Provincial press releases

Sacred Trails route launch

A new map of the National Cycle Network in Wales, identifying how 49 of Wales’ most historic sites can be accessed on bike, will be launched at the National Eisteddfod.

The Sacred Trails map, produced by charity Sustrans alongside the Church in Wales and Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, provides four great rides linking some of Wales’ most scenic sections of the National Cycle Network with some of the nations’ most historic and sacred sites.

Promoting 49 sacred sites in Wales, the map allows people to plot a short day trip to take in multiple sites, or combine a more challenging multi-day ride with some Welsh history; meaning that Wales’ rich cultural heritage and religious routes will be made available to all the family, alongside promoting some of the excellent National Cycle Network routes and Welsh countryside and coastline.

The leaflet maps out prominent sacred places along the National Cycle Network in Wales, including cathedrals, churches, chapels, shrines and holy wells, as well as prehistoric burial chambers and ancient carved crosses. There are also castles and monuments, each with their own story to tell and unique sense of peace and spirituality.

The Bishop of St Davids, Wyn Evans, who will be at the launch at the Eisteddfod in Llanelli on August 4, said, “We are blessed in Wales with an incredible legacy of spiritual places, including fabulous cathedrals, which are free to visit. This trail gives visitors a full and unique picture of Wales, its heritage and culture and deep sense of spirituality. It also offers a real challenge for the intrepid to complete the whole route and perhaps raise money for good causes. We are delighted to have worked with Cadw and Sustrans on the project and to promote with them the opportunities Wales has to offer.”

Jane Lorimer, John Griffiths and Bishop Wyn
Jane Lorimer, John Griffiths and Bishop Wyn

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Sport, “By providing specific cycling trails we’re encouraging people to not only exercise and keep fit this summer, but to also visit some of the spectacular heritage sites Wales has to offer.

“By making physical and thematic links between places and sites we’re encouraging people to follow stories across Wales to learn more about their history, and combining this with a cycling trail to travel from one site to another improves the experience further. I encourage everyone – families, visitors and local communities – to take advantage of the new resources produced to explore Wales and learn about their history over the summer months.”

Jane Lorimer, National Director of Sustrans Cymru, said, “We hope this map will encourage more people from Wales and further afield to explore some of our great historical sites by bike.

“Cycle tourism brings money into the Welsh economy – and this initiative links two things that are great about Wales: our scenic cycle routes and our fabulous history.”

The map is free and will be available from Sustrans website and sacred locations across Wales.

The map will be launched at the Eisteddfod on Monday, Aug 4 at 2.45pm at the Sustrans stand (Stand 523-524)