Mary Jones Walk
In the year 1800, Mary Jones, a 15-year-old Welsh girl, walked barefoot from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant to Bala, a distance of 28 miles, to buy a copy of the Welsh Bible. Mary Jones, the daughter of a weaver, was from a poor home and according to legend she scrimped and saved for over six years to afford the 17 shillings the Bible cost. Rev. Thomas Charles was so touched by her determination that he used her story to set up a new organisation (The Bible Society) to supply Wales with affordable Bibles. By the end of the nineteenth century, Mary Jones had become a national icon and her story became known as ‘The little Welsh girl without a Bible’.
This beautiful walk, through the heart of Snowdonia, meanders through enchanted valleys, over mountain pastures and down romantic lanes. All the time providing splendid views of beautiful glacial lakes and magnificent mountains. Starting from the Mary Jones heritage centre in Bala we begin the walk by tracing the shores of Lake Bala and snatch glimpses of Cader Idris, our final destination, in the distance. Our walk finishes at the Mary Jone’s memorial obelisk erected over the ruins of her home in Llanfihangel-y-Pennant nested below Cader Idris’s majestic slopes.
During this leisurely walk we will have plenty of time to visit sites associated with Mary Jones, soak in the stunning scenery and connect with nature. The maximum group size is 8 so and can enjoy the peace and quiet and never feel like we are intruding.
For those who want to end the walk on a high it is possible to extend this holiday by one day and make a guided ascent Cader Idris – a 2930ft (893m) extinct volcano.
What to Expect
Our itinerary includes 4 days walking and 5 nights accommodation. A brief route is provided below with an estimate of the miles walked each day. We will stay in simple accommodation, spend time together and have a great time.
- Start – Meet afternoon/early evening
- Day 1 – Walk
- Day 2 – Walk
- Day 3 – Walk
- Finish – Depart from accommodation
It is possible to extend this itinerary and include an ascent of Cader Idris – a magnificent extinct volcano. This alternative itinerary would be –
- Day 4 – Climb Cader Idris
- Day 5 – Depart from accommodation
Fitness and Experience
During this pilgrimage we walk 6-11 miles per day (average 9 miles) on good paths and tracks. There are some hills but the gradients are generally flat and gentle. The hill climbs are never steep for long. This is not a strenuous walk and no mountain experience is necessary. We will walk at a comfortable pace with plenty of time to visit sights and enjoy the magnificent mountain scenery. If you are walking fit and healthy and can carry a 14-16kg rucksack with your food, water and camping equipment you should be able to complete this walk.
Depending upon the chosen route the ascent of Cader Idris includes 9-10km walking and 750-930m of climbing. It is a full days mountain walking on good paths. The views from the summit are spectacular.
During this walk we will use a range of different types of accommodation and it may include camping, hostels, bed and breakfasts and small country hotels
The cost of this fully guided walk will depend upon the accommodation selected.
We require a deposit of 50% at the time of booking and the balance is usually due 2 months before the walk starts.
We are currently working on our 2020 programme. However, if you would like to book a private group trip please contact us using the links below. It would be helpful if you could provide preferred dates and group size. The maximum group size is 8. Young people are welcome but under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
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Bardsey Island Pilgrimage
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Mary Jones Walk
Bala to Llanfihangel-y-Pennant
28 miles in 3 days