Faith in Cowal | Pilgrim Trails

Explore Scotland's Early Christian Landscape

Cowal in Context

Well Connected Cowal

There are a plethora of pilgrim trails in southern Scotland and more being proposed to the north. The map provided by the Scottish Pilgrim Route Forum (SPRF) in 2019 shows 6 established trails (purple lines); 7 that are either proposed or were ‘in production’ at the time of issue (purple dotted lines – at least 2 of which are now established); and the secular network of Scotland’s Great Trails (SGT – green dotted lines) that includes The Loch Lomond & Cowal Way.

Cowal is part of Argyll & Bute council area. We sit between Arrochar (near Loch Lomond) and Inveraray (on the way to Oban). Nestled between Inverclyde, to the east, and the Kintyre peninsula to the west. This makes The Cowal Pilgrimage perfectly situated to link up with other already popular pilgrim routes as well as some of the newer routes.

It means you’re able to walk from Jedburgh Abbey to Iona Abbey using SPRF or SGT routes! Cowal is well connected, by road, rail, ferry and trail to ‘hubs’ where SPRF and SGT trails intersect. Places such as Glasgow, Tarbert, Tyndrum and the Isle of Bute are now held in a web that extends from our 200 mile network of pilgrim routes in Cowal, making onward travel much more convenient.

Map of established and proposed pilgrim trails in Scotland.
SPRF 2019 pilgrim route map
2021 graphical map of pilgrim routes in Cowal

Faith In Cowal

We Are Here

(Click or hover on the image to highlight The Cowal Pilgrimage)

As you can see from the map above, the Faith in Cowal pilgrim network is ideally situated to provide a meaningful link for long-distance walkers journeying between pilgrim sites on the west coast or central Scotland, and those in Glasgow, Ayrshire and elsewhere in south Scotland.

Pilgrim Trails in Scotland

(Click or hover on the image to highlight The Cowal Pilgrimage)

This map identifies thirteen different pilgrim routes in Scotland. Some of these are still being developed at present (August 2021). There’s actually a fourteenth route already established on mainland Orkney. Where possible, we’ve linked to each route’s website in the key provided below.

Map Key

(links open in a new tab).

  1. The Northern Pilgrim’s Way (Tain – Kirkwall)
  2. Deeside Way (Ballater – Aberdeen)
  3. Three Saint’s Way (Killin – St Andrews)
  4. St Columba’s Way (Iona – St Andrews)
  5. St Conan’s Way (Dalmally – Iona)
  6. Dalriada Way (Tarbert – Lismore)
  7. The Cowal Pilgrimage (That’s Us!)
  8. The Whithorn Way (Glasgow – Whithorn)
  9. Kentigern Way (Annan – Glasgow)
  10. Borders Abbeys Way (Melrose – Jedburgh circular)
  11. St Cuthbert’s Way (Melrose  – Lindesfarne)
  12. Forth to Farne Way (North Berwick – Lindesfarne)
  13. Fife Pilgrim Way (Culross – St Andrews)
  14. St Magnus Way, Orkney (Egilsay – Kirkwall)