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Steering Group formed to promote Three Saints Way


As part of the Scottish Government's Third National Planning Framework (NPF3), due to be finalised in June, certain developments will be designated as “national developments”. One of these is a National Walking & Cycling Network, and Scottish National Heritage has been invited to identify routes that could form part of such a network.  SNH put forward an Iona-St Andrews walking route, the Pilgrim Way, as a long-term national development.

To feed into that process and ensure that Strathearn does not miss out on the potential economic benefits of a national long-distance walking route through the area, a provisional steering group has been established to work toward the creation of a standalone walking route from Killin to St Andrews through Strathearn, which could form part of the Pilgrim Way. 


This route has been named the “Three Saints Way", highlighting the region’s connections with St. Fillan, St. Kessog and St. Serf.

The group, which has already begun meeting, is convened by the local Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South & Kinross-shire, Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, who said:

"The establishment of a long-distance walking route across the country from Iona to St Andrews, linking important events and figures in Scotland's national and ecclesiastical history, is an ambitious project and it is one in which we in Strathearn really want to play a positive part.

"Crieff is already a magnet destination for walkers with events like the Drovers’ Tryst Walking Festival.  We have a lot to offer as a part of this important development."

Andrew Donaldson, co-owner of Comrie Croft, added:

"We have set up this steering group and we are asking for interested individuals and groups from Killin to St Andrews to be in touch to join with us.

"There is absolutely no doubt that being part of a route like this would bring tangible business benefits to those of us in the tourism sector and would be an added attraction for those visitors who already come back year after year.

 "There are already a good range of facilities for walkers in place along the proposed route and I know that this is a plan that many people involved in the great many tourism businesses between Killin and St Andrews will be keen to get behind."

Geoff Hardman-Carter, of the St Fillans Paths Group, continued

"The Glen Tarken path is now walkable and we are all looking forward to Friday’s official opening of the bridge over the Glentarken Burn which was the major obstacle on the route. 

“The bridge spans 100 feet with a 130 feet drop to the burn below and  was pushed out on rollers over the gorge.

“The St Fillans Paths Group - with support from Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park - already have another project under way which, if funding is approved, should be ready within 2 years."

Nick Cooke, Secretary of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum, said:

“Walking is a great way to enjoy our magnificent scenic heritage, and off-road pilgrimage travel to places of historic religious importance is a rapidly growing part of Scotland's faith tourism sector.  The ‘Three Saints Way’ through Strathearn and on to St Andrew's will be a key section of the fantastic coast-to-coast route that is being planned across the heart of Scotland."


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Saint Kessog was an Irish missionary of the mid-sixth century active in the Lennox area and southern Perthshire and was Scotland's patron saint before Saint Andrew. The medieval parish churches of Auchterarder and Comrie were dedicated to Kessog, and may have been founded by him or one of his followers.

Saint Fillan, who, of course, gave his name to the village at the east end of Loch Earn as well as a host of other local geographical features and churches, was credited with powers such as the healing of the sick and also possessed a luminous glow from his left arm which he used to study and write in the dark.  As late as the 19th century, people were being dunked in St. Fillan's Pool, in the hope that they may be cured.

St Serf served as Pope for seven years but vacated the Holy See, after which he travelled to Scotland where he founded St Serf’s Inch Priory on an island in Loch Leven.  Legend has it that he slew a dragon in Dunning with his pastoral staff and it was in his monk’s cell in Dunning that he died, his body then being taken to Culross in Fife for burial.

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Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design