The Whithorn Way – 143 miles – 2 weeks – Glasgow to Whithorn. Inspired by St Ninian, the C4th Christian saint, miracle worker, and possibly the first Christian missionary to Scotland, the majestic ruins of St Ninian’s Cathedral and its famous shrine of old. Starting at Glasgow Cathedral and then Paisley’s ancient abbey you move out to the coast over hills and through famous Scottish towns. Along the coast, after entering Dumfries and Galloway, eventually Ninian’s chapel appears. Nothing grand, just a simple building with no roof founded on seaside rock, but visceral nonetheless. And, to increase this primal feel of spirituality, Ninian’s cave further along the coast overlooks the Irish Sea.
As well as easy coastal and hill walking this route gives Scotland to the pilgrim. All along you can find accommodation and pubs with their own beer and culinary specialities of the local region. Take up the pilgrim’s staff for a fortnight, and discover the many holy places of abbeys, churches and holy wells along Firth of Clyde; the west coast of Scotland’s Central Belt.
For a shorter challenge, try the Whithorn Way, the 150 mile section of the above route from Glasgow Cathedral to the Isle of Whithorn (in reverse direction to St Ninian’s Way).
St Ninian’s wild places of pilgrimage
Multi-layered Scottish heritage
Countless ‘glad to be alive’ moments
Great guidebook for the Whithorn Way
Holy Places along route listed in our book Britain’s Pilgrim Places: Whithorn; Mochrum; Glasgow.
The Whithorn Way corresponds to the section of St Ninian’s Way between Whithorn to Glasgow (but in reverse).