7 August 2011
Last updated at 17:12
Walkers started a 127-mile (204km) 12-day trek along north Wales' new Pilgrim's Way on Sunday, linking the region's religious sites and ending at Bardsey Island in Gwynedd which has long been a place of pilgrimage. They started at Basingwerk Abbey in Holywell, Flintshire, founded in 1132 by monks of the Cistercian Order, and were waved off by the Bishop of St Asaph, the Right Reverend Dr Gregory K Cameron.
The bishop blessed the pilgrims before they began their journey with a five mile (8km) walk which passed nearby St Winefride's Well, known as the Lourdes of Wales.
An estimated 75-80 pilgrims were led by Dean of St Asaph, the Very Reverend Chris Potter. He said he was "very excited" the walk had finally come to fruition.
Pilgrims of all ages took in the sights at St Winefride's Well on the inaugural walk
The Pilgrim's Way was devised by a group set up by the Dean of St Asaph, the Very Rev Chris Potter, and his wife Jenny who are among those taking the first pilgrimage via St Asaph Cathedral.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is from Swansea, has become patron of the new path which passes St Beuno's, near Tremeirchion, Denbighshire, built in 1848 as a place of study for Jesuits.
The route follows places connected with St Winefride, who, according to legend, was beheaded and then brought to life by St Beuno. It also includes the giant yew tree at St Digain's Church, Llangernyw, Conwy, said to be the oldest living thing in Britain.
It is hoped the Pilgrim's Way will also help to boost tourism in rural areas, taking walkers beyond places like Gwynedd's Bangor city centre and past its cathedral.
It joins a pilgrim route west on the Lleyn peninsula, and ends at nearby Bardsey Island which is called the "island of 20,000 saints" after those reputed to be buried there. Bardsey has been an important pilgrim place for centuries. For more details, use the weblinks below.