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The Machars Peninsula - St Ninian's Cave

Dumfries and Galloway Walk

County/Area - Dumfries and Galloway

Author - Eric Lucas

Length - 2.0 miles / 3.3 km    Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres

Time - 1 hours 10 minutes    Grade - easy

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Machars Peninsula - St Ninian's Cave
Click image to see photo description.

This short walk takes you down to the shore on the Machars Peninsula to explore a cave that has significant religious and historic connections for Scotland. The going is easy and you should encounter no problems with navigation. To reach the start take the A747 from Port William east towards Isle of Whithorn. Go straight on at Glasserton War Memorial (grid ref. NX424383) and continue until you come to a single track road on the right (grid ref. NX439381). Follow this road to a Car Park on your left (honesty box) at grid ref. NX431366.

After parking walk left along a footpath signed to St Ninian's Cave. Follow this path through Physgill Glen to the shore. Here you turn right to the Cave. After viewing the Cave you then re-trace your steps back to the car park. The walk offers good views of Isle of Man and, on a clear day, the Lake District Fells. You may well see grey seals just offshore. The cave is said to have been used for prayer and meditation by St Ninian who first brought Christianity to Scotland founding the first monastery at Whithorn around AD500. Today there is an annual pilgrimage to the Cave and it is visited by many people because of its significance to Christianity. Call in at the Visitor Centre in Whithorn on your way back and view the excellent audio visual presentation on the history of Whithorn and its connection with St Ninian whilst enjoying some refreshment.

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