Walking or cycling in Scotland is an all-year-round activity. Each season brings its own glories. The colder months are, of course, December to February but really you can make the journey at any time, so you choose.
If you are coming to Edinburgh why not try our first formal route, St Margaret’s Way, just over 100 kms of quiet roads, spectacular bike tracks, and coastal or inland paths trodden by pilgrims nearly a thousand years ago, through the small communities along the coast of Fife, all the way to St Andrews? Or, if time is short, visit Rosslyn Chapel, a mere 16kms from Edinburgh, over Arthur’s Seat, along bike tracks and through wildlife parks? Then bus back or, for the more adventurous, return by another 23km route through the Pentland Hills and along the Waters of Leith back into the centre of the city?
If you are planning to visit Aberdeen, then there is St Duthac’s Way, our 100 mile route from Aberdeen to St Andrews, researched and with a detailed guide done by a veteran of the Camino.
Or are you joining the thousands of visitors to the isle of Iona, the famous Christian settlement off the western tip of Scotland? Then don’t rush back, instead take St Columba’s Way, the pilgrimage route from Iona to St Andrews, spanning Scotland from west to east. You don’t have to do the whole 285 km, just choose from the sections described on the website.
Then you can also start in the north-east of England from Hexham with St Wilfrid’s Way all the way to Edinburgh taking in Hadrian’s’ Wall, famous border towns, and Rosslyn Chapel. Or in the north west of England from Carlisle St Ninian’s way visits Whithorn and the west coast before taking you to Paisley, Glasgow and along the Antonine Wall to Edinburgh. And then onto St Margaret’s Way to St Andrews.
Then for those visiting Motherwell, south of Glasgow there is the Ladywell Way, a 60 km route offering great scenic diversity from canal tow paths to bleak moorland.
For those in the West there is St Ninian’s Way. Starting at Carlisle and it
takes you to Whithorn, made famous by St Ninian , and then up the West
Coast through to Paisley and Glasgow and thence to St Andrews.
Please look at the routes available on the website and consider them in your plans.
Yes, many sections of the routes are signposted as a cycle routes or designated paths but a detailed map of each route can be downloaded from this website and this is strongly recommended . Even better, pick up or print off an Ordnance Survey map of the route.
Discreet waymarking is in progress and already completed on the Rosslyn Chapel Way and the return journey to Edinburgh on St Wilfrid’s Way. Where the Ways do not use existing waymarked paths there are distinctive coin-sized camino yellow blobs as markers. In addition, these routes have easy to follow instructions. .
But , of course, if you have any doubts ask the locals – you will invariably find them helpful.
On most routes there are plenty of hotels, pubs, B & Bs and campsites along the route and we are trying to identify places where pilgrims can both stay and eat inexpensively. These are listed as Special Recommendations in the ROUTES AND PHOTOS section of the website. Other accommodation websites are listed in LINKS. .
For those wanting to travel light local taxis can cheaply transfer your baggage to your next destination. There are also now companies which can book your accommodation along the way and arrange for baggage transfer as well.
On St Columba’s Way there are fewer hostels and shops and, on certain sections, you may need to camp. For most routes you are never far from a main road and excellent public services
There are always cultural and religious events taking place -highland games too – and famous student festivals like On the Rocks and international conference and celebrations like New Dawn. So check the websites below and think about timing your pilgrimage to join in the fun.
Apart from that and available always, are miles of golden beaches, golf, museums and 26 pubs.
We have also established a circuit of St Andrews for walkers or cyclists taking in the main places of interest, which tells the rich but sometimes dark history of St Andrews. Check it out now at
If you want a tour which of St Andrews with a historical expert or teacher/leader who specialises in “adding fun and spice to history”, please check the websites in the “Links” section.
Most events at St Andrews are listed on:
Or call – 01334 472021 or visit the Tourist Office and Information Centre at 70 Market Street in St Andrews.
Or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is worth checking your own comfortable walking or biking speed before you set out so you can plan your journey with some accuracy. A comfortable walking speed could be 2.5 to 3 miles an hour (4-5km an hour) and biking speed with baggage probably 10 miles an hour (16 km an hour ), but you will want to stop and admire the beautiful scenery, visit places of interest along the way, or have a rest and a coffee.
No, that’s up to you and how much time you have.
For those new to pilgrimage it is probably a good idea to do a short “test walk” on one of the sections of a route near you, and learn from that experience.
And many experienced pilgrims come back each year to do a different part of their chosen route.
Most of the route is on tracks but there are times when you will pass through built-up areas and along busy roads, so you are strongly advised to wear high visibility clothes.
There are health centres along the route depending on the area, which you could contact. Also, there is a Hotline called NHS 24. The telephone number is 111.
If you are really worried about financial loss from robbery or injury, you should consider travel insurance. The organisers cannot take any responsibility for any illness or injury which you may incur.
Yes, please print off the St Andrews Way Badge from this website and carry it on your rucksack or clothing.
Yes, a St. Andrews Way Card can be printed off from this website and you can carry it with you, getting it signed or stamped in the places and shops that you visit. Finally, don’t forget to have your card stamped by the Tourist Office in St Andrews in Market Street. The card will be a great record and reminder of your pilgrimage.
In order to avoid traffic many sections on each Way include rough tracks only suitable for walkers and cyclists, and other amenities may be lacking.
There are excellent bus and train services back from St Andrews. Leuchars, the local train station, is less than 10 miles from St Andrews.
Yes, please share your experience with your friends on social media, and give us feedback through the Forum section of the website. We very much rely on your experience and ideas on how to build the pilgrimage in the future. You are pioneers –good luck and thank you.