7 days / 6 nights
Private groups only
“The quieter you become, the more you hear.”
Rumi (1207 – 1273)
Cistercian Connection (West Wales)
- One of our most varied pilgrimages with some key activities including an exploration of the impressive Devil’s Bridge Falls and Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge steam railway. This makes it an ideal private group itinerary where people have different interests.
- 80 kms/50 miles walking in total working our way from the coast to the highlands and Strata Florida Abbey.
- Visit the ruined Cistercian Abbey at Strata Florida, important as a spiritual and historical focus in Wales.
- Stay full board at a comfortable guesthouse, hotel or house near our route.
An absolutely stunning route with so many dramatic features affording us a great sense of pilgrimage as we walk from the coast, up into the highlands – the land of red kites and waterfalls – to finally reach the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey of Strata Florida. This could well have been a similar route walked by pilgrims travelling across Wales heading for Bardsey Island in earlier times.
En route we pass through some dramatic and remote scenery which give us a real sense of peace as we travel. The mileage is not overwhelming but the challenge is certainly there for us to grasp. This trail would suit those looking for a trail with additional interesting activities included.
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Day 01: Arrive
Meet 2pm in Aberystwyth – short walk and exploration of this delightful, end-of-the-line coastal town.
Six nights accommodation in local guesthouse, hotel or house.
Day 02: Wales Coast Path
Starting from Glan y Mor, just outside Aberystwyth we walk along the Wales Coast Path to reach the resort of Borth. We then head inland through peat bog lands of special interest and past historical buildings of note such as St Mathews church which was home to Uppingham School from Rutland in 1876 to avoid a typhoid outbreak. We finish our route today at Talybont. (12 kms/7.5 miles)
Day 03: Red Kites
From Talybont we continue to Nant y Arian to hopefully see the feeding of the red kites (currently feeding times are not fixed at any one time due to Covid restrictions). (13 kms/8 miles)
Day 04: Mines, Waterfalls & Steam Railway
Our route today takes us past windfarms and up wooded valleys with evidence of old lead mines to reach Devils Bridge with its impressive waterfalls. A short walking day gives us time to explore these lovely falls and then enjoy a narrow gauge steam train journey along the valleys back to Aberystwyth. Great way to finish the day. (8 kms/5 miles)
Day 05: Remote Splendour
Leaving Devils Bridge, we head up high today for a longer day but also the one which has the most intense ‘away from it all’ feeling. Disused lead mines are again in evidence as well as open moorland, wide skies, waterfalls and caverns at the other extreme. (18 kms/11 miles)
Day 06: Cistercian Monastery
Climbing out of Pontrhydygroes, we again head for the high moorland where you have views that go on forever and feel a very small part of the universe. We then drop down to Ffair Rhos, where the pub might or might not be open before our final walk to the unimposing and yet impressive ruins of the Cistercian Monastery of Strata Florida. Afternoon exploration. Final celebration dinner. (11 kms/7 miles)
Day 07: Depart
Today you will be transferred to Aberystwyth for train connections or reunited with your vehicle.
Christine Smith, a local guide with expert knowledge of the area will be with the group throughout
Transport to and from Aberystwyth and to the start and finish points of each day’s walk if required.
Overnight accommodation in local guest houses or hotel. All bedding and towels provided
Evening with a local storyteller who will paint magical imagery of life in earlier times in this area.
Full board apart from casual refreshments
Casual refreshments, drinks and tips
Travel Insurance (please take out your own travel insurance policy)
Travel to/from Aberystwyth