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 three key historical sites of Magnus's martyrdom around the year 1117, St Magnus round towered church , the St Magnus memorial and the beach . 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 traditional route Magnus’ body was carried when his mother was granted his Christian burial in Birsay.
  • Around twenty years later his shrine was taken to Kirkwall. The second and third sections follow this route from Birsay, to Dounby and from Dounby to Finstown.
  • From there we deviate from the shrine path which continued along the hill ridge to Kirkwall, and instead head up over Lyradale to Orphir, reflecting on Hakon’s penitent pilgrimage to Jerusalem and allowing the opportunity to visit the Round Kirk he may have built on his return.
  • Our final section journeys around Scapa Flow to Kirkwall, and the Cathedral that bears his name.

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