A walk into the heart of Wales
by Professor Madeleine Gray, Welsh historian & pilgrim
The Cistercian Way is an ongoing project to create a round Wales walking route linking our iconic Cistercian abbeys with other sites of historic interest. Because the Cistercians chose to settle in remote places, the route takes you through some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in Wales, from the former mining valleys of the south to the mountain ranges of the north.
The Cistercians were the order of choice in medieval Wales. As you can see from the map, a route linking all their houses will take you on an incredible long distance walk round the heart of Wales. We have used as little as possible of the Coast Path and the Offa’s Dyke Path, so you can use the Cistercian Way to make circuits taking in these national trails. Across north Wales you can follow the North Wales Pilgrims Way, but there is an alternative high level route for seasoned walkers.
There is an map of the whole route on the Cistercian Way website.
Here's a taster to get you started planning your pilgrimage.
Distance: 650 miles, but broken down into many shorter routes
Time required: Varies depending on the section or route
Difficulty: Varies depending on the section or route
What to bring: Footwear with good grips, ideally boots with ankle support, are essential. Waterproof and warm clothing during the colder months are important too