Isle of Whithorn is situated in
Galloway southwest Scotland, 33 miles
southeast of Stranraer, 68 miles
southwest of Dumfries, 4 south of
Isle of Whithorn attracts visitors on
the St Ninian trail to St Ninian's Chapel
and the Witness Cairn, also the inn
/diner overlooking the harbour. Top
attractions close by are St
Ninian's Cave and Whithorn Priory.
See also a large Click On Map for the
area Top Attractions.
The image top is looking over the port
village of Isle of Whithorn. This is now not
and island, as development of the harbour in
1790 led to the building of a causeway.
Houses have since been built on the
causeway, leaving no indication there was once
The Steam Packet Inn looks
over the harbour, a popular spot for drinks and
The image third top is of the kids play area
on what used to be the island, with the Light
Tower in the distance.
The image fourth top is of St Ninian's
Chapel looking east to Cairnhead, a very
popular walk along the cliff tops.
The sign at the St Ninian's Chapel
This chapel was probably built about 1300 and
replaced an earlier, narrower one on this site.
It stands within a perimeter wall, as did so
many early Christian churches. The wall
probably enclosed a house for a priest as well
as a burial ground.
The chapel was probably provided for the
community at the port of Whithorn and for
pilgrims traveling to the shrine of St Ninian.
The pilgrims landed at the safe harbour below
here and walked the few miles to Whithorn
inland, stopping first to give thanks for their
The Witness Cairn is situated close the
chapel. It was placed here in 1997 so visitors
can add their own stones around the cairn,
normally with their names inscribed or painted
on, to show they have visited the site.
Some stones contain the names of loved ones
that have passed away.
The Isle of Whithorn Light Tower is situated
at the furthest south point in this area.
Burrowhead 2 miles west is slightly further
south, but this area feels like it is the end
of this peninsular, known as the Whithorn
Peninsular, or the Machars.
The tower has provided ship navigation for
hundreds of years. There seems to be no record
of when it was constructed.
Harvester Memorial is situated next to the
tower. This was a scallop dredger from
Kirkcudbright that sank off the coast of the
Isle of Man during a storm 11th January 2000,
with the loss of all seven crew. The memorial
was placed here in 2004, with views out to
where the ship sank.
There is a rock outcrop in front of the
tower, with a route out to the end, although
there is a fair bit of rock climbing and
navigation to be done to get right out, end of
Looking west from the rocks you see
Burrowhead, then the Mull of Galloway on the
next peninsular with a large lighthouse,
furthest south point in Scotland.
It takes a full day to go round the
attractions on this peninsular, and a full day
to go round the Mull of Galloway
Burrowhead Holiday Village is
situated about 2 miles west of Isle of
Whithorn. This is a large park on the most
southern point on this peninsular. The park
caters for tents, motorhomes, lodges and
There is a Popular Walk
from Burrowhead to St Ninian's
Cave 3 miles north along the top of
Burrowhead is where the final scene of
The Wicker Man
horror film with Britt Eckland, Christopher
Lee, and Edward Woodward was shot.
The large Wicker Man was set on fire here
with Sergeant Howie inside.