Pictures from England and Scotland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality

A Pilgrimage to Northern England and Scotland

Led by:

The Rt. Rev. John Howard
Bishop of Florida

September 1 - 12, 2007

Trip map

DAY 1, Saturday, September 1, 2007 – We will depart from Jacksonville on Continental Airlines with a connection in Newark to our trans-Atlantic flight.  Dinner on board. D

DAY 2, Sunday, September 2, 20007 – Upon arrival in Glasgow, Scotland, we will meet our guide and driver and transfer to the motor coach.  As we head toward Oban, we will see Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest freshwater lake.  Loch Lomond is a sparkling ribbon of water toward the north as it spills out of the hills.  Toward the south, it spreads out and this portion of the lake contains many wooded islands.  We will continue our travels through the Trossachs, a beautiful region of craggy hills and sparkling lochs that is the meeting place of the Lowlands and the Highlands.  The region is home to many forms of wildlife.  We continue to Oban where we will board our ferry to travel to the island of Mull.  Once we have crossed Mull we will take a short ferry ride to the Isle of Iona, our home for the next two nights.  Time permitting, we will join the Iona Community for evening prayers before having dinner.  Overnight on Iona. BD

DAY 3, Monday, September 3, 2007 – After breakfast, we will begin a full day of exploration of the enchanting Island of IonaIona is the preeminent historical site for Celtic Christianity.  A monastery was established by St. Columba in the 6th century and St. Columba died here in 597.  The island is a true “thin space” where pilgrims have sensed the nearness of the Holy throughout the ages.  We will make our way to St. Oran’s Chapel, built in the 11th century, for morning prayer and singing.  Surrounding the chapel is the Reilig Odhrain, the sacred burial ground which is said to contain the graves of 48 Scottish kings, including that of Macbeth’s victim, Duncan.  We will visit Iona Abbey and the Iona Community and see some of the Celtic crosses, including St. Martin’s Cross dating to the 8th century.  St. Martin’s Cross is the finest of Iona’s Celtic crosses and is decorated on one side with the serpent-and-boss and on the other with Holy figures.  There will be some time to wander, shop in the many quaint shops on the island or spend some time in quiet prayer and reflection.  We will have dinner and overnight on Iona. BD

DAY 4, Tuesday, September 4, 2007 – After breakfast, we will board the ferry for the short ride to Mull where we will meet our motor coach and driver and cross Mull before boarding a ferry to cross the Sound of Mull to Lochaline.  We will take a scenic route through the Highlands seeing Acharacle, a spread out settlement on the shores of Loch Shiel that is backed by the hills of Moidart.  We continue along the magnificent coast to Mallaig where we board our ferry to the Isle of Skye, our home for the next 2 nights.  Dinner and overnight on the Isle of Skye. BD

DAY 5, Wednesday, September 5, 2007 – The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebrides.  Its turbulent geographical history has given it some of Britains’s most varied and dramatic scenery including a rugged volcanic plateau to the north and the ice-sculpted peaks of the Cuillins.  You are never more than 5 miles from the sea anywhere on the island.  The island is best known for its association with Bonnie Prince Charlie who escaped the wrath of an army of pursuers by masquerading as the maidservant of Flora MacDonald.  We will visit Portree, the population center of the island.  We will visit the Crofter’s Cottage, a thatched roof home built on a small parcel of land and continue to Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the clan MacLeod for over 700 years.  The magnificent castle contains the Fairy Flag, a silk banner that is thought to have magical powers.  We will tour the castle and the gardens with their waterfalls, fern garden and lily ponds.  Now, we head for Talisker distillery, famous for its Highland malts, often described as the “lava of the Cuillins”.  You will be free to enjoy dinner on your own tonight.  Overnight at Portree on the Isle of Skye. B

DAY 6, Thursday, September 6, 2007 – We leave Skye and take a ferry to the Kyle of Lochalsh touring via Loch Duich and the beautiful Glens to Loch Ness.  We will visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle, on the shores of Loch Ness, a favorite spot to look for Nessie.  The castle, begun in the 13th century, was once one of the largest in Scotland.  It was destroyed at the end of the 17th century to prevent its use by the Jacobites.  We will stop at Pitlochry for a visit to Edradour distillery, the smallest, but one of the finest, distilleries in all of Scotland.  We continue to the area of Perth for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7, Friday, September 7, 2007 – Perth, once the capital of Scotland has been a focal point in Scottish history.  This morning we will see the Church of St. John where John Knox delivered the sermons which led to the destruction of many local monasteries.  Then, we will visit the Scone Palace which stands on the site of an abbey destroyed by the followers of John Knox in 1559.  We will continue south toward Edinburgh stopping for a visit to St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf.  We will see the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, formerly the largest and most magnificent church in Scotland.  We will see the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the University which Prince William attended.  We continue to Stirling for a visit to Stirling Castle, seen rising on a rocky craig, the castle once dominated Scottish history.  Seven Battlefields can be seen from the castles.  After our visit to Stirling, we continue to Alnwickem, a typical, quaint English village for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8, Saturday, September, 8, 2007 – We will have an early wake up call this morning and drive to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.  The causeway of the island floods during high tide so we must time our visit accordingly.  The island has been inhabited since the Iron Age and Christianity was brought to the island by St. Aidan when he established a monastery here in 635 AD.  St. Aidan came from Iona where he was a monk in the monastery founded there by St. Columba.  St. Aidan was not the first person on Lindisfarne, but his is the first known name mentioned in relation to the island.  Under its greatest Abbot, Cuthbert, Lindisfarne became one of the greatest centers of learning in Christendom.  We will visit Lindisfarne Priory, see Lindisfarne Castle and have time for reflection and prayer in this quiet, holy place.  Now we head south for a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage site.  The wall was built after the Roman Emperor Hadrian visited the area in 121 AD.  It stretched for 73 miles with a “milecastle” (small fort) built at every mile and a turret built at every ⅓rd mile.  Only about 12 miles of the walls remain standing.  We will return to Alnwick for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9, Sunday, September 9, 2007 – We begin traveling north today toward Edinburgh stopping along the way to see the beautiful border abbeys.  We will visit Jedburgh Abbey, the most impressive of all the border abbeys.  We will continue to Melrose Abbey, once the richest abbey in Scotland and the location where the heart of Robert the Bruce is buried.  We will celebrate Holy Eucharist at one of the abbeys before continuing to Edinburgh.  We begin our exploration of Scotland’s capital with a visit to Edinburgh Castle where the views from the Battlement are breathtaking.  We will visit St. Margaret’s Chapel, Queen Mary’s Apartments and the Crown Room.  We will have dinner and overnight in Edinburgh. BD

DAY 10, Monday, September 10, 2007 – We will begin our day with a visit to Rosslyn Chapel just on the outskirts of Edinburgh.  The chapel was made famous by the best selling novel The Da Vinci Code.  Please pay close attention to the Apprentice Pillar in the chapel and ask your guide to explain the legend behind it.  We will return to Edinburgh and visit St. Giles Cathedral, the historic City Church of Edinburgh which is located on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, home to the royal family when they are in Edinburgh.  We will tour Holyroodhouse (unless a member of the royal family is in residence) paying special attention to the King James Tower, the Royal Dining Room, the King’s Bedchamber and much more.  Dinner on your own and overnight in Edinburgh. B

DAY 11, Tuesday, September 11, 2007 – A full day to explore on your own, shop or revisit a favorite place.  You might consider the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland and the John Knox House.  The former Royal yacht, Brittania is located at the Ocean Terminal which also has shops and many eateries.  Your guide will direct you to your areas of interest.  We will gather this evening for a fun night of Scottish music and food.  We will overnight in Edinburgh. BD

DAY 12, Wednesday, September 12, 2007 – We will travel to Edinburgh Airport and board our return flight to the United States arriving back in Jacksonville this evening. BL

Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Jacksonville, FL.  Air transportation available from other cities.

◊ 25 – 29 pilgrims: $3,659 per person
◊ 30 – 34 pilgrims: $3,459 per person
◊ 35 or more pilgrims: $3,299 per person
◊ Single suppliment: $549.00.

Deposit of $300 per person due with application.  Final payments due June 15, 2007.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Before May 1, 2007, $100 per person
◊ May 2 – July 15, $300 per person
◊ After July 15, NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.