Revd Nigel Marns, the man behind the Cornish Celtic Way, at the launch of the book that accompanies the pilgrimage route. Nigel will lead some of the walks during the walking festival.

A festival of walking is being planned during May along the Cornish Celtic Way.

Between May 5 and 20, a series of guided walks will take place along the route that is inspired by journeys and settlements linked with the Cornish Celtic saints. The Cornish Celtic Way is a new pilgrimage route that covers 125 miles in all. It includes 60 miles of the South West Peninsula Coastal Path as well as two established pilgrimage routes: The Saints’ Way and Saint Michael’s Way.

The walks during the festival will be led by different individuals, including the Revd Nigel Marns who devised this modern pilgrim route. One of the walks will provide an opportunity to learn some of the Cornish language.

There will also be two evening events during the festival. On the evening of May 10, the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans, will give a talk about pilgrimage at St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin. On the evening of Wednesday, May 16, Professor Michelle Brown – who has appeared on the TV history show Time Team – will give a presentation on the St Michael’s Way.

Statue of St Piran

The first event of the festival is on May 5, when pilgrims will walk through Falmouth accompanying the granite statue of St Piran that has been carved in Cornwall and will be embarking upon a journey by boat to Brittany, France, to its ultimate destination of La Vallée des Saints. More details on this event will be available from closer to the time.

The other events scheduled for the festival are:

Sunday, May 6 – St Piran’s Oratory walk. Meet at St Piran’s Oratory at 3pm and plan to arrive at St Michael’s Church, Perranporth, between 4pm and 5pm for tea and cake.

Tuesday, May 8 – St Eval to St Mawgan. Meet at St Eval Parish Church at 10am and arrive at St Mawgan Parish Church for refreshments at about 4pm.

Thursday, May 10 – St Breoc Downs to St Issey. An afternoon walk – meet at St Breoc Downs at 3pm and arrive at St Issey at about 5pm.

Special event at 7pm on Thursday, May 10 – The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans, will give a talk on pilgrimage at St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin. Bishop Chris has a particular interest in pilgrimage and last year walked the Cornish Celtic Way in its entirety, from St Germans to St Michael’s Mount. He has also walked the Camino de Santiago.

Saturday, May 12 – Looe to Polperro. Meet at St Nicholas Church, Looe, at 10am.  Arrive at Polperro town car park at approximately 3pm.

Monday, May 14 – Padstow to Constantine Bay. Meet at St Petroc’s Church, Padstow, at 10am. Arrive at Trevose Golf Club around 3pm.

Tuesday, May 15 – Basset’s Cove to Gwithian. Evening walk. Meet at 5pm at Basset’s Cove National trust car park. Arrive at Gwithian around 7pm.

Special event at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 16. Talk by Professor Michelle Brown, called: St Michael’s Way – Early Cornwall’s International Communications Hub. St Hilary’s School Rooms, St Hilary. Tickets cost £3, pay on door. 

Thursday, May 17 – St Germans Priory to Seaton. Meet at St Germans Priory at 10am. Arrive at Seaton car park at approximately 3pm.

Sunday, May 20 – Ludgvan to Marazion. Meet at Ludgvan Church at 2pm. A Cornish language walk during which people will be taught the rudiments of Cornish. It is hoped to arrive at Marazion by about 5pm, where there will be a short presentation, activities and refreshments.

Refreshments and sensible shoes

People need to bring their own refreshments and water for the journeys and are advised to wear appropriate shoes and be sure to have adequate clothing, including a waterproof.

All arrival times are approximate as they depend on those walking. Drivers will be offered a lift back to the start at the ends of the walks.

The Cornish Celtic Way facilitator, Caroline Marwood, said: “The festival will provide an excellent opportunity to see Cornwall at its best, in the late spring, and will also tie in with Visit Cornwall’s #CornishSpringTime promotion.

“Our Saturday walks have proved to be very popular and this will be our second walking festival where we package a series of walks together. Some people might like to do just one of them, while others might like to go on all of the guided walks and attend the evening talks, too.

“The book of the Cornish Celtic Way has been selling very well since its launch at the beginning of February, and clearly taps into an interest people have in walking, spirituality and pilgrimage.

“Our walks will have a mixture of guides who will be able to help people make the most of their pilgrimage walks in whatever way suits them. People are welcome to simply turn up at the appointed time, or they can get in touch beforehand if they would like any more information by emailing

“We are still also working on a network of accommodation providers who are particularly interested in putting up pilgrims. Pilgrims’ needs vary enormously, from those who believe carrying their sleeping bags on their backs and sleeping on a church floor is part of the experience, to those who prefer a hotel meal and bed at the end of the day. Eventually we would like to have a network of providers who offer something particular to pilgrims and who we can recommend. Again, I’d love to hear from accommodation providers who would like to get involved with this exciting project.”

For updates, people can go to the website or follow the Cornish Celtic Way Facebook group.