The Whithorn Way

in the steps of Saints, Monks & Monarchs


Whithorn Way News & Events

The Steering Group activities in 2020 have been somewhat curtailed as a result of several factors, not least that of the COVID 19 pandemic. This has not however stopped the full steering group holding two virtual meetings making use of ZOOM conferencing. There have also been smaller ZOOM and phone call meetings keeping the work of the various sub-groups moving forward.


Meeting in Blue Room Over the summer period the Steering Group have held meetings in Glenluce and Paisley. The photo is from the meeting held in late September at Paisley Abbey. During this period there have also been several sessions looking at the vision and targets this having been lead by consultant funded through Scottish Enterprise.

The steering group has recognised and accepted many of the targets suggested and is also presently registering "Friends of the Whithorn Way" - a support group of interested people.

The next meeting of the full steering group is being planned for early November and we hope this will be held in the Maybole area and will attract some local interest.


Pilgrims from Canada On Monday 15th July we were able to welcome a group of four Canadians to walk several sections of the Whithorn Way. This follows a fairly extensive exchange of e-mails over three year with the Department of Theological Studues at Concordia University in Montreal. As part of one of their undergraduate course the students undertake some fieldwork and this may be on pilgrim routes both in Canada and abroad. Having seen the Whithorn Way Website it was felt that this might be a pilgrimage to consider and walk for at least part of the route.

Jump forward to the start of 2019 and Dr Matthew Anderson (Affiliate Professor) was in dialogue with the Whithorn Way Steering Group and a study tour for him and Dr Christine Ramsay (Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies) university of Regina along with walk enthusiast Ken Wilson was planned and arranged. This walk on the pilgrimage route would take in sections of the route as follows:

  • Glasgow cathedral to riverside path
  • Ayr to Maybole
  • Maybole to Girvan
  • Barrhill to New Luce
  • New Luce to Callochglass
  • Mochrum to Whithorn
  • St Ninians Cave via Burrow Head to Isle of Whithorn
The group were supported by John Henderson (Chair of the Whithorn Way Steering Group) who spent time with them in Glasgow and by Peter Ross (Whithorn Way Steering Group members) when he walked with them on the section between Glenluce Abbey and Callachglass.

We look forward to receiving a fuller report on their experience, taken over a number of very wet days, and understand more about their impressions and areas where the Steering Group needs to work with local authorites and landowners to clarify issues of waymarking so that the route can be more clearly followed. The following link take the interested visitor to the Blog the Ken Wilson possted during the walk.
https://readingandwalking.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/whithorn-way-day-one/


Meeting at Troon Old The Steering group has met on two occasions since the start of the New Year as well as having various presentations to church/community groups and the first of several meetings with Local Authorites along the length of the Way.
The first meeting on the year was held in Paisley were a significant part of the discussion related to the development of information boards for the route.
The second meeting held in early March was at Troon and held in the premises of Troon Old, Church of Scotland, premises. The steering group were made most welcome and following a very productive meeting some of the group were photographed in the chancel of this very beautiful church.
Further steering group meetings are provisionally scheduled for the 10th April and the 29th May and these meetings are all open to anyone who is interested in the further development and walking of the Whithorn Way.


grant barclay blog On Easter Monday, 2018 Rev Grant Barclay began - almost by accident - something of an adventure which involved a round walking trip from Glasgow Cathedral to Whithorn Priory. Following the event Grant has produced a blog that gives an overall comment on the route as well as section by section descriptions and reflections. This can all be accessed by clicking on this link https://grantbarclay.wordpress.com/walks/walking-the-whithorn-way/.

Do note that Grant is planning to again walk sections of the Way in the spring of 2019 and on the blog he invites interested walkers to register their interest.


Red Wednesday The Steering meet at St Mirin's Cathedral on Red Wednesday (28th November 2018) when many of the Steering Group wore red and all contributed to the good work of "Aid to the Church in Need".

This was a very full and forward thinking meeting of the Steering Group looking into issues of funding, interpretation boards along the Way and how we can attract more pilgrim groups and young persons to make use of this great pilgrimage resource.

Additionally the Steering Group agree that they should make approaches to and advertise for the position of Steering Group Secretary, this person adding sigificantly to the ongoing work of the volunteer steering group members. If anyone, with the requisite secretarial skills and with a passion to see this pilgrimage route flourish, is interested in offering to become secretary please e-mail the chairperson using this link, providing your contact details and we will then make contact with you to expand on what this might entail.


Steering Group Meeting at September & October 2018


These most recent meeting have been held at the Auld Kirk, Kilbirnie and at St Colmon Parish Church, Colmonell.
The Steering Group were delighted on both occasion to welcome new friends and supporters to the meetings. It was felt that with their input and suggestions the steering group have been given some new contacts and suggestions in terms of worthcoming work and priorities.


Guided Walk - Postponed till Spring 2019

Ninian's Cave

St Ninian's Cave at the north west corner of Port Castle Bay

The Whithorn Way Steering Group had planned to led a guided walk open to all interested walkers/pilgrims between the St Ninian's Priory Church in Whithorn to St Ninian's Cave on 12th September 2018. However the current off road route development work has not progressed as fast as anticipated and to avoid the walk having to use country roads for a significant distance it has been decided to postpone the event to all path work is completed.
When all work is finished this will be re-scheduled and we will re-advertise.
The background to the guided walk is that this is a walk of 5 miles making use of the newly developed route funded through the work of the Whithorn Trust and forming an integral part of the overall Whithorn Way pilgrim walking route.
The guided walk is also part of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum (SPRF) guided walks programme and we are hoping that there will be a large group of walkers both from the local area and from those further afield in the SPRF memberhip when this is re-schedule in the spring. For those interested keep visiting this website for information on a new date.


Steering Group Meeting at Milestone - August 2018
This was the steering groups second meeting in Girvan and we were again given a very warm welcome.
The main topic for discussion was the structure and operational plan for the ongoing work of the steering group. The steering group has been debating for some time the best means of attracting the required funding to move forward with development work, consultation with local authorities and landowners as well as promotion and ultimately waymarking of the route.
With the steering group recognising that its relationship within SPRF has developed over the years and that SPRF has already applied and successfully secure funding for other pilgrim route steering groups the Whithorn Way steering group decided at this meeting to follow an identical approach and we hope that funding progress will follow as a result.


Steering Group Meeting at Provan Hall



This meeting was held on the 13th June 2018 at the kind invitation of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park team and the Friend of Provan Hall.
During the meeting we were given a guided tour around Provan Hall and in the afternoon there was a guided walk led by John Henderson to Bishop Loch, the location of the medieval Bishops' Palace for Glasgow Cathedral.
There is a hope that between the developments associated with the Seven Lochs and Provan Hall there may be an opportunity for some form of collaboration with the Whithorn Way.


St. Mirin's Pilgrims completed the final stage of the Whithorn Way (Mochrum to Whithorn) on 2 June 2018.

The group were led off from Mochrum by Sylvia Jenks dressed mediaeval costume. The group finished walking at St Ninian's Priory (Church of Scotland), where tea and cake awaited followed by a service at St Martin's and St Ninian's (Roman Catholic Church) and a much anticipated fish and chip supper from The Central Cafe Whithorn enjoyed in the Whithorn Trust cafe.


St. Mirin's Pilgrims completed their penultimate stage of the Whithorn Way (Auchenmalg to Mochrum) on 26 May 2018, the final stage is on 2 June 2018.

St. Mirin's Pilgrims include walkers from the Diocese of Paisley and Paisley Abbey 850 Group. They began their pilgrim walk on 4 March 2017 and continued at monthly intervals apart from a break over the winter period.
Pat Murdoch organised all the walks, made contact with church groups and local communities to arrange hospitality and encouraged members of St. Mirin's Pilgrims to continue our pilgrimage. Gerry Murdoch planned the routes and Frank Doherty (our Camino Amigo) and Pat joined Gerry on the recce walks.


To support the ongoing work of the Whithorn Way Steering Group, which has been from its formation a voluntary non-funded operation, it has been agreed that we start to raise some funding to speed up and further our development work.

To that end we have introduced for interested individuals or groups the opportunity to make a donation to the work of the steering group and/or to provide some nominal income through the sale of walking route instructions.
All money raise will be earmarked as a restricted fund designated to the work and development of the Whithorn Way Pilgrimage Route. The funds will be held within a restricted account managed by the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum (a registered Scottish Incorporated Charity).

To make a donation or to find out more about the purchase of walking route instructions click on this link


Milestone meeting The Steering groups most recent meeting (28th March 2018) was held at the Milestone Christian Fellowship in Girvan.

The meeting proved to be most productive with the presence of representitives from the Ayrshire Coastal Path (ACP), The Girvan Town Team and the milestone Christian Fellowship.
Although not all of those at the meeting were able to remain at the end of the meeting for the photo we were pleased to have Roddy MacDonald of the Girvan Town Team and Ron Ireland of the ACP included with several of the steering group members.


Milestone meeting Walk the Whithorn Way with St Mirin's Pilgrims.
This is project that has been devised by the St Mirin's Pilgrims and targetted towards youth although it is open to walkers of all ages. The walk will be in sections over a number of weeks following a similar pattern to that taken several years earlier by Paisely Abbey.

The remaining walks are to be on Saturday 7th April and on Tuesday 24th April with the final section into Whithorn on Saturday 2nd June 2018.

The first walk was successfully held on Saturday 4th March 2OI7 leaving at 9am from St Mirin's Cathedral. The walk was from Paisley to Lochwinnoch and photos from that walk and all subsequent walks can be seen on the Whithorn Way Facebook page.
A warm welcome will be given to all walkers, and SPRF and the Whithorn Way Steering Group would encourage anyone with an interest in pilgrimage walks to come along and enjoy these day's walks.
Support vehicles will be available to provide assistance. Walking guides will lead the group.
Please register via e-mail to "pat_murdoch@hotmail.com" with your name and contact phone number. Further information will then be sent out to you by email.


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