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Cross above stylised MSt Magnus Way

Orkney Islands

90 km / 56 miles
The St Magnus Way is a long distance pilgrimage route through Mainland Orkney, following the story of St Magnus, Orkney's patron saint, and giving time and space for reflection on the journey.

It incorporates rough coastal walking, inland track and road walking, hill climbing and even a short forest walk. St Magnus Way is in five main sections each offering a very different landscape and reflective space. It can be walked in four good days, five gentler days or three intensive days but the promoters encourage walking the route in shorter three to four mile sections over a longer time period.

The first section from Evie to Birsay follows the route of Magnus' body when his mother pleaded for it to be returned from Egilsay for a Christian burial in Birsay. Around twenty years later his bones were taken to Kirkwall. The second section follows this route from Birsay, through Dounby to Finstown. From there he was likely taken by sea to Kirkwall, so the route heads up over Lyradale to Orphir, reflecting on Haakon's penitent pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Round Kirk he built on return. The final section journeys around Scapa Flow to Kirkwall, and the Cathedral that bears his name.

Pilgrims are encouraged to start their journey on Egilsay, the site of Magnus' martyrdom, around the year 1117. The ferry returns you to Tingwall, from where you can either walk or drive to Gurness, the starting point for the mainland pilgrimage.

Information including route maps, walk descriptions and gpx files are free online on the links below. By using bluetooth beacons on the route, pilgrims can access resources relevant to the point in the route and their own interests, without needing a mobile signal. If you plan on walking the route, downloading the companion smartphone app St Magnus Way is suggested.

The St Magnus Way is a project of Orkney Pilgrimage, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.


Waymark: Cross above stylised M
Path Type: Other Paths
Waymark: Cross above stylised M
Attributes: Other Paths
Start: HY380267 - Point of Hellia, Orkney Islands View on StreetMap
Finish: HY449109 - Kirkwall, Orkney Islands View on StreetMap
Web Sites: St Magnus Way

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook St Magnus Way  (Rucksack Readers  - 2023 )
External download Route Map St Magnus Way  (St Magnus Way ) Download


You can use the interactive controls to zoom in and out and to move around the map, or click on a path or a marker for more info.(interactive map help)

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Hostel Accommodation

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 6, 7
OS Landranger Active 6, 7
OS Explorer 461, 462, 463, 464
OS Explorer Active 461, 462, 463, 464

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
23 km
Hostel Accommodation
< 1 km
88 km
Hostel Accommodation
1 km
89 km


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Route Profile:

89.5 km (55.6 miles)
1,355 m (4,446 ft) ascent
164 m (538 ft)  maximum height

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