Walk 10 : Barrhill to New Luce : 13 miles
The route starts at the Martyrs’ Tomb in Barrhill : the monument is to two Covenanters were shot by Government forces in 1665, for being in possession of Bibles. The Covenanters were so called because they bound themselves to the defence of Presbyterian church government – without bishops. Clashes followed when the Government of Charles II attempted to enforce Episcopalian forms of worship. Resistance in this south western corner of Scotland was particularly strong and you will find another example when you reach New Luce, where a famous Covenanting minister, Alexander Peden, spent much of his life in hiding, preaching in secret and in disguise. The moors above Barrhill have a lonely beauty, which is only accentuated by the remote railway halt at Glenwhilly. Despite its emptiness, this is a rich prehistoric landscape, full of cairns, barrows and hut circles of the Bronze Age. Across the moors, off the route, are the standing stones of Laggangairn, prehistoric monuments which were later inscribed with crosses by Christian pilgrims heading to Whithorn, not far from a leper colony the monks established on the moors at Liberland. At New Luce, the Whithorn Way crosses the Southern Upland Way, which crosses the country from West to East.
The route is on an undulating minor back road between Barrhill and New Luce, with open moorland and some conifer plantations. There are no settlements between Barrhill and New Luce, which has a village shop and occasional buses. We recommend taking food and water and booking accommodation ahead.
Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org