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Iona Abbey

Faith journeys in Scotland

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postedJanuary 6, 2020

In addition to historical sites such as the famous Edinburgh Castle, natural beauty, and some of the finest museums in the world, Scotland offers memorable faith-related tours and pilgrimages that highlight the Christian history of the country. 

Fife Pilgrim Way

This route follows an ancient trail leading to St. Andrews, an important pilgrimage destination in medieval Europe for 400 years. People of all social statuses participated in the journey to be near the bones of St. Andrew, one of Jesus’ disciplines.

The route starts in the village of Culross in Fife and covers 102 kilometers (64 miles) before ending in St. Andrews. Along the way, travelers enjoy natural beauty as well as medieval landmarks and historical villages. This tour uses Fife’s existing network of paths and tracks to offer varied opportunities for long distance, multiday hikes or shorter walks and circular routes.


The island of Iona, known as the cradle of Christianity in Scotland, has held special significance for Christians for many centuries. St. Columba, credited with bringing Christianity to Scotland, arrived on the island in 563 A.D. to share the news of the gospel.

Religious buildings of significance include Iona Abbey, built in 563 and still offering daily services; the 12th-century St. Oran’s Chapel; and Reilig Odhram, a graveyard housing the burial sites of 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth. Visitors arrive in Iona via ferry, but once on the island, walking is the best option since vehicle use is restricted.

Borders Abbeys Way

This scenic 105-kilometer (65-mile) circular route takes walkers to Kelso, Jedburgh, Melrose, and Dryburgh abbeys. Borders Abbeys Way is divided into five equidistant sections, so visitors can select one or more specific sections to walk, or they can choose to follow the entire route, section by section.

For more information about these faith-related tours, email Nicole Graham of VisitScotland or go to

Top photo: Iona Abbey
Photo by cc Flickr/Roy Lathwell:


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