.00 pp – early bird price until 29 Feb 2020: £595 pp
The Abbey Connection
6 Days / approx 50 Miles (80 Kms)
Departures: 10 – 15 Jul 2020
We follow some ancient paths along this beautiful route through some of Wales’ most stunning scenery from hills and forests to river and sea, connecting the two important heritage abbey sites of Talley in the Cambrian Mountains with St Dogmaels on the Teifi estuary.
Price: £745.00 pp – early bird price until 29 Feb 2020: £595 pp
In the planning stages:
- One day pilgrimages
- North Wales
- Tintern Abbey
- Religious Pilgrimages
Further details will be posted here soon.
Your Own Group Pilgrimage
At Guided Pilgrimage, we are happy to design a guided walk around a destination of your choice. Just let us know your group size, preferred destination (or we can help you choose a suitable one) and walk duration and we will be happy to put something together for you and then lead your group, just as we lead our regular departures.
This might be particularly suitable for a spiritual leader or personal development coach or facilitator who wants to explore more with a group in the outdoors but does not have the required qualifications / insurance to do so. With us looking after the walk and living arrangements on the trip, the leader is able to concentrate on the rest of the content (s)he wants to convey to the group.
We can also include speakers or demonstrations from craftsmen/women en route from many walks of life to enable you to offer something uniquely different to your group. Do get in touch if this is of interest.
Guided Pilgrimage is the initiative of Christine Smith, who is the main guide on the pilgrimages. She is a qualified Lowland Leader with Mountain Training Association, an industry leader. A qualified outdoor First Aider and carrying all the recommended insurance cover, Christine provides a safe outdoor experience.
She also brings to the table a wealth of other experience as a Spiritual Companion, qualified alternative health practitioner, extensive travel experience from working in the travel industry and finally a breadth of knowledge from leading groups on long distance routes in many areas of the world as well as at home for work and for personal exploration. She also has a very broad perspective on matters of a spiritual nature and how we can live the best lives in the short time that we are on this Earth.
Trailblazer vs Regular Departure
Each Guided Pilgrimage initiates with a Trailblazer which is the first run of a particular pilgrimage with a group. For this reason, the Trailblazer is always offered at a slightly lower price as things may not always be as expected despite our best efforts. In all other ways, it is exactly the same as a Regular Departure. Having said that, all our pilgrimages have an element of ‘mucking in’. For example we will provide food for lunches and dinners but we all cook dinner or assemble our lunches together on all our trips. These sort of details will be made clearer in the joining instructions.
(Please note that we will only respond to your enquiry and will not use your provided details for any other purpose.)
Celtic Routes is a new initiative focusing on the whole breadth of what the Irish counties of Wexford, Wicklow and Waterford and the Welsh counties of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, have to offer. And it is nothing short of stunning. Away from any madding crowd and steeped in history, natural wonder and sheer, breathtaking beauty. There is so much to do.
I am delighted to say that all the routes we walk at Guided Pilgrimage fall within the remit of ‘Celtic Routes’. We are steeped in the natural world of land and sea and sky. If you want to find out more about the project, visit their website using the link below.