New Year with the Celtic Saints

(6 customer reviews)


This is a New Year with a difference. A New Year with the Celtic Saints, the men of God of the Sixth Century, men like Saint Teilo, St Antwn, St Steffan and St Gwinnio. It’s an opportunity to explore their world, learn about their robust view of faith and life, and walk where they walked.  It will be faith-building and fun.  With some feasting thrown in.

It runs from 30th December, when you arrive, through two great days exploring the Celtic Christian world on 31st December and 1st January, to your departure time suitably invigorated after breakfast on 2nd January.

30th December 2022

We’ll gather on the afternoon of Friday 30th December.

Naturally, this evening, as every evening at Grey Alders, we’ll share a meal together, with time for fellowship and prayer afterwards.

Saturday 31st December 2022

On New Year’s Eve, after morning devotions and breakfast, we’ll walk together on the ancient footpath travelled by our local Celtic Saint Gwynio. It runs from his retreat at Cilsant, where we are certain pilgrims were welcomed back in the day, up to the site of his community at Llanwinio.

It’s a walk of some seven miles. (Although this can be halved by clever use of cars!) We’ll walk in the actual steps of the man of God along lanes, woodland, valleys and up the hill to Llanwinio itself.

Gwynio himself regularly trod this way fifteen hundred years ago.  As we walk, we’ll see the spot where he lost his life by neglecting the 6th century travellers’ rule – ‘always go together’.  It is said a healing spring – living waters – sprang from the ground his severed head touched.  No doubt pilgrims then came seeking healing, so a settlement was built to accommodate them.  The holding endures to this day as Fynnon Felen – ‘Golden Spring.’

Sunday 1st January 2023

On New Year’s Day, after morning devotions and breakfast, we’ll take our pilgimage to Llansteffan and Carmarthen.  We’ll visit St Antwn’s hermitage and spring, walk up to the castle and then on to St Steffan’s church.  St Antwn was an ascetic, naming himself after St Anthony of Egypt, while Steffan was an evangelist, so that’s a fascinating tension.

We shall then go into Carmarthen and find more evidence of how the Celtic Christians simply took over pagan sites as we come to understand more of their theology and spirituality.

Monday 2nd January 2023

On Monday we’ll once again serve breakfast before our pilgrims depart for home. You can of course take an option to stay another day

During your time with us we’ll also explore actual (as opposed to modern) Celtic spiritually, find out when the Christian faith really came to these Isles, take a look at the prophetic works of Gildas and ask just why the Celtic church objected to union with Rome.

Naturally we pray you’ll be blessed by your time walking in the footsteps of the 6th century men of God.


You will be well catered for, with Bed & Breakfast and three 2-course Evening Meals with drinks included and the occasional snack. (Refreshments purchased in Llansteffan or Carmarthen are excluded.)

At least two of your evening meals will feature meat from our own super-aged beef or mutton from the Grey Alders farm (‘Wernlwyd’ in Welsh).  (You can carry some away with you if you wish.)

You’ll enjoy three cooked breakfasts with eggs from our hens if they are laying and home-baked organic bread. No one goes hungry at Grey Alders events.

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The cost ranges from £130 to £190 per person depending on whether the accommodation is sharing a shower or en-suite.  Options:

(A) Double guest room with en-suite shower in our new timber-framed eco-friendly farmhouse finished to hotel standard.  There are integral wall lights above the beds and a view overlooking our fields, trees and waterfall with the stream flowing by.  £360 for 2 people.  Towels and bed linen included.
(B) Twin room ditto.  £360 for 2 people.
(C) Contessa mobile home for 2 people with your own bathroom (£340 for 2 people), or for 3 people (£430 all in) or 4 people (£520) all sharing a bathroom.
(D) Granada mobile home for 2 people with your own bathroom, or for 3  or 4 people all sharing a bathroom.  Same pricing as Contessa.  We have two Granadas.
(E) Single room options at £190 per person sharing a bathroom.

Select a room option above.  Please only select one Contessa or Granada option at a time.

Bring towels and bed linen for the mobile homes.  The Mobile homes are heated by a gas fire and there is also an electric heater.  Electricity in mobile homes is on a coin meter (£1 coins).

There are tea making facilities and a kettle in all rooms.  You also have a TV with all Freeview channels.

You will have a desk or a table for writing or to use a laptop. There are plenty of sockets for charging.  There is free no-strings WiFi in the Farmhouse and Contessa, EE / 3G mobile data for Granadas.

Remember this is a full-board event with fabulous food included.

Our morning and evening prayers will follow the Anglican morning prayer and evensong, which are as close to the Celtic services as we are going to  manage. Cranmer’s combination of four of their services, Lauds and Prime and then Vespers and Compline respectively, date back 500 years to the time of the Tudors.  Three other monastic services during the day made up the seven ‘offices’ in total (see Psalm 119:164).  These were themselves built around the devotions of the Apostles and were followed by the early church of which the Celtic branch was an integral part.


Obviously, the event will only suit those able to walk. You’ll need boots and warm clothing.  Bring something rain-proof.  As the Swedes say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.  We’ll be in prayer for a dry spell, of course.  But we always work with the weather the good Lord sends.


Select your accommodation then book for your Weekend with the Celtic Saints by clicking the link above!

Additional information


Farmhouse Double, Farmhouse Twin, Farmhouse Single, Panache 2, Panache 3, Panache 4, Contessa 2, Contessa 3, Contessa 4, Granada 2, Granada 3, Granada 4, Single Male Sharing Shower, Single Female Sharing Shower

6 reviews for New Year with the Celtic Saints

  1. John Andreou (verified owner)

    We recently spent a wonderful fee days with Stephen And Judith at Grey Alders. Right from the moment we arrived we knew it was going to be a great time. The warmth of their hospitality and the fun and food were second to none. Nobody leaves their table hungry! The food was a delight too with meat from their own farm. But the prayer times blessed us and it was a special experience to walk in the steps of the old Celtic Saints. It’s a beautiful and quite remote area of the Welsh countryside. All in all we had a truly blessed time with these lovely people and would highly recommend anyone who is looking for a little get away to remember to contact them. They will be glad they did

  2. Andrew Parker (verified owner)

    A very enjoyable time out

  3. Ashley Dickenson (verified owner)

    Very good value and interesting visits also. Food excellent, as was the accomodation (though I was upgraded).

  4. George Sadler (verified owner)

    I had a very good time too.

  5. Percy and Hilary Williams

    Percy and Hilary Williams 16 Jan 19
    Hilary and I had a wonderful few days at Grey Alders with Stephen and Judy. It was also great to have fellowship with people we had never met before. When the e-mail inviting us to this event came through, we responded immediately and spontaneously; something that we never do. This was just the sort of relaxing break we needed, as we had been busy over Christmas, catering for our family, and prior to that, had a time of stress. This was a real God sent chilling out experience. The home cooked food and the home brewed cider were much appreciated. Stephen and Judy did a wonderful job preparing the food for us from their farm, and they didn’t mind our being in the kitchen, while this was going on. The services in the rustic chapel, formerly an old barn, were meaningful. We both attended C of E services until our teens and then joined the less formal Pentecostal church, and so we found it refreshing to go back for a few days. The weather was surprisingly good for the time of year-not too hot and not too cold. Altogether this was a memorable, worthwhile and enjoyable experience. We took some of this experience home: We bought a box of meat from the farm to freeze and enjoyed the first helping with some of our family.

    • admin (store manager)

      Thanks Percy & Hilary, it was a pleasure having you with us! Enjoy that beef …

  6. adrian ruffhead

    We spent a lovely time on the 2019 New year with the Celtic saints at Grey Alders. It was great Christian fellowship, with some great outdoor walks, great times spent opening and closing each day with a prayer and Bible reading time following the C of E Prayer Book format and some great food. As a Christian who grew up in a Non Conformist background it was interesting to follow a structured pattern of prayer and readings and I found it helpful. I am interested in local history and about Christian history so to discover a less well known Celtic saint and walk along paths that he and early Christians must have walked was wonderful as well as visiting St Govan’s Chapel and St David’s. Going from the sublime to the, well, sublime in terms of food, the quality of the farm produced food was as high as I have ever had. Home cooking beats every other form of cooking and the quality of the Grey Alders produced meat used in the meals as well as everything else, was outstanding.

    • admin (store manager)

      Thank you for your comments, Adrian. We are glad to hear you had a wonderful time. God bless.

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