Walk the Whithorn Way between the City of Glasgow and the village of Whithorn in Dumfries & Galloway. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims who visited the shrine of St. Ninian at Whithorn centuries ago. Experience the heritage of the River Clyde, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Robert Burns Country as this varied and dramatic route shares its secrets on its way to the southwest coast at Whithorn and St. Ninians Chapel. The Whithorn Way is a walk into history, linking one of Scotland’s largest places of worship with its oldest.
Experience a journey like no other on a pilgrimage route from one of Scotland’s finest religious sites, to one of its oldest. The Whithorn Way links the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral to historic Whithorn Priory and the Solway Firth Coast and offers a walk through the country’s religious past amongst the varied scenery of southwest Scotland.
As a pilgrimage route, the Whithorn Way links many spiritual and religious sites as it connects the industrial Central Belt to the beautiful landscapes and coast of the South Machars.
The 143-mile-long Whithorn Way begins in the heart of Scotland’s largest city at Glasgow Cathedral, before following the River Clyde to historic Govan, where shipbuilding and Dark Age heritage coexist, then to Paisley Abbey, through the rolling lush countryside of Renfrewshire and on to the Firth of Clyde and the breezy Ayrshire coast.
The route then weaves inland, through the heart of Robert Burns country, via the village of Barrhill and thence into Dumfries & Galloway via Glenluce Abbey to the 11th Century Whithorn Priory. This is where, as medieval lives of the saint tell us, the Gospel was introduced to Scotland by St Ninian in the fifth century and which remains a place of worship today.
The Whithorn Way then continues beyond Whithorn itself, via Rispain Iron Age Fort and to the Solway Firth coast at Luce Bay, passing St. Ninian’s Cave and St. Ninian’s Chapel and ending on the coast near the harbourside village of Isle of Whithorn with its superb views across the Irish Sea towards the Isle of Man.
From Whithorn a footpath leaves from near at the former manse and proceeds along the Ket Burn to Rispain Camp which is believed to date back to the Iron Age.
Progressing towards the cliffs above St. Ninians Cave, you will experience wide ranging views of Luce Bay, towards the Scare Rocks, which are home to an impressive colony of sea birds and seals, the Rhinns of Galloway towards the west and if visibility permits, to the Isle of Man which is little more than 16 miles from the Isle of Whithorn.
The coastal walk along the cliffs beyond the cave is dramatic but demands care ending as it does at the Isle of Whithorn where visitors can see St. Ninian’s Chapel and where there are a range of visitor services.