Pilgrimpace's Blog

holywell pilgrimage 2
August 27, 2016, 8:57 pm
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the idea was a short pilgrimage to get me fit and to let me play with my kit before the Cistercian Way.  Roland and I spent five days walking from Shrewsbury to Holywell, visiting some of the sites associated with St Winefrede.


The first days were hot.  We followed the River Severn before striking north west.  After a wildcamp we visited St Winifrid’s Well in Woolston.  You can book to stay in the Wellhouse through the Landmark Trust.


We prayed and blessed ourselves, resisting the temptation to knock on the door and ask for pilgrim’s beer.  After Oswestry we picked up the Offa’s Dyke Path and had several days of magnificent hill walking.  This certainly – and to begin with painfully – got the fitness up.  I can now declare myself able to do repeated 15 mile days over the hills with a full pack.


I was able to give the tent a proper try and have become converted to walking with two poles when practical.


The final, short, day into Holywell was wet.  Shortly after this break we walked through a village and couldn’t find the shop marked on the map.  The rain became torrential.  We passed a pet cemetery with a sign to its tea room.  In this surreal setting we ate a very good breakfast (we didn’t ask what was in the sausages).  Fortified, we walked into Holywell.  Welcomed as pilgrims, we attended the midday service where we venerated Winefrede’s relic before immersing ourselves in the cold waters of the well


Purged and refreshed, we travelled home; I, for one, ready in deep ways for the Pilgrimage to come.


3 Comments so far
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I am vicariously watching your journey and loving every minute. I am curious as to what your idea of “hot” is as I am sweltering in 95 degree, 96% humidity here in Kentucky USA! I dream of a long walk in Wales, and perhaps some day will follow in your footsteps along the Cistercian Way–that is, if you make it sound appealing! Best wishes.

Comment by Beverly Sizemore Furnival

Not as hot or as humid as Kentucky. Temperatures in the high 20’s Celsius (80+F) for a couple of days but relatively dry (at least until our final damp day). Made a bit more comfortable by some cooler breezes in the hill sections. Hot by Welsh standards though. If 95F is normal for you then I’d recommend you bring some warm clothes with you when you walk in this neck of the woods 🙂

Comment by Roland

Thanks both – yes Beverley, much hotter and more humid than here! The hot days were in comparison to the rest of this summer. Seven years ago, I walked out of Valencia in the high 30’s C. Am glad I don’t have to carry camping kit in that heat.

Comment by pilgrimpace

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