The St Magnus Way is a 58-mile pilgrimage route through Mainland Orkney, inspired by the life and death of Magnus, Orkney’s patron saint.

It incorporates rough coastal walking, inland track and road walking, hill climbing and even a short forest walk. The St Magnus Way consists of six main sections each offering a very different landscape and reflective space.

By enabling our app to access your location, pilgrims can explore resources relevant to the particular Waypoint. Together the blend of real-world exploration and multimedia resources allows people the opportunity to discover more about Orkney and themselves as they walk.

  • Starting on Egilsay, the pilgrimage begins with a journey to the site of Magnus's martyrdom around the year 1117, where a round church was built in his name a generation later. The ferry returns you to Tingwall, from where you can either walk or drive to Gurness, the starting point for the mainland pilgrimage.
  • The next section from Gurness 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 we head up over Lyradale to Orphir, reflecting on Haakon’s penitent pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Round Kirk he built on return.
  • Our final section journeys around Scapa Flow to Kirkwall, and the Cathedral that bears his name.

The ferry returns you to Tingwall, from where you can either walk or drive to Gurness, the starting point for the mainland pilgrimage.

This project is being part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014 – 2020 Programme