The Whithorn Way

in the steps of Saints, Monks & Monarchs

St Ninian's Cave to St Ninian's Chapel

Having arrived in Whithorn the association with St Ninian is impossible to ignore and the Whithorn Trust and the Whithorn Priory & Museum are locations where the walker needs to visit. However there is much more to see that relates to the St Ninian connection with this area and walkers are encouraged to allocate at least a further day in the area to explore these connections.

One option is to visit the St Ninian's Cave on the west coastline of the Machars and then to walk round the headland passing Burrow Head to arrive in the Isle of Whithorn, visiting here the St Ninian's Chapel.

Currently walkers are advised for reasons of time and safety that they travel from Whithorn to the car park for the Cave, at Kidsdale, by car or taxi, then to allow at least a half day to walk down Physgill Glen to the shore and then visit St Ninian's Cave before walking round the coast to the Isle of Whithorn and there visiting the St Ninian's Chapel. From the isle of Whithorn it is possible to travel back to Whithorn by bus or again by taxi or car.

The images shown below are from the 6.5 mile coastline walk, a dramatic and beautiful path and one that will take between 3 to 4 hours to complete. This is a route which has several sections where only a single width grass track is possible whilst approaching Burrow Head holiday park and the final section into the Isle there are wide open grassland paths to enjoy. There are additionally two section where the trial is close to the cliff tops so walkers need to be sure footed and comfortable with limited space between the walking route and what is often shear drops to the sea.The rewards are wonderful views up and down the coastline of both sides of the Machars and views to the Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man.

This section was recently walked by several of the Steering Group and below are some images from that walk.

Cave to Chapel 1
Cave to Chapel 2
Cave to Chapel 3

St Ninian's Cave seen from the coastal path

Walkers heading SE towards Lobbocks

View over to the Mull of Galloway

Cave to Chapel 4
Cave to Chapel 5
Cave to Chapel 6

Looking south with Isle of Man on the horizon

Burrow Head caravan Park

Burrow Head from Thief's Hole

Cave to Chapel 7
Cave to Chapel 8
Cave to Chapel 9

Cliff walk heading NE from Devil's Bridge

D&G waymarker signs defining the route

Thief's Hole

Cave to Chapel 10
Cave to Chapel 11
Cave to Chapel 12

Looking NE to Isle Head

Isle of Whithorn from near Mare Rock

Isle of Whithorn and Isle Head

This section is one of the Dunfries & Galloway Core Paths and is regularly walked and well waymarked. For directional details simply click on this link and download instructions based on walking from the St Ninian's Cave car park to The St Ninian's Chapel.
The instructions come as part of a set either as section 10 to 12 and the walk around Burrow Head or the complete 12 sections and Burrow Head.
These directional instructions are based on key points along the route which are defined using grid reference numbers. The relevant Ordnance Survey map relating to this section is Explorer Nos. 311.

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