The Cistercian Way
In 1998, to celebrate 900 years of the Cistercian Order, a group of walkers followed a pilgrimage route leading to all the Cistercian Abbeys in Wales – from Tintern Abbey to Caldey Island. They were trying not to reconstruct a medieval pilgrimage – but to use parts of medieval pilgrimage routes to make their own pilgrimage.
The journey involved between 20 and 100 people walking different sections of the route – with special services held at major sites including Tintern Abbey and Strata Florida.
As they developed the route they concentrated on aspects of ‘green tourism’ – how to mark the routes, maintain stiles, avoid sensitive environmental areas, and use local resources.
The circular route runs clockwise, linking all 16 medieval Cistercian houses in Wales with their two modern successors at Caldey and Whitland. Much of the route north from Strata Florida follows or shadows the Sustrans Welsh cycleway and other stretches are also suitable for cycling, prams and wheelchairs. Many off–road sections are on bridle paths or green lanes.
Read what pilgrims on the Cistercian Way had to say>
Find out more about the Cistercian Way project at the University of Wales website
The project was supported by Shell Better Britain and the Welsh Historic Monuments Executive Agency (CADW)