Northern Pilgrims' Way & Northern Saints Trails

A collection of routes and trails designed to celebrate Caithness' ecclesiastical past.

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  • More information to be found on the Northern Pilgrims' Way Group website


  • More information to be found on the Northern Pilgrims' Way Group website


  • Various routes with varying degrees of difficulty!

Additional Information

A series of 'braided' routes and trails suitable for those interested in adventuring slowly and considerately, the Northern Pilgrims' Way links St. Magnus' Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney, with St. Duthac's in Tain, with three 'braids' (or routes) available to take, each incorporating incredible sites, monuments and landscapes.

The route reflects historic pilgramages, which were often taken as a form of prayer, or as a means to cure a sickness or ailment (sometimes a drink from a 'healing well' or taking a dip in a holy loch, like St. John's Loch at Dunnet), or even to expiate a crime!

The Northern Saints Trails expands on the Northern Pilgrims' Way, and provides a series of trails for those interested in the holy sites and monuments in Caithness; there is an "embarrassment of material on [the] subject" according to the Northern Pilgrims' Way Group, with "Every corner of Caithness [having] its ruined chapels, holy wells and ancient graveyards." As the team researched the subject, "the list of saints with Caithness connections grew and grew and the dilemma was how to present this material in a logical manner"

The result of the research was the Northern Saints Trail - a fabulous collection of short-and-longer walks. Even if you have just a cursory interest in the ecclesiastical history of Caithness, these walks make for a a grand day out, with the opportunity to immerse yourself in beautiful settings and landscapes, reconnecting with nature and history as you do.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The group's logo is based on the Skinnet Stone, a cross-incised stone near Halkirk.

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