• Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

Windfall guide reveals Northern Pilgrims’ Way trail starting at Tain in Easter Ross

ByKeith M. Jones

Nov 18, 2021

WITH funding from the Whirlwind Achlachan Community Fund (WACF), a guide has been designed and printed that will not only guide people on their journey on the Northern Pilgrims Way, but also provide a modest income for the group that supports it.

The Caithness Book Club applied to the Whirlwind Achlachan Wind Farm Community Fund in December 2020 and received £ 680 to produce a guide of almost 30 pages.

The guide details the historic pilgrimage route between the shrines of St Duthac in Tain and St Magnus in Kirkwall, noting many interesting places such as historic churches, heritage centers, brochs, distilleries and the like along the route.

Map of the guide book.

This group has now designed six Saints Trails that connect various sites in Caithness associated with the early Saints known as the Northern Saints Trail. This project gained momentum and a separate group was formed called the Northern Saints Trail SCIO. The Northern Saints Trail is considered the preservation of an important historical record of the men and women who brought Christianity to the Northern Highlands.

The Northern Saints Path information board was recently unveiled in Wick.  Image: DGS
The Northern Saints Path information board was recently unveiled in Wick. Image: DGS

Jane Coll, President of the Book Club, said: “Everyone who has seen our guide has praised its appearance, detailed maps and clear instructions.

“One of the most important sites on the route is St Magnus Chapel, Spittal, Caithness, which is also part of the North Caithness Local Saints Trails, which we have designed to connect the 32 sites associated with the early Saints Celtic of Caithness. It is hoped that pilgrims will spend time in Caithness to explore this history. The guide is now on sale direct and on our website www.northernpilgrimsway.co.uk

St Magnus Hospital in Spittal from an 1815 drawing by George Henry Hutton.  Photo: National Library of Scotland
St Magnus Hospital in Spittal from an 1815 drawing by George Henry Hutton. Photo: National Library of Scotland

Tain launch for Northern Pilgrims Way

Thomas Chappell, a representative of Whirlwind Renewables, said: “Whirlwind is proud to support this excellent project which we hope will encourage and allow more people to explore Caithness and the north of Scotland and its amazing landscapes. .

WACF is open for applications from community groups, with the next deadline being December 15th. Anyone interested in joining the Achlachan Community Fund panel can contact us at any time. Foundation Scotland administers a number of community benefit funds in Caithness for seven wind farms, including RWE Bad á Cheò, RWE Bilbster, RWE Camster, Greencoat Stroupster, Gresham House Wathegar 1 and 2 and Whirlwind Achlachan.

The Northern Saints Trail information board was recently unveiled in Wick.  Image: DGS
The Northern Saints Path information board was recently unveiled in Wick. Image: DGS

You can find more information on how to apply to one of these Funds on the Scotland Foundation website. There are also current opportunities to join decision making panels. Anyone interested should contact Eilidh Coll on 07801 530 218 or [email protected]

Tain launch for Northern Pilgrims’ Way

Following in the footsteps of royalty, Tain progresses along the way


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