Religious walking routes boost Welsh church heritage tourism
Published: Thursday, May 13, 2021
Spotlight on the abbeys, churches and chapels of Wales
Working in partnership with the National Churches Trust, the Wales Coast Path has released a unique series of walking itineraries to showcase some of the finest sacred spaces and hidden spiritual gems of Wales.
Featuring the unmistakeable coastlines of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and the Llŷn Peninsula, the brand-new collection of itineraries will offer the people of Wales — and the wider UK — the chance to discover nine historical treasures along the Wales Coast Path.
Entitled 'Sacred Heritage Places', the new itineraries have been released in support of 'Experiencing Sacred Wales' — an initiative led by the National Churches Trust.
The programme aims to shine a spotlight on the country's historical abbeys, churches and traditional Welsh chapels — to ensure that they remain a key part of the country's tourism offer during 2021 and beyond.
Featuring everything from St Michaels Church on the Llŷn Peninsula to St Ffraid's Church in Ceredigion, it is hoped that the new itineraries will encourage Wales Coast Path visitors toexplore quieter stretches of coastline this summer — in a bid to avoid over-crowding at more popular coastal locations.
Huw Edwards, broadcaster, journalist and Vice President of National Churches Trust said: "The churches and chapels of Wales are some of the most beautiful religious buildings anywhere in the world. Many of them can be found near the Wales Coast Path and the nine new walking routes make it easy to discover magnificent sacred heritage which tells the story of Wales."
Eve Nicholson of Wales Coast Path said: "Attracting more people to visit the churches and chapels of Wales is key to ensuring their long term sustainability, which is why we are proud to be supporting the 'Experiencing Sacred Wales' programme with a band new collection of bespoke walking itineraries.
"Not only do we hope that these new walking adventures will help to boost tourism and raise awareness of Wales's sacred heritage, but we hope they will also encourage people to consider exploring quieter stretches of Wales' coastline this summer.
"Too often, visitors from Wales and beyond swarm to the same stretches of the Wales Coast Path — meaning there are so many more beautiful miles yet to be discovered by so many.
"Therefore, I strongly encourage everyone to try a new walking route this year and discover the abundance of hidden treasures that can be found along the way — our new 'Sacred Heritage Places itineraries' are a great place to start!"
The 870-mile-long Wales Coast Path has been developed by the Welsh Government in partnership with Natural Resources Wales (formerly Countryside Council for Wales), sixteen local authorities and two National Parks.