Pilgrimpace's Blog

cistercian way update
August 25, 2016, 7:28 pm
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as well as the corporate pilgrimage from Penrhys on Saturday September 3rd as I set out on the Cistercian Way (details here – you’re welcome to join us) I’m delighted to say that I will be preaching at Margam Abbey at the 11am Mass.

cistercian way kit list
August 25, 2016, 6:09 pm
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I am in the process of packing for 700 miles along the Cistercian Way in Wales in September and October.  Comments and suggestions welcome – I’m trying to shave stuff off, but will be walking through the Welsh autumn.  I carried more or less this kit from Shrewsbury to Holywell the other week. (I am interested in the differences between this and the stuff I carried on the Levante seven years ago here)

  • Crux AK70 rucksack
  • Scarpa R-Evo GTX boots
  • Keen Walking sandals


  • Terra Nova Elite 350 sleeping bag
  • liner
  • alpkit hunka bivi bag
  • alpkit  mat


  • Laser Competition 1 tent (with groundsheet and without inner tent)
  • Hi viz vest
  • 3x long sleeve technical shirts
  • 2x light walking trousers
  • 3x technical underwear
  • 2x softshell jumpers
  • 3x socks and liner socks
  • duvet jacket
  • waterproof jacket
  • waterproof trousers
  • mountain hat
  • buff
  • drybags
  • 2l waterbottle
  • 2m cord
  • toilet roll
  • washing powder
  • glasses, prescription sunglasses, cases
  • mobile phone
  • phone charger pack
  • notebook and pencil
  • kindle
  • maps (I will pick up maps from friends a couple of times en route)
  • mapcase and compass
  • penknife, spork, mug, cooking pot
  • alcohol stove
  • meths
  • washstuff and towel
  • First Aid Kit (whistle, micropore, sheepwool, 2nd skin, crepe bandage, antiseptic cream, ibuprofen, allergy tablets, safety pins, lip balm, sunscreen, scissors, knee support bandage, needle and thread).
  • sunhat
  • 2x headlamps
  • walking poles

Total weight approx 14 kilos.

holywell pilgrimage 1

the idea was to walk from Shrewsbury Abbey where St Winefrede’s Shrine was


to Holywell where her miracle happened.  About 60 miles, lots of good hills from Oswestry onwards, three long days and two short ones.  For me it was a chance to get match fit for the Cistercian Way in a couple of weeks and to test and overhaul my kit.

We wild camped for all but one night when we stayed in a campsite


although one of those nights (with permission and invitation from the owners) was in a summerhouse


Roland bearing up under severe privation

I am very glad I did it.  I spent the first couple of very hot days struggling under my pack and telling myself I was a b*****y idiot and the Cistercian Way would be my last walk.  Fitness kicked in and I loved the views and the country


Even in the heat and dryness we didn’t need to resort to dog milk (making coffee from a sheep trough doesn’t count, right?) and we were able to test the best cures for dehydration (a pint of water, a pint of light coloured bitter, and a bag of pork scratchings).


We ate well (here is Roland demonstrating how to cook with bleach).


Cistercian Way

​Just the book to be reading this afternoon; the feast of St Bernard of Clairvaux and a big Cistercian pilgrimage imminent

st winefrede pilgrimage
August 19, 2016, 5:43 pm
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Holywell. Arrived, prayed, blessed, relics venerated, bathed.

More details soon, but you have been prayed for this week

St Winifrede Pilgrimage
August 18, 2016, 7:14 pm
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​A long, hard, good day on the hills. Nearly there. Wildcamping

St Winifred Pilgrimage
August 17, 2016, 8:11 pm
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​Well on the Way

more soon


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