St Ninian's Cave is situated in Galloway southwest
Scotland, 31 miles southeast of Stranraer, 67 miles
southwest of Dumfries, 2 and a half miles
southwest of the village of Whithorn. The postcode map link is
for the car park at Kidsdale Farm.
Map / DG8 8JU .
Area Click On Map . 52 Large Images .
This is one of the top attractions on the Whithorn
peninsular (the Machars). The drive around the
peninsular is about 45 miles, a full day when
visiting all the attractions.
The image top is of the Car Park for the walk to
St Ninian's Cave. The cave is around 1 mile from
here, down a well marked woodland path to the
The path leads to Port Castle Bay, with the beach
being deep shingle, not the easiest of walking.
Half way along the beach are some rocks, normally
with stones stacked on top of them.
St Ninian's Cave is at the far end of the beach.
You will notice many pieces of wood tied together to
form crosses, and stones with messages inscribed on
them, indicating there must be large numbers of
The cave does not go far into the rocks. There is
an information board in the cave giving information
on its use and the ancient carved stones found in the
The information board reads:
St Ninian is the first Christian missionary to
Scotland whose name is Known. He built a church at
Whithorn, was bishop there, and died in 431.
Reputedly used as a place for personal prayer by
Ninian, this cave has attracted pilgrims for
centuries. Many came here to give thanks for a safe
journey, usually by sea, before visiting St Ninian's
shrine at Whithorn. You can still see the crosses
they carved in the rock.
1880s - excavations of the cave revealed eleven
carved stones, as seen in the image right.
It is thought the cave once had a wall across the
front, and had been hidden from view for some time
due to rock falls.
These stones can now be viewed in the Whithorn
Priory visitor centre.
The view from the cave shows Burrowhead in the
distance, with a path leading south over the head to
Burrowhead Holiday Village, and the Isle of Whithorn
It is about a 2 mile walk along the cliff tops to
Village. Walk Information.