Pictures from Scotland

Exploring our Celtic Spirituality


St. James Episcopal Church

Glastonbury, CT

May 14 – 23, 2013

Trip map

This pilgrimage provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of our Celtic Christian heritage during a 10 day journey to Scotland in May 2013. The following itinerary reflects the spiritual emphasis, but also gives us a good taste of Scottish history and the natural beauty of the country.

Our guide will be Karen MacCormick. Originally from Wisconsin, she has lived in Scotland for the past 25 years, and has led many Christian Heritage Tours exploring the story of the Celtic Saints, the Reformation and Revival in Scotland.

Please plan to join the group of no more than 30 pilgrims.

Day 1, Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - We will depart from Newark on United Airlines bound for Glasgow, Scotland. M

DAY 2, Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - We will arrive in Glasgow, meet our driver and guide and head northwards along the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland’s largest freshwater lake. Toward the north, Loch Lomond, is a sparkling ribbon of water spilling out of the hills. Toward the south, it widens out and contains many wooded islands. After we have a rest stop at the village of Luss we will continue on via Lock Fyne, Inveraray Castle (view only) and Loch Awe with a stop at St. Conan’s Church. We continue to Oban where we will board the afternoon Oban to Craignure ferry. We arrive at Mull and cross the picturesque Isle of Mull and then take the short foot ferry ride to the Isle of Iona, our home for the next two nights. If time permits, we will join the Iona Community for evening prayers before having dinner. Dinner and overnight in the Argyll Hotel on Iona. BD

DAY 3, Thursday, May 16, 2013 - After breakfast, we will begin a full day of exploration of the enchanting Island of Iona, 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 Spirit 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 overnight at the Argyll Hotel. B

DAY 4, Friday, May 17, 2013 - We ferry back to the mainland and head north. We will continue to Glencoe which is referred to by Scots as the “Valley of Tears”. It was here on February 13th, 1692 that the slaughter of the McDonalds by the Campbells took place as a result of an order from Edinburgh to kill all inhabitants of the valley below age 70. Many of the MacDonald clan escaped the sword to die in the winter snows. We continue to Ft. William, once a military outpost, and over which Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in Scotland, looms. We continue to Pitlochry for a visit to Erdadour distillery, the smallest distillery in Scotland. Then on to Perth, once the capital of Scotland and a focal point of Scottish history. Our two nights in Perth will be at the Salutation Hotel where we will have dinner this evening. BD

DAY 5, Saturday, May 18, 2013 - Today we will visit Dunkeld whose cathedral is one of the oldest in Scotland. The cathedral was founded in 1107 and, although most of the building is in ruins, the restored chancel serves as the parish church to this day. We will visit the nearby villages of Weem & Dull, associated with St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne and St. Adoman of Iona respectively. Here we will see the ancient crosses, old hermitage sites and older worship stones. Weem is typical of sites where the early monks preferred to dwell, close to nature and in the spirit of their ancestors. Dull is highly significant in terms of its Iona connections for this was where the Iona church had its sister church. We will return to Perth for overnight. B

DAY 6, Sunday, May 19, 2013 - We will drive to Glamis Castle where we will have a private worship service in the Castle Chapel which has been an Anglican Parish since its inception. We will tour the castle which dates from the 17th century and was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother, Elizabeth. We will then visit the nearby Pictish standing stones at Meigle where we see Christian as well as pagan symbols carved into the stones. Time permitting enroute to Edinburgh we visit the Church of St. John where John Knox delivered the sermons which led to the destruction of many local monasteries. In Edinburgh, our home for the next four nights will be the Radisson Blu Hotel where we will dine together tonight. BD

DAY 7, Monday, May 20, 2013 - This morning we will travel to St. Andrews to see the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral, formerly the largest and most magnificent church in Scotland. St. Andrews is widely regarded as the birthplace of golf and we will see the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and St. Andrews University which Prince William attended. There will be some time to shop and enjoy the beautiful surroundings before returning to Edinburgh for some free time in the afternoon and evening. B

DAY 8, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - We drive directly 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. On our journey back to Edinburgh, we visit 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 for overnight. B

DAY 9, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 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 the Crown Room 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. We will have a gala farewell dinner in Edinburgh. Overnight in Edinburgh. B

DAY 10, Thursday, May 23, 2013 - We will transfer to the Glasgow airport for the United return flight to Newark. BM

Land Only Price: $2,639.00.  Price is land only double occupancy per person. Pricing is based on a minimum of 20 participants and on the exchange rate of 1 pound sterling = 1.617 US dollar. If rate changes, price may change.

Air fare from Newark, NJ on United Airlines: $924.00 per person includes current taxes and fuel surcharges.

Single Supplement: $539.00

$300.00 deposit per person due with application by November 1, 2012

Final payment due March 1, 2013

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until October 31, 2012:  No Penalty
◊ November 1, 2012 – February 28, 2013:  $300.00
◊ March 1, 2013:  NO REFUND

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

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