Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum

A network of organisations and individuals committed to developing routes for off-road pilgrimage travel across Scotland

Telephone : 01786 841809 E-mail :
Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation - Charity No. SC045212


Walk with St Cuthbert

Channelkirk and Lauder Church are organising, for the second year, a Walk with St Cuthbert this being a 17 mile route from Channelkirk to Melrose. If will take place on Saturday 9th June and this is a sponsored walk where you can raise money for your own chosen charity.

It is believed that St Cuthbert was born and grew up in Channelkirk before entering the monastic community at Old Melrose. So this is countryside with long association with the Saint, as well as passing over some great open countryside.

Last year about 100 persons took part in this pilgrimage walk and it is hope that the numbers will be greater this June. This is also a very well organised event with the opportunity to walk all or a part of the route. To be part of this you need to register and all the details regarding the event are on the Channelkirk and Lauder website and registration to take part in the walk is via Border Events at

If you can put the date in the diary and come along and enjoy the fellowship of the other pilgrims and the chance to follow in the footstep of St Cuthbert.

SPRF Lead Walks for 2018

As part of an extension to membership services and to raise the awareness and use of the SPRF Priority Pilgrim Walking Routes we have introduced monthly guided walks on sections of the Three Saints, Whithorn, Forth to Farne and Fife Pilgrims Ways.
These are half day walks generally on a Wednesday and they will be lead by members of the respective route's steering group. As a result not only will it be an attractive walk but one where the leader can point out much of the heritage and pilgrim interest of the Way.
It will be necessary to registered your interest in walking and this can be done by e-mailing "".

DateTimeRouteRoute descriptionLeader
Wednesday 11 April 11.00 15.30 TSW Comrie to Crieff via Auchingarrich 8.5 miles / 14 Km Ken Heiser Val Hadden
Wednesday 9 May 11.00 15.15 WW Troon to Ayr 7 miles / 11 Km Gerry Murdoch & Sylvia Pat Murdoch (Admin)
Wednesday 13 June 11.00 15.00 F to F Coldingham to St Abb’s Head circular 6.5 miles / 10 Km Jimmy McGuiness
Saturday 28 July TBA FPW Pilgrimage from Ceres to St Andrew Cathedral 8.5 miles / 14 Km Rev Alastair Coles SEC Diocesan Pilgrimage 2018
Wednesday 15 August 11.00 15.30 TSW Abernethy to Newburgh & Lindores Abbey 6.5 miles / 10 Km John Andrews Abernethy Walking Group
Postponed to Spring 19 11.00 14.45 WW Whithorn St Ninian’s Cave 5 miles / 8 Km Gerry & Sylvia Martin Bonnar (Admin)

For more detail and a downloadable informaton sheet click on this link.

Banffshire Pilgrimage Group

The Banffshire Pilgrimage Group who are members of the Forum are to hold a meeting at Banff Castle on Sunday 14 January 2018 at 3:00pm.
The title of the meeting is Pilgrimage may be “A Journey to a religious or secular place with special significance”.. but is there much more?
All are welcome and more details are on the downloadable poster which can be accessed by clicking here.
All are welcome.

SPRF Autumn Gathering and AGM
Friday 15th September 2017 - Markinch Parish Church

This was a whole day event with a walk on a section of the Fife Pilgrim Way in the morning then in the afternoon a series of speakers ending with the Annual General Meeting.
For a report and downloads from the day link to the News Page.

The day's programme was as follows:

10.00 – Coach departs from Markinch Parish Church for Glenrothes
10.15 – Guided walk from along a section of the Fife Pilgrim Way from Riverside Park, Glenrothes to Markinch Church via Balbirnie Park woodlands.
13.00 – Soup and buffet lunch at Markinch Community Hall.
14.00 Afternoon session introduced by Rev Prof David Atkinson, SPRF Chair
14.05 – Chris Broome, Director, Fife Coast & Countryside Trust: ‘The Fife Pilgrim Way – Local Community Engagement and Long-Term Sustainability’.
14.30 - Douglas Speirs, Fife Council Archaeologist: ‘The Fife Pilgrim Way – Historic Authenticity versus Modern Interpretation’.
15.00 – Bess Rhodes, University of St Andrews: ‘The Virtual St Andrews Project- re-imaging a lost heritage’. (TBC)
15.20 – Plenary discussion
15.45 – SPRF Annual General Meeting
16.15 – Close and Tea / Coffee

For fuller details on the day click on this link, for a downloadable programme click here and for a downloadable application form click on PDF application form or for a application form in word document format click here.

The Rugged Pathway - Day Pilgrimage
Saturday 6th May 2017 - Haddington to WhitekirkRugged Pathway

The Days event is a East Lothian Pilgrimage between St Mary's Parish Church in Haddington and St Mary's Church at Whitekirk, a total distance of 12 miles.

The start of the day is with registraton at 9.15 am at St Mary's Haddington followed by a service in the church at 9.45 am. The walk is first to Athelstaneford Parish Church in time for a picnic lunch then on via Prestonkirk East Linton to finally arrive at St Mary's Whitekirk for a closing service at 4.00 pm.

A registration form can be downloaded from this website by clicking HERE or by linking to St Mary's Website or emailing Emily Armatage at

This pilgrimage has been brought to SPRF's attention by the secretary to the Forth to Farne Steering Group and we know that any interested pilgrim/walker will be made most welcome.

Capacity Building Pilot Project
Friday 3rd February & Wednesday 15th February at the Volunteer Scotland Offices, Stirling

These two one day workshops were part of a Pilot Capacity Building Project mainly funded through Scottish National Heritage's National Walking and Cycling Network funds. The objective of the pilot was to see what volunteers can bring to the development of new ways and to ascertain what support and additional training is required to make such volunteering more effective.

The project was led by Nick Cooke and John Henderson from SPRF assisted by Vyv Wood-Gee (consultant in Rural Access & Environmental matters). The participants were drawn from across the several SPRF Pilgrim Route Steering Groups.

Below are some images from the second workshop.

Delegates taking part in an interactive session on access and equality legislation

Delegates taking part in an interactive session on access and equality legislation

One of the two workshop sessions, this led by Vyv Wood-Gee

The leaders reviewing the progress of the days workshop

We will shortly be loading some of the material that was presented at the seminar along with a summary of the pilot outcomes.

  • What is a Pilgrimage Route - John Henderson opening presentation. Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation.

Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum Gathering & AGM
Friday 21st October 2016 at Comrie Croft, Perthshire

Gathering 2016 The Days event was split into three elements.

  • Walk on a section of the Three Saints Way
    The group started from Lord Melville's Monument at the top of Dun More then descended into Comrie by way of the Deil's Caldron and the River Lednock. From Comrie the walk followed a waymarked route east to Comrie Croft, and outdoor and events centre run by one of SPRF's members.
  • Seminar / Presentations
    Following lunch there were presentations from Strathearn Churches, Innerpeffray Library and Historic Environment Scotland all related to the pilgrimage, heritage and tourism opportunites associated with the development of the Three Saints Way.
    In addition there was an inspiring presentation given about the 2017 Pluscarden Pilgrimage from Burgandy to Pluscarden near Nairn.
  • AGM
    Rev Prof David Atkinson then chaired the AGM reporting on what has been another successful year seeing significant progress being made as it relates to pilgrim route development. He also formally introduced Lord Wilson of Tillyorn who has agreed to become SPRF's Patron. Lord Wilson then address the meeting which was well received and detailed some of his extensive and long standing interests in pilgrimage.

We will shortly be posting a fuller report on this days activities.

Faith tourism and pilgrim routes in Argyll
Thursday 29th September 2016 at Craig Lodge, Dalmally, Argyll

This was a successful new venture for SPRF taking a meeting into a specific more remote location and focusing on pilgrimage in that particular region. What was achieved was a clear enthusiasm for the development of pilgrimage within Argyll where there is so much Christian Heritage and history to explore.
The morning session had several inspiring speakers and in the afternoon Calum MacFarlane-Barrow (the founder of Craig Lodge house of Prayer) lead some of the delegates and members of the community up the Craig Lodge Stations of the Cross Pilgrimage hill.

A full report on the event can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

We plan to convene a further follow up meeting when SPRF hopes to establish an Argyll Steering Group to develop local pilgrimage walks.

Below are some images from the day.

Delegates outside Craig Lodge

At the top of the "Stations of the Cross" pilgrimage

Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum Meeting – Edinburgh
Thursday 28th April 2016 at the Grassmarket Centre EH1 2QA

Click on this link for a summary report on all of the presentations.

Click on this link for an outline on the draft strategy plan 2016 to 2021 as presented at the seminar.

Click on this link to get the most up to date map of the planned and existing pilgrimage routes.

SPG 2015

This event and meeting was held on Friday 2nd October 2015 in Melrose in the Scottish Borders.
This was a whole day event commencing at 10.30 am and this years Gathering took a different format to previous October meetings.
This Gathering involves a combination of a pilgrimage walking followed by presentations and a open panel led discussion.

The theme was "The St Cuthbert Pilgrimage" and this involved a discovery walk at Old Melrose, the site of Cuthbert's first monastic experience, then in nearby Melrose the afternoon session had presentations from Graham Booth the Warden of a pilgrimage Retreat on the Holy Island and a presentation from Vyv Wood-Gee an expert in the economic development of walking routes.

This event wass open to members and non-members and we delighted to welcome new attendees to this exciting and informative day.

Following the open meeting there was the Annual General Meeting of SPRF which was attended by members and associate members.

For background information on the St Cuthbert's Way link to or

Previous bi-annual meetings have been successful and on this website you will be able to link to their report.

On Thursday 30th April 2015 the seminar meeting was held at "Old Churches House", Cathedral Square, Dunblane.
Details of the event will be posted shortly.

On the 3rd October 2014 it was the Scottish Pilgrimage Gathering 2014, this being an open full day meeting for all who had an interest in the development of Pilgrimage walks. This was jointly organised by SPRF and Forth Pilgrim with support from Fife Tourism Partnership.

The day was a great success with an opening address from Paul Wheelhouse MSP - Scottish Goverment Minister for Environment and Climate Change, then followed by three keynote speakers, these being Prof. Sam Berry, Mr Chris Baines and Prof. Richard Oram.

To access a fuller report and images from the day simply click on the SPG 2014 logo.

At the close of the Gathering Event SPRF held its 3rd Annual General Meeting. For more details on this meeting SPRF members should access the Membership section of the website.

An earlier Forum Meeting and members' EGM was held on Thursday 24th April at the St Mungo's Museum in Glasgow.

This meeting was open to both members and non members and had a full and interesting agenda. It also included a conducted tour of Glasgow Cathedral and participants were joined by walkers completing the final leg of the "850 Pilgrimage" walk linking Glasgow with Paisley and Whithorn.

For more details on the event click on this link.

Scottish Pilgrimage Gathering 2014

This is to be held on Friday 3rd October 2014 in Dunfermline. Booking your delegate space is now open along with details on the full programme for the day.
For full information on the Gathering and on line booking visit the SPG unique website by click here.

Forum Meeting - Glasgow - 24th April 2014

The Forum Meeting was well attended by over 40 delegates and enjoyed a varied and interesting programme. This was followed in the afternoon by guided tours of Glasgow Cathedral before the Forum was joined by over 20 pilgrim walkers who were completing the 850 Pilgrimage Walk from Whithorn to Glasgow.
Below are some images from the day.

Monk awaiting arrival of Pilgrims

Catherine McMaster - St Mungo and Glasgow's Pilgrimage Heritage

Guided tour of Glasgow cathedral

Sylvia Jenks - Whithorn to Glasgow

James Brown - St Niniams European Cultural Project

Susi Cormack Brown - Whithorn to Glasgow

Simon Hill - Fife Pilgrimage Route development

Neil Ramsay - Save Culross Abbey Regeneration Trust (SCART)

Clive Willcox - Dunfermline Heritage Community Projects

Also giving presentations were John Henderson and Geoff Hardman Carter on the progress being made on the Iona to St Andrews Pilgrim Way with special focus on the work being done via Geoff in the St Fillan's area. After a soup and sandwich lunch Stephen Kelly of Glasgow Life gave a presentation on a forthcoming Inter-Faith pilgrimage of Scotland to take place in the summer.
This was followed by a guided tour of Glasgow Cathedral before Roger Pickering (Monk at the cathedral) welcome a group of 20+ pilgrim walkers as they completed the last leg of the Whithorn to Glasgow "850 Walk".

850 Paisley Abbey Pilgrim walkers entering Glasgow Cathedral

Pilgrim Walkers and Forum delegated

The full programme of the day can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

A full report on the day can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

Scottish Pilgrimage Gathering - 27th September 2013

The "Scottish Pilgrimage Gathering 2013" is to be held on Friday 27th September at the Vine Venue in Dunfermline. It will start and 10am and run till 4pm.
A keynote speech will be givein by Paul Wheelhouse MSP (Minister for the Environment) and there will be presentations by Riddell Graham (Director - Visit Scotland), Peter Yeoman (Historic Scotland) Ian Bradley (St Andrewa University as well as a panel question and answer session chaired by Billy kay.
Following lunch there will be a sereis of workshop sessions and throughout the day there will be exhibits and trade fair stalls.
The event is a collaboration between Forth Pilgrim and SPRF with the support and backing of Fife Council.
For more detail on this "Gathering" and to book your place at the event visit, this being a dedicated web presence for the event.

Location and travel directions:
The Vine Venue is at the Halbeath (NE) segment of Dunfermline close to the Halbeath Interchange (Junction3 on the M90)
For a detailed map click on this link.

Forum Meeting at Paisley Abbey Church - 11th April 2013

10.00       Coffee, tea, registration.

10.30       Welcome, apologies and introduction - David Atkinson (SPRF Chairman )

10.35       ‘From Luss to Paisley’ – Nick Cooke (SPRF Secretary)

10.45       Pilgrim route developments – summary reports on:

  • Argyll pilgrim routes - Rev Dane Sherrard (Luss Pilgrimage Centre)
  • Arran pilgrim routes - David Pott (Sannox Christian Centre)
  • Iona – St Andrews Pilgrim Way - John Henderson (Walking Support)
  • Fife Pilgrim Way - Roger Pickering (Forth Pilgrim)
12.00       ‘Paisley 850’ – pilgrimage walks from Paisley to Whithorn (Sylvia Jenks). This will be followed by a guided tour of Paisley Abbey Church.

13.00       Soup and sandwich lunch

14.00       ‘The Perfect Match’ – a project fundraising workshop run by Sheila Fraser of SCVO Rural Direct for Forum members, including Top Ten Funding Tips and a Step by Step Funding Flowchart - an opportunity to understand how to match what you want to achieve with your funder.

15.15       Open session - news and views from Forum members on important issues and future plans, including the ‘Scottish Pilgrimage’ Gathering on 27th September 2013.

16.00       Summing up by Chairman. Tea and depart.

Location and travel directions:
The home page of the Abbey’s website at shows the cloisters entrance to the building which leads through to the Palace (or Place of Paisley) building on the south side where will be using the rooms on the first floor for the Forum meeting.
For a background note, see and click on the ‘Location map’ tab. The Paisley rail and bus stations are within easy walking distance of the Abbey Church, with regular scheduled services to both.

Advance confirmation of attendance to the Secretary is essential.
There is no attendance charge for current paid up members of the Forum. Any Full member organisation is entitled to send up to three representatives to the Meeting.
Non-member organizations or individuals are welcome to attend on pre-payment of a £20 attendance fee, which can be offset against their first year’s SPRF membership fee if they decide to join the Forum on the day. Please contact the Secretary to confirm and pre-pay.
There is a uniform charge of £7 per head to cover refreshments and a soup and sandwich lunch. This is payable on the day by cash or cheque made out to ‘SPRF’, so please come suitably prepared. Please advise the Secretary of any dietary requirements for lunch.

Literature and Information:
Forum members are warmly encouraged to bring leaflets, books, CDs etc about the services they offer or the work they are doing. If you want a guaranteed 5 minute ‘slot’ during the Open Session, please advise the Secretary.

Post Meeting Feedback:
For a full report on the meeting click on this link and open the PDF file.

The First Annual General - 18th October 2012 The meeting is to be held in the Loch Lomond Pilgrimage Centre which is a part of Luss Parish Church. This is a unique centre that was opened in 2004 and which has attracted thousands of visitors over the following years.
The meeting will start at 10.30 am and has been kindly hosted by Rev Dan Sherrard, the Minister of Arrochar and Luss Parish Churches.
For more information on the Congregation and the work of this church visit

The General Meeting Programme for the 18th October 2012 at Luss Pilgrimage Centre is as follows:

09.45       Coffee, tea, registration.

10.30       Welcome, apologies and introduction - SPRF Chairman (Rev Prof David Atkinson)

10.35       From Culross to Luss – SPRF Secretary (Nick Cooke)

10.45       Pilgrim route development across Scotland – work in progress:

  • Ayrshire Pilgrims Trail – James & Susi Brown (Cormack Brown)
  • Fife Pilgrim Trail Network - Roger Pickering (Forth Pilgrim)
  • Iona to St Andrews – John Henderson (Walking Support)
  • Whithorn – Janet Butterworth (Whithorn Trust)
  • ‘Scotland’s Pilgrim Journeys’ – Brian Fraser (Scotland’s Churches Trust)

11.45       Luss – Scotland’s ‘Green Pilgrimage City’ (Rev Dane Sherrard)

12.15       Walk around glebe meadow pilgrimage trail and Parish Church.

13.15       Soup and sandwich lunch

14.00       Annual General Meeting – see separate agenda

15.30       Summing Up and Future Meetings – Chairman

15.45       Close of Meeting. Tea and depart.

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