edinburgh To Abington

Source South West

Route length: 55 miles

A church or sacred site

Destination hub

High Kirk of St Giles

High Kirk of St Giles, the burgh church of Edinburgh, founded in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, its scale reflecting the prosperity of the burgh at that time. In the 17th century Charles I made it a cathedral, but since 1690 it has reverted to serving as a parish church (for a time it was divided to serve several congregations). The body of the church was refaced in the 1830s. In 1909-11 a new chapel for the Knights of the Thistle was added at the south-east corner of the church, to designs by Sir Robert Lorimer.


This site is featured in Scotland’s Churches Trust guide book Edinburgh & Midlothian, reference number 1.

You can see more details on the SCT website.

Durisdeer Parish Church

Glencaple Parish Church, Abington

The former Scottish Episcopal Church, Lamington

Lamington Parish Church

Symington Parish Church

Coulter Parish Church

The former Moat Park Church, Biggar

St Mary’s Parish Church, Biggar

Walston Parish Church

Black Mount Parish Church, Dolphinton

St Mungo’s Scottish Episcopal Church, West Linton

St Andrew’s Parish Church, West Linton

Carlops Parish Church

Penicuik North Parish Church

Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, Penicuik

St James the Less Scottish Episcopal Church, Penicuik

Penicuik South Parish Church

St Mungo’s Parish Church, Penicuik

Rosslyn Chapel (Scottish Episcopal), Roslin

Liberton Parish Church

By Road

Leave Edinburgh on the A701. In Bilston turn left on to the B7006 to arrive at Rosslyn chapel. After your visit to the chapel, leave Roslin on the B7003 to rejoin the A701 (turning left). Continue to Penicuik, and St Mungo's church.

Leave Penicuik, still on the A701. At Leadburn you will turn right off the main road in order to continue on the A701. In Romannobridge bear left onto the B7059. Continue to the junction with the A72 and turn left.

Turn right at the junction with the B712 to follow the Tweed through Stobo. Continue on the B712 through Drumelzier until turning right on the A701 to reach Broughton. In Broughton, immediately after turning left on to the B7016, you will find a lane on your right leading to St Llollan's church. Continue on the B7016 to Biggar and here turn left on to the A702 to reach Abington.

By Cycle

From Edinburgh follow quieter roads and paths as outlined on the map to reach Rosslyn chapel. From the chapel drop down into Roslin Glen to follow the Penicuik-Dalkeith cycleway in to Penicuik.

After visiting St Mungos church, leave Penicuik on the A701 until bearing right towards West Linton. In West Linton turn left on the B7059, and then right on to the minor road past Bogs Bank. Bear left to go towards Romannobridge. Turn left on the A701, and right onto the B7059 in Romannobridge. Follow the Lyne Water. Turn left on the A72, and after 3.3 miles right on the B712. Follow the Tweed through Stobo. Just before the road takes a left turn to cross the Tweed, going towards Dawyck Botanic Garden, turn on to the minor road on the right. This road takes you to Broughton. Cross the main road to go onto the B7016, and immediately right again for St Llollan's church.

Now retrace your steps to the main A 701, turning right when you reach it. As soon as you are across the Biggar Water turn right on to a minor road, and follow round the North side of the Hartree Hills to reach Biggar.

From Biggar take the minor road to Wolfclyde, there joining the A72 for a mile before branching off through Symington. Turn left when you reach the A73, and follow this until it reaches the A702 which takes you into Abington.

Now retrace your steps to the main A 701, turning right when you reach it. As soon as you are across the Biggar Water turn right on to a minor road, and follow round the North side of the Hartree Hills to reach Biggar.

From Biggar take the minor road to Wolfclyde, there joining the A72 for a mile before branching off through Symington. Turn left when you reach the A73, and follow this until it reaches the A702 which takes you into Abington.

By Foot

When at Rosslyn chapel, leave time for a walk in Roslin Glen.

A further option is to cross the river and follow the walking/cycle path all the way to Penicuik.

At Drumelzier, there is a footpath beside the Drumelzier burn, where Merlin is reputed to have met his triple death.

By Public Transport

There are bus services to Roslin, Penicuik, Rommano Bridge, Broughton, Biggar and Abington.

There are railway stations in Edinburgh. The nearest stations to Abington are Carstairs and Lockerbie.

Public transport information can be found on the Traveline website.

Travelling south from Edinburgh you enter the borderlands of British Celtic Christianity, which gave birth to Ninian. Influenced by Rome and the eastern Mediterranean Church, missionary Saints such as Ninian, Kentigern or Mungo, and later Cuthbert, bridged cultures to root the new faith in traditional soil.

A first diversion takes you to Rosslyn Chapel where European Christianity meets Celtic traditions in a cornucupia of sacred legend, inspired ny medcieval tradition not Dan Brown’s entertaining The Da Vinci Code. In Penicuik the ancient church dedication is to St Mungo or Kentigern, while its site by the Esk, is a clue to the origin of the Town’s name- ‘Hill of the Cuckoos’. Continuing south you enter the Lyne and then the Tweed valley, where at Stobo Kirk with its ancient chapel you touch the same world of early faith. Here also the legends of Arthur took root and further up the valley at Drumelzier, Merlin was reputedly baptised by Mungo, before undergoing a threefold mystical death experience. A stone and ‘burial’ mound mark the traditional sites by the river.

Turning back out of the Tweed valley you come to Broughton with its ancient church of St Llolan on the hillside at the northern end of the village, before crossing to Biggar and then south by Lamington into the Clyde Valley. Here you intersect again with St Mungo’s missionary way, and its pilgrim station by the Clyde at the ruined chapel of St Constantine, a British Celtic King to whom the great monastery at Govan was dedicated. A later King Constantine was slain by the Vikings at Fife Ness, adding to the holiness of his name and lineage.

Following the rivers
Traversing the valleys
Walking ancient paths,
Kentigern our guide,
Ninian our destination,
Glimmer of hidden light
On sacred ground.
May peace be in our steps
Meditation in our rest
As all creation
Breathes the mystery.

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