glasgow To Kilwinning By Paisley

Source South West

Route length: 52 miles

A church or sacred site

Destination hub

The High Kirk of Glasgow (St Mungo’s Cathedral)

Glasgow was founded by St Ninian in the 5th century and visited by St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo) in the 6th century when a religious community was established, probably on this spot. St Mungo's tomb is in the crypt. Dedicated in 1136, the Cathedral Church of St Mungo is the largest and most complete of Scotland's medieval cathedrals still in use. Much of the fabric is 13th century and the grandeur has survived centuries of rebuilding and restoration.

This site is featured in Scotland’s Churches Trust guide book Glasgow & Clyde Valley, reference number 1.

You can see more details on the SCT website.

Kilwinning Abbey

Kilwinning Abbey Parish Church

Erskine Independent Evangelical Church, Kilwinning

St Winin’s Roman Catholic Church, Kilwinning

Mansefield Trinity Parish Church, Kilwinning

The High Parish Church, Stevenston

St John’s Roman Catholic Church, Stevenston

The former Ardrossan Parish Church, Saltcoats

St Mary, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, Saltcoats

New Trinity Parish Church, Saltcoats

St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Saltcoats

Barony Parish Church, Ardrossan

St Andrew’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Ardrossan

St Peter-in-Chains Roman Catholic Church, Ardrossan

Brodick Parish Church

The Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Cross, Brodick

Lamlash Parish Church

Whiting Bay Parish Church

The Scottish Episcopal Church of St Margaret of Scotland, Whiting Bay

Kilmory Parish Church

The Parish Church of St Molios, Shiskine

St Bride’s Parish Church, Lochranza

Corrie Parish Church

West Kilbride Parish Church

The former Overton Parish Church, West Kilbride

St Bride’s Roman Catholic Church, West Kilbride

Fairlie Parish Church

The Skelmorlie Aisle, Largs

St John’s Parish Church, Largs

The Clark Memorial Parish Church, Largs

St Columba’s Parish Church, Largs

St Columba’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Largs

The Roman Catholic Church of St Mary, Star of the Sea, Largs

The Scottish Episcopal Cathedral of the Isles, Millport

The former Cumbrae Parish Church, Millport

The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Millport

Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay Parish Church

By Road

From Glasgow Cathedral, continue south on the A8, following round to the west after crossing the river. Divert into Govan if you have not already visited Govan Old church. Otherwise stay on the A8. Join the M8 between junctions 26 and 27. At junction 27 go south on the A741 to Paisley and its abbey.

From Paisley take the A761, and then left on to the A737. Turn right on to the A760 to pass Lochwinnoch.
The A760 takes you to Largs from where you can get the ferry to Great Cumbrae.
Once on Cumbrae take a circular route round the island, stopping at the Cathedral of the Isles in Millport.
From Largs go down the coast on the A78, entering Ardrossan on the A738.
After taking the ferry to Arran, the road round Arran is 55 miles.
From Ardrossan continue on the B780 until rejoining the A738 to Kilwinning and its abbey.

By Cycle

Return to Kelvingrove. Follow the river down, leaving the park by wa of Kelvingrove st. You are heading for the SEC (Scottish Exhibition Centre). A foot/cycle bridge takes you over the A814 And then Bells bridge takes you over the Clyde. Once on to Bells Bridge you have joined NCN 7. Follow this all the way to Kilbirnie. Either continue on NCN 7 or follow the directions below for Largs and Ardrossan.

Largs and Ardrossan

If going to Largs (for the ferry to Great Cumbrae) and to Ardrossan (for the ferry to Arran) leave NCN 7 here, taking the A760 to Largs. Once on Cumbrae take a circular route round the island, stopping at the Cathedral of the Isles in Millport.

From Largs the route to Ardrossan currently has some very busy sections before reaching NCN 753 3 miles north of Ardrossan.

After taking the ferry to Arran, the road round Arran is 55 miles, or you can take one of the two smaller roads which cross the island.

From Ardrossan continue south and then east on NCN 753 to reach Kilwinning. Here rejoin NCN 7.

By Foot

Parts of the suggested cycle route are off-road; some of the route between Pollok Country Park and Paisley follows the White Cart water (6.5 miles), and from Kilbarchan to Kilbirnie it uses an ex railway track. (9 miles).

Details on The Ayrshire Coastal Path, which goes from Skelmorlie to Glenapp, can be found at, or

The section from Largs to Kilwinning is 22 miles.

On Cumbrae walkers may like to go by way of Horse Hill.

On Arran walkers can follow Clauchan and Benlister glens from Shiskine to Lamlash (7.5 miles), or can walk round the entire island on the Coastal Path (62 miles) (


By Public Transport

There are railway stations at Glasgow, Paisley, Largs, Ardrossan, Kilwinning and intermediate towns. These areas are also well served by bus.

The ferry crossing from Largs to Portrye on Cumbrae takes 10 minutes, and from there a bus goes to Millport.

The ferry crossing from Ardrossan to Brodick, on Arran, takes a little over an hour.

There is a bus service to Shiskine and Blackwaterfoot, and buses follow the road round the island.

Public transport information can be found on the Traveline website.

Travelling downriver on the south side of the Clyde, Govan Old Church is on the near side, while on the north side Dumbarton Rock, citadel of the of Strathclyde’s ancient Celtic kingdom rises above the river. Pressing on you turn into Paisley with its ‘holy hill’ of churches and in the town below the medieval Abbey. Established by St Mirren, this religious community flourished under the patronage of the royal Stewarts and remains a centre of devotion, and a jewel in the crown of Paisley’s rich cultural heritage. St Mirren’s Roman Catholic Cathedral is the mother church of the Paisley Diocese.

Continuing through Renfrewshire by scenic Lochwinnoch, and the historic churches of Beith and Kilbirnie, you cross into Ayrshire. At Kilwinning Abbey the medieval foundation is home to a later parish kirk. This is the gateway to North Ayrshire with easy access to Largs, and then the Cumbrae Islands, or to Ardrossan and Arran. In Millport on the Cumbraes, the Cathedral of the Isles is an astonishing nineteenth century revival church, and a focus of modern retreat.

Arran offers a circuit of ancient places of worship, many associated with St Molaise. He was an important Irish saint connected with St Columba and with St Blane of Bute. An old pilgrim walking route connects his burial place at the cemetery above Shiskine with his retreat or refuge on Holy Island in Lamlash Bay. Pilgrims came here from Irealand crossing on the last stage from Saddell Abbey in Kintyre. Holy Island is now a Buddhist retreat centre.

Hear the call of the West
Following river and coast
Till the shape of the land
And the sight of the sand
Guide our weary souls
By sea, island shore
To green pastures.

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