Faith in Cowal | Pilgrim Trails

Explore Scotland's Early Christian Landscape

Places for Pilgrims

The Faith in Cowal Driving Trail

An excellent driving tour of the main pilgrim sites in Cowal

Here are some some of the sites (and sights) which might be of interest to a pilgrim – places rooted in the early church in Cowal. These include churches and chapels; holy wells and carved stones; as well as foundations, cairns and ruins. The map, depicted, shows you where the fifteen main sites are in relation to each other, and how they’re connected by road.

It also offers a suggested circuit, which takes in many of the main sites, some of the minor ones, and some ‘tempting tangents’ that encourage you to break out of the circuit and explore more widely.

The map can be found in leaflet form on, or near, most of the pilgrim sites it depicts. You’re also welcome to download it from this site. Be aware that this map is focused on driving routes only, and is not accurate enough to use as a walking guide!

Click on the name of any of the places for pilgrims in the list below for full details.

Faith In Cowal

Medieval Churches in Cowal

A medieval church rich in history. Expect to see early carved stones, important grave stones, interesting archaeology, modern visitor centre and Campbell mausoleum.
A traditional, rectangle church on an early site. Expect to see a beautifully gallery of ancient carved stones, plenty of interpretation and interesting gravestones.
A remote and beautiful church built on a medieval site. Expect to see early carved stones in a small lapidarium and expansive views over Glendaruel.
The ruined, ancient parish church of Strathlachlan, now used as the Maclachlan mausoleum. Expect to see a medieval tall cross and a nearby holy well.
An active parish church built on a medieval site. Expect to see early carved stones set into the fabric of the church walls, and ancient gravestones.
Ancient church in a secluded village. Expect to see interesting stone carvings, a well presented alter space, and stunning views across Loch Goil.

Faith In Cowal

Remote Pilgrim destinations in Cowal

A neolithic cairn (5,000 years old) with signs of early Christian carvings. In a woodland clearing.
The footings of a very early chapel, early Christian burials, woodland walk with great interpretation.
Footings of a ruined chapel, with a carved stone nearby. Set against the grounds of Ardtaraig Estate on Loch Striven.
A ruined chapel and natural baptismal well with sublime views over the Kyles of Bute. A short hike from the roadside.
Remote, ruined church – Kilfinan Parish – and well. With excellent views over Loch Fyne.
An ancient churchyard at the head of Loch Fyne, on the site of former medieval parish church.

Faith In Cowal

Bonus Sites for Cowal Pilgrims

Cairndow Church houses ancient carved stones from the original Kilmorich site.
This Church, once one of our ‘tempting tangents’, is now privately owned.
This medieval castle, near Lochgoilhead, once contained it’s own chapel.
A modest site near Portavadie. Crying out for a little archeological excavation!