Bardsey Island, Llyn Peninsula
Bardsey (Ynys Enlli in Welsh: ‘the island of the tides’), is a place of pilgrimage that has been of great importance in Welsh religious history.
Visitors to the island can see the fragmentary remains of the thirteenth century abbey of the Augustinian Canons who took over from the ancient Celtic foundation of the sixth century.The roofless tower has been adapted for those wishing to hold informal services in the open air. Nearby a Celtic cross stands commemorating the all but obliterated religious past and very numerous saints reputed to have been buried in or near the site.
In 1875 a chapel was built and remains open for the purposes of worship and meditation.
Organised retreats are available on the island during the summer months, when people from all denominations, and none, can come together to deepen their spiritual life. The island offers its pilgrims an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-orientate their lives and, in its many silences and mysteries, the chance to find peace and newness of life.
Pilgrims today can reach the island by boat. Bardsey is a National Nature Reserve with puffins and seals and is owned by the Bardsey Island Trust, a registered charity. Day trips usually start from Porth Meudwy, but sometimes from Pwllheli. As a general rule, you will have 3½ hours to explore the island.
You can book a day trip by phoning Bardsey Island Ferry: 08458 113655 or 07836 293146 www.enllicharter.co.uk or Mordaith Llyn, Rhedynog Goch, Bardsey Island 07971769895.