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06th Jan 2023

New pilgrimage between Ireland and Wales is set to rival the Camino

Fiona Frawley

person along a camino, at the top of a hill

Big news, pilgrim walkers.

What once seemed like an activity reserved for your uncles friend or slightly holy neighbour, the appeal of walking the Camino has extended further than ever in recent years.

The number of people taking on the excursion has risen from fewer than 500 back in 1984 to 350,000 in 2019, with numbers this year expected to reach almost half a million.

Now, Irish walkers might not have to travel quite so far to access a sprawling pilgrim path – the new Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way promises to give the Spanish contingent a run for its money.

The new route is the coming together of the national pilgrimage organisation of Ireland, Pilgrim Paths Ireland, and two organisations that organise guided pilgrimages in Wales, Guided Pilgrimage and Journeying, who promise to establish it as one of Europe’s leading pilgrimage routes and attract thousands of committed and long-distance pilgrims and walkers within five years.

The British Pilgrimage Trust the route will become “the Camino of Ireland and Wales” – joining Ferns Abbey (connected with St Aidan of Ferns) in County Wexford and St Davids in Pembrokeshire – connecting the route associated with two great saints of Wales and Ireland near the coastline of both countries. The two cultures will be joined by a ferry crossing and a 140km route.

While the route is not yet finalised, the Trust anticipate that it will go between Ferns and Rosslare on the Irish side, and Fishguard and St Davids on the Welsh side. Organisers believe the new pilgrimage will provide a boost for rural economy, and drive footfall to local businesses and facilities.

Low cost accommodation will be provided along more sparsely catered-for rural region, as has already been done along the Old Way in the UK.

The five-year project is being sponsored by Pembrokeshire and Wexford councils, and is also backed by European funding.

More info on the new pilgrimage is available HERE.

Header image via British Pilgrimage Trust

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