Group leader: Arthur Chapman

In Scotland we have been running Practical Pilgrim Days for the last few years and decided early in 2020 to set up a more formal group. We have been having monthly online meetings where we share reflections on past Camino, ideas for future Camino and plan events in Scotland (walks, Practical Pilgrim days etc.).

Due to the large geographical area covered by the Scottish Group we still meet from time to time online via Zoom and Scottish members will get an email a week or so before a meeting with details. We have been able to have a few walks over the past year or so including a weekend walking part of the Northern Pilgrims’ Way. We hope to plan other walks in the future. These give an opportunity for members (and others) to meet up and enjoy footsteps, fellowship and food together in the fresh Scottish air. Currently we have nearly a hundred members scattered throughout Scotland from Galloway to Ross-shire, the Western Isles to Berwick and many points in between! If you are interested in joining in, or have any suggestions about events or ideas for meeting up please get in touch. Similarly if you have completed your Camino (1st, 2nd or …) and would like to share your thoughts with others, or are planning a Camino, we would love to hear from you.

Email Arthur here

Recent updates / upcoming events:

June 2023

The Northern Pilgrims' Way (Scotland)

On Saturday, 22 April ten members of the Scottish group of the Confraternity of St James, Philip Ward, a Trustee of the Tain and District Museum, Father Derick McCulloch and his dog set of in mixed weather but good spirits on the first leg of the Northern Pilgrims’ Way from Tain to Kirkwall. We had been entertained the previous afternoon by a guided tour of St Duthac’s Collegiate church and Tain Museum which has a fine collection of beautiful silver objects made in Tain and a copy of the original Papal Bull of 1492 confirming the collegiate status of the church. Between 1491 and 1513 King James IV made at least eighteen pilgrimages to Tain and remnants of those visits stay in the street and place names, for example Kings Causeway. The walk ended at Dornoch where we visited the Cathedral, originally a Roman Catholic place of worship, with many original gargoyles and three of its fine windows commemorating Andrew Carnegie who was born in Dunfermline and spent many summers at Skibo Castle.

On Sunday 23rd April, the group starting from Dornoch, took a detour from the John O’Groats Trail Northern Pilgrims’ Way to walk the old route to Embo through beech woods, passing the Earl’s Cross, a large boundary stone (which we missed!) which features the shields of the Earl of Sutherland and the Bishop of Caithness who controlled the lands to the north and south respectively. Also on the route we passed a stone that marks the resting place of a man who was brought to Dornoch for burial at a time when plague was sweeping the nation. His body was refused entry and he was buried on this spot. We then joined the official route on the old railway line to Golspie. The weather was fine rain and visibility was not good but skirting Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve gave us sightings of seals and sea birds. We ended our walk at The Mound, on the A9, some 4 miles shy of the official route to Golspie and repaired to Dornoch and Coco Mountain for wonderful hot chocolate.

Marilyn Gardner

Addendum - just to add my thanks to Marilyn for arranging this walk and the accommodation for some of us. It was a great weekend which Judy and I really enjoyed, despite Judy's groin strain! If anyone in Scotland has any other ideas for walks please get in touch. We hope to do more walks and other events in the future and where possible in conjunction with the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum.

Arthur Chapman