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PEACEFUL PLACES LINKS

“Peaceful Places is a trail of ‘hidden gems’ for you to discover across North Ceredigion”

The purpose of the Peaceful Places Links feasibility study by Llandre Heritage was to assess the need for a Development Officer to strengthen links between a new heritage interpretation trail called Peaceful Places and local tourist accommodation businesses in North Ceredigion.

Peaceful Places is a heritage tourism trail that was launched in 2014. The trail is a collection of 17 churches and chapels across the north of Ceredigion each of which has its own story to tell. The 17 locations are set in some of the most stunning landscapes of Ceredigion from the coast to the uplands and take visitors on a journey where they can discover wildlife, natural beauty, family history and even human events and achievements. The trail aims to increase accessibility and visitor appeal, with the principal intention of enhancing the local economy, and points visitors to examples of wonderful architecture, art and craftsmanship.

 

The project has:

  • Reviewed the current situation with regards to the set up and day to day operational activities of Peaceful Places.
  • Reviewed the current position and assess future needs of Peaceful Places representatives to maximise the potential of the project.
  • Identified suitable models for the ongoing management of the ‘Peaceful Places’ project to ensure its long term sustainability.
  • Considered general approaches for succession planning and shared best practice methods identified through the study.

 

Project activities included:

  • Appointing Consultancy Coop as the successful consultants to undertake the feasibility study
  • The consultants attending the Peaceful Places Operational Group meeting to brief members about the study and explain how they would be engaging with the members to get their input into the study
  • A consultation with stakeholders including most if not all of the custodians of the churches involved in Peaceful Places, local tour guides and tourism experts including those specialising in faith tourism
  • A final report by Consultancy Coop with a review and results from the feasibility study

The study allowed those involved in Peaceful Places to see its potential shortcomings and gave them sound advice on how the trail could be improved to increase visitor footfall and generate more community involvement.  The consultants engaged with a very wide range of stakeholders which bought more depth to the final report, including interviewing several local tourism related businesses. The report gave some good examples of good practice implemented on other similar trails that could be implemented by Peaceful Places for a fairly modest cost.  The report also provides a sound basis for supporting future funding bids to support the implementation of some of the proposals.

A breakdown of the main results of the report are:

  • Break down the 17 churches into themed trails – Lead-mining, Medieval, Upland, Picturesque, etc
  • Create simple maps which can be used by independent travellers on foot, bicycle, or by car to follow these stories by visiting key places, where they can find out more.
  • Create short half-day or whole day experiences based on these themed stories, which should also incorporate other points of interest along the route.
  • Work with local private tourism providers to provide guided tours
  • Works with local accommodation-providers who would see Peaceful Places tours as a useful add-on to their offering

Work with the local community to develop greater use of the churches for secular as well as religious purposes.

 

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.