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This page: updated 15th July 2022

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Walking in Wigtown
Dumfries and Galloway

The Wigtown Martyrs Walk

Distance: 6.4km (4 miles)

Typical duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Starting point: Wigtown town centre

OS grid reference: NX432553

Walk overview

The Wigtown Martyrs WalkA gentle slope out of Wigtown, Scotland's "book town" with views of the estuary of the river Bladnoch and the nature reserve of Wigtown Bay.

Of special interest

The Martyr's Stakes where two Covenanters - Margaret Lachlane, aged 63, and Margaret Wilson, in her 20s - were tied to stakes in Wigtown's mudflats, and allowed to drown as the tide came in.

This occurred during the "killing years" of 1680-5 as battle raged between the "Covenanters" who believed that no one but God and Christ could be at the head of their religion, and the supporters of James II who wanted to see the Roman Catholic church restored.

Look out for

Salmon in the river Bladnoch and ospreys.

Also enjoy

The many bookshops and cafes in the centre of town and, on the A714, the Bladnoch distillery - Scotland's southernmost producer of whisky.

How to get here

Wigtown is past Dumfries on the A75, then south on the A714.

Wigtown Town CentreThe walk in detail

  1. Start on North Main Street and walk towards the Victorian town hall.
  2. Keep walking towards the church, but before you reach it, turn left into Church Lane.
  3. This road becomes a hedged track with views of Wigtown Bay and the hills beyond.
  4. At the top of the track, turn right following the sign "Wigtown via A714".
  5. Follow this tree-lined track to join the main A714. Turn right then right again down a road signposted "Moss of Cree".
  6. Follow this road then turn right again at the T-junction, which will bring you to the sign for the "Martyrs' Stake". Turn into a small parking area then walk along the old railway track to arrive at information boards and the duckboard walk to the Martyrs' Stake (worth heading down and back to look at the stake).
  7. Continue along the railway track to reach the embankment curving out across the bay and walk along the grassy embankment top, with the saltmarshes on either side. The embankment curves to the right towards the Bladnoch estuary and Wigtown's old harbour (now a car park).
  8. Walk into the lane leading back into Wigtown.