A little while back I received a request from Marta Pereira for information on the "Mary, Queen of Scots Way". I didn't know much about this trail but, working in tandem, Marta and I managed to gather enough information to add this long distance walk to Scotland's Finest. Underneath you'll find Marta's stirring and definitely soulful words she would like to share with you.
Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of wild Scotland?
Join us on the Mary, Queen of Scots Way, a stunning 7-day (6th to 14th of May 2024) experience through areas where battles were fought, movies were filmed, and enchantment awaits around every corner.
It's not just a hike; it's a journey of discovery and exploration. You'll walk ancient trails, uncover hidden treasures, and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views. Along the way, you'll experience Scotland's rich history, culture, and the beauty of its landscape.
On this path, you need to be strong and that's why, for one year prior to the trip, we'll provide support and guidance to help you prepare physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You'll be ready to face the challenge, and we'll be there with you every step of the way. This is your opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, embrace the unknown, and discover your inner strength. You'll be part of a community of explorers, all sharing a love for adventure and eager to create unforgettable memories together. It's a process of rebirth where the person who starts this pilgrimage will never be the same as the one who finishes it.
Experience the beauty, history, and enchantment of wild Scotland as you walk the same path Mary, Queen of Scots walked about 460 years ago, a path that forever changed her life. Contact us today to learn more and reserve your spot in a limited group: The Mary Queen of Scots Way Retreat | Intuitive Soul (intuitivesoulbytww.com)
Mary, Queen of Scots, whose full name was Mary Stuart, was an important historical figure of the 16th century. She was born in 1542 and became the Queen of Scots at just six days old, following the death of her father, King James V.
However, her ascent to the throne was marked by political conflicts and rivalries. During her lifetime, she had a tumultuous reign, facing internal and external challenges. She was involved in intrigues, conspiracies, and power struggles with other leaders and members of the Scottish and English nobility. Mary experienced periods of exile, imprisonment, and was ultimately executed in 1587 on charges of conspiring against Queen Elizabeth I of England.
The pilgrimage route was created to honour the life and legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots. The route spans 107 miles (172 km) through Scotland, connecting locations associated with the queen's life, from Arrochar in Argyll & Bute to St. Andrews in Fife. It passes through stunning landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and castles, allowing walkers to follow in the footsteps of the queen and explore Scotland's history and cultural heritage. By following the route, pilgrims have the opportunity to visit castles, fortresses, historical sites and natural areas that played a significant role in Mary’s life. Additionally, the route offers a challenging walking experience, with different sections varying in difficulty, allowing walkers to explore the beauty of the Scottish countryside. The route offers a unique opportunity to learn about Scotland's history, culture, and landscapes while connecting with the past and the locations associated with Mary Queen of Scots.
After her abdication in 1567 in favour of her son James VI, she was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle, where she remained for nearly a year. Her escape from Loch Leven Castle took place on May 2, 1568. With the help of her supporters, she managed to flee and crossed the lake to Kinross, where she was received by sympathizers. From there, she departed for England, seeking refuge with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
For those interested in pilgrimage routes: Here is a comparison between the Mary, Queen of Scots Way, the Fátima Way and the Santiago de Compostela Way (Portuguese Way from Porto):
- Mary, Queen of Scots Way: Approximately 172 km.
- Fátima Way: Depending on the chosen route, the distance varies from approx. 110 to 160 km.
- Portuguese Santiago de Compostela Way (from Porto): Approximately 240 km.
Popularity and number of pilgrims:
- Mary, Queen of Scots Way: It is a less well-known and less traveled route
- Fátima Way: It is a quite popular route, especially among Catholic faithful who wish to visit the Sanctuary of Fátima.
- Portuguese Santiago de Compostela Way: It is one of the most popular routes for pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, with a high number of pilgrims every year.
Motivation and significance:
- Mary, Queen of Scots Way: It has a specific historical and cultural context, providing an opportunity to explore the history and legacy of the Queen of Scots.
- Fátima way: It holds deep religious significance, with pilgrims walking the route in devotion to the Virgin Mary and seeking spiritual experience.
- Portuguese Santiago de Compostela Way: It combines religious, cultural, and nature aspects, offering a journey of self-discovery and connection with other pilgrims.
- Mary, Queen of Scots Way: A less developed infrastructure with fewer accommodation options and facilities along the route.
- Fátima Way: It generally has adequate infrastructure, with signage, accommodations, and support facilities along the way, due to its popularity and demand.
- Portuguese Santiago de Compostela Way: A well-developed infrastructure, with a wide range of accommodation options, restaurants, and services along the route.
Each of these routes offers a unique and meaningful experience, whether exploring Scotland's history with the Mary, Queen of Scots Way, expressing religious devotion with the Fátima Way, or following the tradition of the Portuguese Santiago de Compostela Way.
The choice of the route depends on the pilgrim's personal interests, motivations, and individual preferences.
How it all began... There are moments in life when the signs of destiny reveal themselves before us, guiding us on an extraordinary journey. For several years, these signs and synchronicities have appeared in our path, inviting us to embark on this unique pilgrimage. And in the past year, this desire has become irresistible, a strong calling in our hearts. Initially, we had never thought of undertaking this journey as a group. However, in a moment of deep meditation, a suggestion emerged: to open this energy to other people who would feel called to join us. It was revealed to us that a group of kindred souls, of friendly spirits, would unite with us, forming a community that would support and grow together.
We know that only those who are destined to join us will do so on this sacred path. We have no specific expectations or intentions regarding who or how many people will join us. We simply follow the signs that reveal themselves step by step in this initial journey, witnessing true little miracles along the way. Although we have visited Scotland on several occasions, the Mary, Queen of Scots Way holds deep meaning for us, Raquel and Marta. It is intricately connected to the creation of our company and past lives that have been revealed to us. This journey will open doors within each person who joins us, regardless of their individual motivations. The ultimate goal is always to transcend limitations, reclaim our personal power, and establish a deep connection with the sacred land that is part of all of us. Through this path, we will gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of life and the mission of each of us on this planet. May each step on this journey be an affirmation of our courage, faith, and connection to something greater than ourselves. As we approach our destination, may excitement envelop us. May each breath be filled with the certainty that we are part of something greater, that our journey has a higher purpose, and that we are guided and protected with each step of the way. And when we finally reach our goal, may joy fill our hearts. Let us celebrate not only our personal achievement but also the deep connection we have created with one another and with the sacred energy of the land. May this pilgrim path be a milestone in our lives, a constant reminder of our ability to seek the transcendent, to embrace the inner journey, and to find meaning and purpose in every step we take. May all of us, united by this unique experience, move forward with courage, gratitude, and humility. May this path inspire us to live full and authentic lives, guided by the wisdom we find with each step of this sacred journey. May this journey be forever remembered in our hearts, and may the spirit of this pilgrimage accompany us on all our future journeys.
Buen camino to all of us!
Additional information: The Mary Queen of Scots Way Retreat | Intuitive Soul (intuitivesoulbytww.com)