SCHOOLCHILDREN have blazed a trail on the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way as they set off on the first pilgrimage after it was officially declared open.
Holywell mayor Cllr Ted Palmer opened the route at Basingwerk Abbey, where the North Wales section of the Pilgrim’s Way begins.
Pupils from Ysgol Esgob Morgan, St Asaph, and Trelawnyd VA School enjoyed music, arts and crafts at the abbey, as well as medieval re-enactments.
The 130-mile Pilgrim’s Way was established by a determined group of volunteers and links ancient places of inspiration along a route of existing footpaths across North Wales.
The entire route has been waymarked by the volunteers and route descriptions can be found.
The path’s westernmost point is Bardsey Island off the Llyn Peninsula.
North Wales Pilgrim’s Way committee member Brian Monkmoor said: “It was a great event and we were very pleased with it.
“There is a history attached to the route and it is important to keep it alive.
“Wales has its coastal path and Offa’s Dyke, and the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is another route which can encourage tourists and families to get out and about and learn more about the history of the area in the Greenfield Valley and beyond.”
In the Middle Ages the fashion for pilgrimage was at its height, Pope Callixtus II proclaimed three pilgrimages to Bardsey were the equivalent to one to Rome and Bardsey was declared the Isle of 20,000 saints.
The North Wales Pilgrim’s Way links the stories of these two saints – St Winifrede who the well is named after in Holywell, and St Cadfan, the first abbot of Bardsey.
Visitors can collect stamps to go in a special Pilgrim’s Way passport at various points of the route.