Nick, Laurence, Scarlett, Monty, Louisa, and Shazia are on their final day in Derry Londonderry, when the delayed 7th pilgrim arrives. Jetting in from the Paralympics in Japan, table tennis legend, Will Bayley, happily completes the pilgrim band. 

As the pilgrims prepare for a demanding walk from Portstewart, 77-year-old Nick and injured Scarlett, who has a bad leg, take a rain check and offer to shop for the evening meal. Shazia, Monty, Laurence, Will and Louisa head off on an exposed clifftop trail, which leads them to their basic overnight accommodation, a bothy, located at the foot of a perilously steep path. 

As they start setting up their beds for the night – blowing up mattresses on a concrete floor – Nick and Scarlett arrive by boat. Over dinner, the group learn more about Will, whose grandfather was a vicar, and Monty questions Laurence about his faith, or lack of it, which ignites a healthy debate. 

It’s the first time the pilgrims have all shared a room: 

it turns out there are two snorers, and nobody gets much sleep. 

The pilgrims leave Northern Ireland behind them and set sail across the North Channel to western Scotland and join the Kintyre Way. Keen to trace Columba’s footsteps, they make tracks to Dunadd Fort, where Columba is thought to have visited the local king. In torrential wind and rain, everyone but Scarlett, who is still struggling with her leg, eventually makes it to the top. 

Continuing their search of the mighty monk, not far from the fort is an extraordinary ancient place of worship. Saint Columba’s Cave is hidden in nature, and some of the pilgrims take communion with a local Episcopalian priest. Scarlett is moved by Shazia’s knowledge of the Christian faith. 

The long walks encourage the pilgrims to exchange confidences, and Monty and Scarlett discuss their shared experiences of trolling and the pain it caused them both. That evening the pilgrims reach the village of Achahoish and are welcomed by the local minister and his congregation. Before the pilgrims bunk down for the night amongst the pews, a prayer triggers emotional childhood memories in Will. 

After an early start and limited sleep, the pilgrims head further north into the highlands. Following the Glen Way, they make tracks for Loch Ness to investigate the much-told legendary tale of the monster and St Columba, who are said to have come face to face on the lake’s shores. 

At the hostel that evening, Louisa shares her Jewish faith by cooking a traditional Friday night dinner for her fellow pilgrims.

Pilgrimage – Friday 9pm on BBC2

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