A new TV show aims to spark renewed interest in North Wales Pilgrim’s Way

‘Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales’ is on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from Friday, 29 March at 9pm for three consecutive Fridays.

Seven celebrities of differing faiths and beliefs tackle a modern-day pilgrimage along the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

Across three 60-minute episodes, the show will follow the celebrities, as they take a personal journey along a route that celebrates Celtic early Christian saints.

Their final destination is Bardsey Island, the fabled ‘Island of 20,000 saints’, just off the western tip of the Llyn Peninsula.

Seven celebrities will take part in the show
Seven celebrities will take part in the show. Photo: BBC (BBC)

Immersing themselves on this spiritual journey are: presenter Michaela Strachan who places her faith in the natural world; former Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, who was christened Church of England but is still searching for answers to life’s big questions; journalist and TV presenter Sonali Shah, who grew up in a Jain family; comedian Eshaan Akbar, a lapsed Muslim; practising Catholic Amanda Lovett, who catapulted into the public eye in the first series of Traitors; actor Tom Rosenthal of Friday Night Dinner fame, who is religious; and TV personality and former model Christine McGuinness, who is spiritual but doesn’t practise one particular faith.

Travelling on foot and by bus, the pilgrims begin their adventure from the start of the 220km Pilgrim’s Way near St Winefride’s Well.

In a journey taking two weeks, they will be faced with challenging paths and climbs as they traverse north Wales, tackling the foothills of spectacular mountain ranges. Carrying their own backpacks, they’ll sleep in basic accommodation from a caravan to a climbers’ hut, as well as experiencing an eco-retreat in an ancient oak forest and a Buddhist meditation centre.

Created in 2011, the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way is linked by ancient churches, dedicated to sixth and seventh century saints, but also takes pilgrims through places of outstanding natural beauty in the mountain ranges of Eryri, also known as Snowdonia, and the north Wales coast path. Their final destination is Bardsey Island, or Ynys Enlli, which means ‘isle of currents’.

Rosie Dymond, Ministry Area Leader, met the group at Clynnog Fawr, where the holy well near St Beuno’s Church was said to have healing properties. At Aberdaron, historically the last stop for pilgrims on the way to Ynys Enlli, Revd Rhun ap Robert shared the spiritual significance of St Hywyn’s Church.