Unforgettable journeys to the ancient sites of
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France
 
Day 1: 18th century country hotel
Day 2: Carreg Cennen Castle
Day 3: Castell Henllys Iron Age Village
Day 4: St Bride's Bay
Day 5: Ancient Neolithic & Bronze Age sites
Day 6: Legendary mountain of Cadair Idris
Day 7: Neolithic burial chambers
Day 8: Harlech Castle
Day 9: Holy well of St Cybi
Day 10: Standing Stone at Mitchell's Fold
 
Enchanted Wales - Land of Myth and Magic
Part or all of this tour can be customized for private groups.


Day One
We will gather in the early evening at a historic country hotel dating back to the 18th century near Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, for introductions and an orientation. You will learn about the Mabinogi, the Welsh book of myths and legends that relate to the places you will explore along the way and prepare for your sacred journey around the mythic landscape. This will be followed by a fine dinner and time to relax.

Day Two
Today we drive to the romantic ruins of Tintern Abbey in the beautiful Wye Valley and then on to a healing well and standing stones in the nearby village of Trellech. Lunch will be in the historic town of Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacon hills. This afternoon we visit the castle of Carreg Cennen dramatically perched on a rock with fantastic views over South Wales. Making our way westwards, passing by Carmarthen, Merlin’s town, and arrive at the secluded country mansion retreat in the beautiful Teifi River valley which will be our home for the next four days.

Day Three
We begin the day with a walk through the woods to a mysterious waterfall and pool, one of the entrances to Annwn, the Welsh Otherworld, according to local legend. Then on to the village of Nevern where we will walk on the ancient pilgrim path to the famous church with its ogham stones, legendary bleeding yew trees and one of the finest decorated high crosses in Britain. After lunch in the attractive small town of Newport, we visit Castell Henllys, an authentically reconstructed Iron Age village on its original site, and experience how the tribal Celts used to live. A local storyteller will entertain us with tales around the fire in the thatched round-house.
This evening local harpers will come to perform traditional Welsh music for you in the mansion!
       
 
Preseli, Pembrokeshire
       
Day Four
This morning we travel down the coast to St David's Peninsula where we will first visit the beautiful healing well and chapel of the Celtic holy woman, St. Non, perched on the cliff-tops overlooking the sea at St Bride’s Bay. In the afternoon, there will be a guided tour of the magnificent Norman cathedral of St David, and also time for an individual wander around the shops and art galleries in this fascinating little city. This evening there will be a presentation on Ceridwen’s Cauldron by Mara Freeman.

Day Five
We enter into the ritual landscape around Carn Ingli, "Angel Mountain," starting with a walk through a faery-haunted oakwood which conceals a Celtic hill-fort and Druid’s Cave. Nearby is Pentre Ifan, the most famous cromlech in Wales, overlooking Cardigan Bay, once known locally as the womb of Ceridwen. Afterwards, we’ll have lunch at a pub on the beach which was one of Dylan Thomas’s favorite destinations. This afternoon we drive into the Pembrokeshire National Park to view the ancient Neolithic and Bronze Age sites of the Preseli Hills, including the stone circle of Gors Fawr.

Day Six
Heading northwards, we visit the little Celtic church by the sea at Mwnt, where pilgrims crossed over to Bardsey Island. Then on through Tre Taliesin, named after the famous Welsh bard, and a stop for lunch and a stroll through the lively market town of Machynlleth. After lunch there will be a walk to a beautiful hidden waterfall in a faery-haunted glen. Then a drive through the mountain scenery and villages of the Snowdonia National Park will take us to our retreat centre in its lakeside setting that will be home for the next four nights.

Day Seven
We head north for a day on Anglesey, or Ynys Môn, the Druid isle. This small island offers a panorama of Wales’ history laid out on the landscape, from Neolithic burial chambers and Bronze Age cromlechs, standing stones and Iron Age villages. We will visit the chambered mounds of Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres, with its mysterious carved stones. In the afternoon we’ll spend time at Penmon Priory, with its decorated Celtic crosses, sheela-na-gig, and beautiful holy well, famed for its healing waters.
Tonight you can listen to the myths and legends of North Wales as told by local storyteller, Fiona Collins.

Day Eight
We approach the stronghold of Dinas Emrys, the hill that is the scene of one of the most famous Merlin legends. Here we meet up with storyteller Eric Maddern, who will guide us up the hill and tell the story of Merlin’s prophesy at this place. Afterwards, we will enjoy a well-deserved lunch in the picturesque village of Beddgelert, followed by a visit to one of Wales’ most romantic castles. This evening we will take an inner journey to explore the archetype of the goddess, Arianrhod.

Day Nine
Today we embark upon a mythological odyssey down the Lleyn Peninsula, stopping at Dinas Dinlle (the "fortress of the god Lleu") which overlooks Caer Arianrhod, named for the goddess of the Silver Wheel. Then on to the atmospheric holy well of St Cybi, and down to the valley of Nantgwrtheyrn for lunch overlooking the sea. In the afternoon we visit the lovely old church at Pystyll, and drive to a sacred place where we can enjoy views over Bardsey, the legendary "island of 20,000 saints" and last dwelling-place of Merlin himself.

Day Ten
We travel south again, stopping for lunch at the historic market town of Montgomery, followed by a walk around its interesting shops and picturesque ruined castle. Afterwards we drive to the stone circle of Mitchell’s Fold, high up in the border hills with views all over Wales, for a closing ceremony. Our pilgrimage draws to a close as we return to our hotel near Cardiff where we celebrate our journey together with a special dinner.

Day Eleven
Goodbye to Wales as we return to Cardiff Airport or train station for the journey home.
       
 
 
 
Celtic Spirit Journeys and Retreats. Spiritual journeys to sacred & ancient Celtic sites in Great Britain & Ireland.
Call for details: From USA: (free) 1 800 657 1520 • From UK: 01239 858 830 • Worldwide: (+44)1239 858 830
© Chalice Productions 2012 • info@celticspiritjourneys.com