Penrhys Pilgrimage

Penrhys Pilgrimage

Weekend Specials (2 full days plus storytelling)
Regular departures and private groups

Truly we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.”
Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019)

Penrhys Pigrimage


  • A long weekend pilgrimage (34 kms/21 miles) from Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff to Penrhys in the Rhondda Valleys.
  • Visit the holy wells in Penrhys and Llandaff, retracing the newly re-opened medieval pilgrimage route.
  • Visit the shrine and relics of St Teilo at Llandaff Cathedral, one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain.
  • Thread a new green route through the Rhondda Valleys to the lush farmland of the Vale of Glamorgan.
  • Wooded riverside walks leading out of Cardiff.

“Thank you both for a fabulous experience this weekend. I have no strong faith but felt the journey came full circle to start in a building magnifying the “ glory of faith” to a place that demonstrates true faith, a community working to give warmth, food, shelter, education and support to all without question and judgement. The connection with place, environment and people was ever present! And the stories, words of wisdom adapt and gratefully received.” (Rachel, Sep 2022)

St Teilo was a Celtic Christian saint from the sixth century. He was a friend of St David and after going on pilgrimage to Jerusalem together, they were made bishops. When they returned to Wales, Teilo established a monastic settlement in Llandaff on the river crossing on the old Roman road. On this death his shrine and holy well at Llandaff cathedral became a major medieval pilgrimage destination and his relics remain in the cathedral to this day.

We follow the newly re-opened Penrhys pilgrimage trail for 34 kms/21 miles, stopping off in Llantrisant (which in Welsh means the Christian site of three saints). 

We walk from the holy well and shrine of St Teilo in Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff, threading our way through mountain passes, wooded river valleys and through lush farmland arriving on foot after a two day hike at Penrhys.  

An ancient pilgrimage destination, Penrhys is where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared, high in the Rhondda Valley. A holy well marks the place that was once a Cisterican abbey grange.

cathedral building
waymarker on post
statue of Mary


not displayed - as is open by default
Day 01: Storytelling Evening

A storytelling evening with a pilgrimage theme, sets the scene for the two days of guided pilgrimage which will follow.  

Day 02: Llandaff to Llantrisant

After a pilgrim blessing at Llandaff Cathedral and a visit to St Teilo’s holy well, we set off on our 6.5 mile walk to Groesfaen where we will enjoy our packed lunch (not included). In the afternoon we continue our journey along the medieval pilgrimage route to our destination at the 14th century Guildhall at Llantrisant. Transport will be provided for those who need it to bring pilgrims back to Llandaff Cathedral by approx 5pm.
Total walking today 10.5 miles


Day 03: Llantrisant to Penrhys

We start at Llantrisant today and make our way on foot to Tonyrefail. We stop around Trebanog for a packed lunch before heading first for Dinas and then to Penrhys. Here we can enjoy the beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary and the holy well together with the hospitality of the Llanfair Uniting Church. After tea and cakes and presentation of completion certificates, transport will be provided back to Llantrisant.
Total walking today 10.5 miles.

route map

Penrhys Pilgrimage


19 – 21 July 2024

Group departure which includes a storytelling event, guiding and transport back to start point each day.  No accommodation provided.

Storytelling only (Fri) – £10 pp
One day Pilgrimage – £40 pp
Two day Pilgrimage – £60 pp


Entry to the storytelling event is included for those buying a one or two day pilgrimage ticket.

If you wish to book a private group departure, please contact us and we can discuss possibilities.  Being just two days in duration but a rewarding challenge, the Penrhys Pilgrimage lends itself to a group event, whether with friends or as a fundraiser (or both!).


Iain Tweedale / Christine Smith, local guides with expert pilgrimage knowledge will be with the group throughout

The weekend special events include a storytelling evening and two full day guided pilgrimages with transport back to the start point each day


Drinks, tips and packed lunches

Travel to Cardiff prior to start of trip and travel home from Cardiff after end of holiday

Overnight accommodation

Travel Insurance (please take out your own travel insurance policy)


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