An interesting campaign has been launched by Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perth and Kinross. In a feature in yesterday’s Sunday Times she reveals a plan to establish a Pilgrim Way from Iona to St Andrew’s across 200 miles of some of the most beautiful countryside in Scotland. Along the way walkers would retrace some of the steps that St Columba‘s 6th-century monks trod as they fanned out from Iona Abbey taking the Christian message to the people of Scotland.

The plan is to link many of the small villages, settlements and ancient churches of Argyll, Stirlingshire, Perthshire and Fife. Not only would it be a stunning walk for its scenery but it would be a fascinating trail back into the country’s early Celtic history. The thought of a long-distance trail that takes in islands, ferry journeys and quaint little villages really excites me.

The idea is not just to celebrate our countryside and heritage but to act as an economic stimulus for many of the small communities that would be on the route. I know from living in a village that lies on the West Highland Way what a lifeline walkers and tourists are for local businesses and people. The Sunday Times article emphasises the cross-denominational support the plan has already received but it will also need support from the walking community as well. A Facebook group, Campaign for Pilgrim Way (Scotland), has already been set up where you can register your support.

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