New book about Caldey Island: visit with Celtic Haven!

Written by Sarah at Celtic Haven August 6th, 2010

Make a seamless step from our luxury holiday cottages to monastic simplicity when enjoying a break at Celtic Haven. Wales’ […]

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Make a seamless step from our luxury holiday cottages to monastic simplicity when enjoying a break at Celtic Haven. Wales’ most complete resort is just a short boat trip to the tiny island of Caldey, owned and run by the Reformed Order of Cistercian monks.

The monk lives were recently documented in the newly released book Caldey Island by Christopher Howells.

Caldey Island captures the daily life of the island’s monks and their religious celebrations, recording the history of the island and its unspoilt wildlife. Interviews with the monks reveal a former lawyer, a Harrods window dresser and even a racing driver, are amongst their number.

Alongside a small village, the monks live a simple life, farming and producing their own unique range of lavender-scented goods, as well as perfumes and hand lotions derived from the wild flowers growing on the island, plus chocolate, shortbread and clotted cream.

A visit to Caldey Island is just one of the enthralling delights you can experience when staying at Celtic Haven. Located inside Pembrokeshire National Park, we have lots of outstanding coastal scenery, boasting 26 cottages and houses sleeping from two to 12.

Celtic Haven also has the only Elemis Premier Spa in West Wales. Dining options include the resort’s own Waves Italian-influenced bar and restaurant and guests also enjoy use of all the resort’s leisure facilities, including sauna, gym, indoor swimming pool, all-weather tennis courts and the nine-hole headland golf course.

Touring, walking, shopping and enjoying the seafood of the region are other options when staying at Celtic Haven.

Boats to Caldey Island leave Tenby every 15 minutes between 9.30am and 5pm weekdays from mid-May to mid-September. Regular crossings continue until the end of October, although less frequently. The 20-minute trip leaves visitors at the landing spot on the enchanting Priory Beach, the only safe bathing spot on the island, which measures 1.5 miles long by less than three-quarters wide. From the beach it is a short stroll to the village and monastery.

The current monastery dates back to the early 1900s, although the first Celtic monastery was founded on the island in the 6th Century. Other attractions on the island include a Norman chapel, 12th Century church, 6th Century Ogham cross and Caldey Lighthouse, built in 1828. At the charming old Post Office, postcards are franked with a unique Caldey Island stamp.

The monks’ produce can now also be bought in a shop in Tenby – as well as online! The island also provides a spiritual retreat throughout the year.


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