Crossraguel To Glenluce By Stranraer And The Mull Of Galloway
ROUTE LENGTH: 106 MILES
Continuing on the A77, you meet the coast again at Turnberry. Continue on the A77 to Stranraer. Take the A718 to Kirkcolm and the Kilmorie cross.
Now take the B738 until turning left on the A77. Turn right on the B7042 for Sandhead.
A mile south of Sandhead turn right for Kirkmadrine church. After leaving the church, continue in the same south westerly direction and turn left for Ardwell. Turn right on the A716, and right again on the B7041 for the remains of Kirkmaiden church. Once there, why not continue to the tip of the Mull before returning by way of Drummore to Ardwell and Sandhead, and then branch right on the B7084 and right on the A75.
Turn left for Glenluce and follow signs for 2 miles to Glenluce Abbey.
Rejoin NCN 7 until, 1.5 miles after passing Craigenrae outdoor centre, turning right. This track brings you to the A714. Turn right and follow to Barrhill, passing the Martyrs’ Tomb. Turn left to go past Barrhill station, and follow the road to New Luce. Turn right at the pub, cross the A75 at Castle Kennedy to enter Stranraer on a quieter road.
There are long stretches without sources of sustenance, so carry something with you.
From Stranraer take the A718 to Kirkcolm and the Kilmorie Cross. Weave your way across to Portpatrick, on the West coast, then take the minor road through Cairngarroch and before reaching Clachanmore turn left to visit Kirkmadrine church. Now carry on down the Mull to the remains of Kirkmaiden church. You are now only 2 miles short of the tip of the Mull.
Return through Drummore on the A716. North of Sandhead bear right on the B7084. This leads you to the busy A75 which you will have to go eastwards on for half a mile before turning left to Glenluce Abbey.
Rejoin the Ayrshire Coastal Path at Turnberry. The path continues for another 28 miles. Rather than walk from Crossraguel Abbey back to Maybole, you could walk on to Kirkoswald to catch a bus to Turnberry. The Ayrshire Coastal Path links at Glenapp with the Loch Ryan Coastal Path to go all the way to Stranraer.
Alternatively, from Ballantrae follow the old road to Stranraer.
The Southern Upland Way passes to the south of Stranraer, finishing at Portpatrick.
By Public Transport
There are railway stations at Maybole, Girvan, Barrhill and Stranraer.
The coast road is served by a bus which carries on from Stranraer to Portpatrick.
From Stranraer bus routes cover Kirkcolm, Ervie, Galdenoch, Leswalt and villages down to Drummore.
A bus goes from Stranraer to Glenluce abbey by way of Castle Kennedy and New Luce. Alternately change at Glenluce, and then return to Glenluce.
To check times go to Traveline Scotland and click on Plan your Journey on left side of page.
When checking train times only you can use Scotrail
As the crow flies the direct way to Whithorn is from Girvan by Glentrool Forest to Newton Stewart, a wild and secluded route to this day. But there is more evidence of pilgrims keeping by the coast to experience the churches and the hospitable inns by the sea.
Stranraer is not only a departure point for Ireland but gateway to the Rhinns of Galloway. This peninsula has its own fragile aura, bathed in eastern light and replete with early Christian sites, carved stones and sanctuaries. A circuit, taking in the Mull, has the feel of an island, ringed by more than thirty churches and ancient chapels, many of them barely visible. St Medana or Triduana is supposed to have fled here from Ireland to escape a suitor. When he pursued his quarry to the Rhinns, she offered him her own much admired eyes on a skewer. She is also remembered at Restalrig in Edinburgh with a notable healing well for eye diseases, and at Westray in Okney, suggesting an even remoter refuge.
In addition to the Whithorn influence, the Rhinns are close to Ireland and a natural stopping place on the western seaways between Wales, the Isle of Man, Ireland and the Hebrides. Among many evocative sites are the carved stones at Kirkmadrine, the medieval Church of Kirkmaiden with the nearby cave and chapel of St Medana, Chapel Patrick at Portpatrick, St Mary’s at Kilmorie and St Columba’s Chapel at Kirkcolm. In addition to the present day churches, Soulseat Abbey on the neck of the peninsular is a reminder of the remarkable religious heritage of this small yet special area.
East of the Rhinns is Glenluce Abbey which is the gathering point for the approach to Whithorn. Walkers can still arrive here from the standing stones at Laggangairn with their pilgrim crosses, and the nearby chapel and Wells of the Rees at Kilgallioch. On gentler contours continue into the Machars by Chapel Finian (an arrival point for seaborne pilgrims) to Whithorn.
St Mary, St Patrick
St Bride, St Medan
St Cuthbert, St Donnan,
St Finian, St Columba,
St Catherine, St Ninian
St Molaise, St John,
Go with you.
As a trusted partner of the National Churches Trust, we have access to a number of additional grants for projects as part of the Partnership Grants Programme. The Programme has provided over £1 million in grant funding towards repairs at churches and chapels over the last five years, and can now support some installation of facilities. Applications should be made directly to us following our usual application procedure.
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