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Ancient Connections, held a spectacular outdoor community event in St Davids Bishop’s Palace on Monday 29 May supported by local communities, artists, traders, visitors and project partners. The sun shone and over 4000 people enjoyed the lively occasion.
Highlights of the day included guided walks with Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way and St Davids Cathedral, a beautiful choir concert and performance by Span Arts and members of Côr Pawb, and demonstrations by the Tywi Centre’s master builders and makers.
Cardigan-based festival organisers and performers Small World Theatre, also created a spectacular Pilgrim Parade with pupils from Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi. Their two giant puppets of Saint David and a sea monster led a crowd through the town and into the heart of the festivities.
“It was a sight to behold!” said Ancient Connections project manager Rowan Matthiessen. “We’ve been so fortunate to work with amazing Welsh & Irish artists, volunteers, partnering organisations and community groups throughout the 3-year project. Over 12,000 volunteer hours have contributed to making the project a success.”
Siobhan McGovern, Co-project manager continued, “The Pilgrim Fayre was a genuine celebration showcasing some of the finest talent, produce and crafts produced in West Wales. We wish to thank St Davids Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace for supporting and hosting us, and everyone who took part and joined us.”
Cllr Thomas Tudor, Chair of Pembrokeshire County Council, who was at the event to greet delegates over from Ireland said, “We were delighted to welcome our Irish colleagues and friends to an event that truly represented the creative collaborations this project has achieved.”
Click here for more info on the event as well as similar events in the area.
Orchard designed and delivered a two phase marketing campaign, promoting the two regions and the new Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way.
A mix of Out Of House marketing at key sites in Wexford and Pembrokeshire, TV ads, Radio Ads, Adverts in national publications, digital marketing campaigns and travel writer commissions were created.
A 30 second TV ad was broadcast from January 27th to 6th of March.
As part of Ancient Connection’s business support strand, we worked with a number of businesses in Pembrokeshire to develop new bespoke tourism products that linked in with the new pilgrimage route. Five businesses were supported to develop and test the following products:
St Davids Cathedral designed and produced beautiful pilgrim tokens, pendants and pilgrim bags with the with the bee of St Aidan and the dove of St David forming the basis of their design. These are now for sale in St Davids Cathedral shop and the Ferns Medieval Experience.
Click here to visit the St Davids Catherdral Online Shop.
Karel Jasper’s art photography book documenting her Creative Camino 2022 experience is now printed and distributed to local gift and bookshops in North Pembrokeshire.
To buy a copy of the book, Click here to visit Karel’s website.
Ditsy Puffin Designs have created a catalogue of pilgrim merchandise for a more budget market (e.g. mugs, pin badges, water bottles etc.) for sale in various outlets in Pembrokeshire and Wexford as well as online.
These are now on sale. Click here to visit Ditsy Puffins website.
Waterford Camino Tours have now developed a new guided pilgrimage product ‘St Davids Way’, along the Pembrokeshire section of the route, marketed to Irish and North American tourists.
Click here to see Waterford Camino Tour’s offering.
North Pembrokeshire Trade and Tourism have developed a mini-bus pilgrimage aimed at cruise ship visitors and those who, for whatever reason are unable to access the new pilgrimage route on foot. It starts in Goodwick and ends at St Davids and visits many of the important spots along the pilgrimage route in between.
The product is now publically available and bookable on their website. Click here to view.
The new pilgrim Route between Ferns in County Wexford and St Davids in Pembrokeshire is a major legacy of the Ancient Connections project.
Click here for more information on the route, guided pilgrimages, accommodation, transport and pilgrim passports.
In addition an Outdoor Active app was developed that includes an interactive digital map which runs using GPS technology, route content, turn-by-turn guide, and audio interpretation guide produced for 18 locations.
Click here to view the route on the Outdoor Active App
The Creative Camino was a 7-day artist pilgrimage, which took place in May 2022 along the Wexford Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way; the new walking route created by Ancient Connections, linking Ferns in County Wexford to St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Filmmaker Will Philpin of When It Rains Creative, documented the experience of the four artists and the community pilgrims along the route.
Will created a series of short episodes capturing moments along the route and made a short documentary film, which can be found at the bottom of this page.
The Creative Camino was a 7-day pilgrimage along the new walking route, the Wexford Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way, linking Ferns in County Wexford to St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Two artists from Pembrokeshire, Ailsa Richardson and Suzi McGregor, and two artist from Wexford, Bonnie Boux and Kate Powell, took part along with a number of community Pilgrims. It was led by Journeying’s Iain Tweedale. In the lead up to the Creative Camino, filmmaker Will Philipin of When It Rains Creative created a trailer of the forthcoming pilgrimage, short film entitled ‘Who is a Pilgrim?’ and interviews with the four artists capturing their expectations of the pilgrimage that lay ahead of them.