Landmark moment for Fife Pilgrim Way

27 June 2023
Left to right: Rev Marion Paton (Holy Trinity Church), Rev Prof Ian Bradley, Nick Cooke (Secretary, Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum), Jeremy Harris (Fife Coast and Countryside Trust CEO) and Douglas Spiers (Fife Council archaeologist)
An important milestone has been reached on the Fife Pilgrim Way with the dedication of its final gateway panel at the ultimate pilgrim destination of St Andrews.

Since opening in 2019, the 64-mile route has become popular with walkers wanting to enjoy scenery and historic sites, as well as with modern-day pilgrims following in the footsteps of their medieval forebears. Starting in Culross or North Queensferry, the fully waymarked route winds from the coast, through the heart of Fife to finish in St Andrews.

Now, the final gateway panel has been unveiled and dedicated in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church. It shows the Fife Pilgrim Way map with illustrations depicting the life of medieval pilgrims and the places they travelled through on the road to St Andrews. 

The map depicts medieval pilgrims and the routes they took

Holy Trinity Church, the ancient town kirk of St Andrews which has stood on its central site in South Street for over 600 years, has been welcoming pilgrims for many centuries and is now poised to welcome the many pilgrims who are journeying along the Fife Pilgrim Way.Jeremy Harris FCCT’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) says: “Finding such an auspicious location for the final trailhead panel on the Fife Pilgrim Way is a fantastic finale to the establishment of this important route.”

A pilgrim's final destination

Revd Professor Ian Bradley, author of The Fife Pilgrim Way: In the Footsteps of Monks, Miners and Martyrs, says: “This is the final gateway panel on the Fife Pilgrim Way in two senses – the one closest to the pilgrim way’s final destination at St Andrews Cathedral and also the last to be put in position, four years after the Fife Pilgrim Way was officially launched.

“It has taken a considerable time to find a suitable place for this interpretation panel marking the end of the pilgrim way but there could hardly be a more appropriate one than in the garden of Holy Trinity Church, where it is clearly visible to all pilgrims coming along the final stretch of the route on South Street, St Andrews.

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“I am delighted to be involved with the dedication of this gateway panel which has already attracted much interest among visitors and townsfolk. I hope it will inspire more people to become pilgrims.”

Graham Wynd, of Holy Trinity Church, comments: “We are especially glad to have been chosen as the site of the final Fife Pilgrim Way gateway panel. We are sure that this distinctive sign in such a prominent position will draw many more visitors into our building, whether they are starting or finishing their walk on the Fife Pilgrim Way or are simply passers-by. We look forward to welcoming them all. 

“The installation of the gateway panel fits well with our plans to create a small chapel within the church as a quiet area, designed to cater for the needs of pilgrims and others. It will be some years before we have a permanent structure in place, but, in the meantime, we have established a temporary area in the church for just this purpose.”

Fife Coast and Countryside Trust manages and maintains the Fife Pilgrim Way. It was developed in partnership with many organisations including Fife Council, Fife Tourism Partnership, community groups, local communities and volunteers. Funding came from several sources including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Fife Council and LEADER.

Explore the Fife Pilgrim Way

For route information, history, maps and books visit the website.