The route follows the Monks Way across the Elenydd area of the Cambrian Mountains - the spectacular 'green desert of Mid Wales' past the Teifi Lakes with views of Claerwen and Craig Gogh Elan Reservoirs and through the Gilfach Nature Reserve.
Leaving Abbeycwmhir at 07.30 a coach takes us to Strata Florida Abbey in Ceredigion where the Pilgrimage starts at 09.00 hrs. The walk is approximately 25 miles long and the country is rough grassland for the most part and is not suitable for beginners. Finish time is usually about 6pm at The Philips Hall, Abbeycwmhir.
You are invited to wear a scallop shell which is the official symbol for Pilgrims. You may accept a Blessing at the beginning of the journey in Strata Florida Abbey and enter into the spirit of the Pilgrimage as some of our ancestors would have done as a spiritual experience. Or you may feel happier using the Pilgrimage as a physical Challenge to test your stamina and inner strength, to feel at one with nature, or to enjoy the magnificent scenery and the cameraderie of other walkers.
Perhaps there will be a little of all these intermingled in your reasons for joining in this Walk. Every one who takes part receives a bi-lingual certificate at the end to celebrate their achievement
The price is £25.00 for adults, £15 for young adults from 16-18yrs who must be accompanied by a adult who must countersign application. Cheque is to be included with application form.
Walkers must get to the Phillips Hall, AbbeyCwmhir between 7am and 7.15 to give time for checking equipment and entry confirmation. Tea and toast will be served.
The transport leaves Abbey Cwmhir at 7.30 sharp so that the Pilgrimage may start from Strata Florida at 9am to give walkers time to complete the journey
Pilgrims may start from Strata Florida with prior knowledge of Organiser but they must wait for the rest of the Party before setting out to have equipment checked and forms filled in.
No walker can book in on the day without prior permission of the Organiser.
The Pilgrimage is approximately 25 miles long. Start time 9am from Strata Florida. Finish time by 6pm at Phillips Hall, Abbey Cwmhir. The twelve miles across the southern Cambrian Mountains is rough grassland for the most part. There is no definite path in some places so the toute not suitable for beginners.
If injured in such a way as to prevent vvalking to the next checkpoint, alert others by whistle and keep warm in survival bag. Someone should stay with you also sheltering in survival bag. Be warned - mobile reception is patchy in this area.
There are 4 checkpoints on the route at any one of which you may retire and have transport back to base. The walk may be aborted at any checkpoint for safety reasons.
Light refreshments are available at all checkpoints and soup and sandwiches, hot drinks etc at the Phillips Hall.
Equipment needed: OS Map Landranger 147, or (1:50,000 200) or Explorer 187 (1:25.000), compass, whistle, survival bag, basic first aid emergency rations and drinks, waterproof clothing, sensible footwear with ankle support.
Ability to read map and use a compass is essential.
Dogs must be kept on leads.
Please read Conditions of Entry below.
HISTORY OF ABBEY CWMHIR HERITAGE TRUST'S PILGRIMAGE
On July 22nd (St Mary Magdalene's Day) in 1143 twelve monks set out from Whitland Abbey to found a new Abbey in Cwmhir. Because of the political situation at the time it was decided to travel northwards and use the ancient routeway across the southern Cambrian Mountains which was in friendly country under the patronage of the Lord Rhys. They were members of the rapidly expanding Order of Cistercian Monks.
In 1164 another Cistercian Abbey was founded by monks from Whitland, at Strata Florida, at the western end ofthe ancient routeway which became the main communication channel between the two abbeys - monks, workers, merchants, and officials of the Cistercian Order would walk, ride on donkeys or mules and even in the dry season drive slow moving ox carts across the hills along the 25 miles of 'The Monks' Way' or Monks Trod as it is known today.
The Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust inaugurated the Pilgrimage on the Saturday nearest to St Mary Magdalene's Day in 1993 and ever since then a Pilgrimage has taken place every year.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
1) Entries must be made using the official entry form or the LDWA form with the appropriate fee (preferably cheque)
2) The event conforms to the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations and provides Public Liability Insurance Cover but walkers are advised to provide their own personal insurance cover.
3) Persons aged between 16 and 18 may take part as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
4) Walkers wishing to retire must do so at a manned checkpoint and hand in their route card to a Marshall
5) The Trust reserves the right to: a) refuse any entry or require walkers to retire for any reason especially safety
b) postpone or cancel the walk if weather conditions justify such action
c) disqualify any walker infringing the Country Code or taking inappropriate routes
6) Walkers taking part in the event do so entirely at their own risk. The organisers and the Abbey Cvvmhir Heritage Trust cannot accept responsibility for any loss injury or damage suffered by any person taking part in the event; nor for any loss, financial or otherwise sustained if the event has to be cancelled.
7) Dogs must be kept on leads at all times
8) Walkers must properly equipped or they will be refused entry on the day
9) Walkers may join the event at Strata florida with the PRIOR consent of the Committee and can be returned to Strata Florida at the end of the day.
10) AII walkers must be conversant with the Safety Rules for long distance walks in case of an accident.
NB Mobile PhoneNetworks are not to be relied on. Across the Cambrian Mts section rescue, if needed, will be by AirAmbulance alerted from the next checkpoint.