Whithorn to Isle of Whithorn

Walk 13 : Whithorn to Isle of Whithorn 8 miles

A new section of route is due to be opened leading off road from Whithorn, near the Priory, to Rispain Camp, once believed – because of its spectacular deep defensive ditches – to be a Roman Camp, but now known to be a settlement of Iron Age roundhouses. You can see a full scale Iron Age roundhouse on the Whithorn Trust site. Once it is opened to the public, the path will cross to a shelter belt heading for Claymoddie, from where there is access to a cliff-edge walk, with views of Luce Bay, the Scar Rocks and Isle of Man, with the Rhins peninsula to the west and Kirkcudbright and, on occasion, Cumbria to the east. Thousands of pilgrims since the 8th Century have made the descent to St Ninian’s Cave, leaving pecked crosses in the rocks; today’s pilgrims do the same, leaving driftwood crosses and etched marks on pebbles. The path ascends at the south end of the beach and onto the cliff edge all the way to the Isle of Whithorn. You cross the ditches of several Iron Age promontory forts, through a carvan park at Burrow Head, once a military base in World War II and a location for the Wicker Man film, winding round to Isle of Whithorn, with its 14th Century reception chapel for pilgrims.

This is a cliff edge walk, at times on rough ground without fencing; in high winds, it is not advised. The destination at the Isle of Whithorn has both a pub and a tearoom, with buses back to Whithorn and beyond.

Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org