Pictures from England

A Pilgrimage to Discover Scottish History
Celtic Spirituality

Led by:

The Rev. Orion Davis

May 5 – 15, 2016

Trip map

DAY 1: Thursday, May 5, 2016 - Depart from JFK Airport New York to Dublin, Ireland where we connect to the final flight into Edinbugh, Scotland. M

DAY 2: Friday, May 6, 2016 - Arrive Edinburgh and meet the guide and driver and travel to Stirling where we will tour Stirling Castle and have some free time for lunch.  We continue to Oban where we board the ferry that will take us to Craignure and then board a second ferry that will take us to Fionnphort on the Island of Iona.  We will check into our hotel and have dinner on Iona. MD

DAY 3: Saturday, May 7, 2016 - Today we explore the island and visit Iona Abbey.   St. Columba landed on Iona from Ireland in 563 AD and founded the monastery that was to become the most important in Europe.  Iona is the preeminent historical site for Celtic Christianity. St. Columba died here in 567 AD.  The island is a true “thin space” where pilgrims have sensed the nearness of the Holy throughout the ages.  We will see St. Oran’s Chapel, built in the 11th century.  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 see 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.  We will also take a pilgrimage walk to Martyrs Bay.  Dinner and overnight on Iona. BD

DAY 4: Sunday, May 8, 2016 - We depart on the early ferry to Fionnphort where we meet our coach and transfer to Craignure for the ferry to Oban.  Upon arrival at Oban, we board our coach and continue to Fort William, the second largest settlement in the Highlands.  We have free time at leisure to explore and have lunch.  In the afternoon, we continue through Cairngorm National Park to Inverness.  The park provides spectacular highland plateau vistas as we make our way to Inverness for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Monday, May 9, 2016 - We depart our hotel for a full day exploring Inverness which is considered to be the capital of the Scottish Highlands.  We will visit the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Center where we will learn about the battle which was the last battle of the Jacobite uprising of 1745.  We tour the Glenfarclas Distillery , a family owned distillery committed to creating the best quality single highland malt Scotch Whisky.  We see the ruins of Urquhart Castle, located on the shores of Loch Ness and once one of Scotland’s largest and most impressive structures.  We take a boat trip on Loch Ness to spy the famous monster.  Dinner and overnight Inverness. BD

DAY 6: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - We depart early this morning for the majestic setting of Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s main holiday residence in Scotland.  After some time to visit here, we continue to the historic coastal town of St. Andrews, home of Scotland’s oldest university and the world-famous golf course.  Time permitting, we will visit the cathedral and have some free time for lunch.  This afternoon, we continue our journey south and cross the border into England to Berwick-upon-Tweed.  Dinner and overnight at Berwick-upon-Tweed. BD

Note that access to and from the island is via a causeway and therefore governed by low tides.

DAY 7: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - Today, we traverse the causeway which floods at high tide and explore Lindisfarne also known as Holy Island.  In 1635 AD, St. Aidan left Iona and traveled to Lindisfarne where he founded his monastery.  The Christian word flourished here and spread throughout the world.  We will see Lindisfarne Priory, the center of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times, Lindisfarne Castle, built to defend Lindisfarne harbor, the old chapels and the burial grounds.  We will return via the causeway to Berwick-upon-Tweed for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Thursday, May 12, 2016 - We depart for the historic border abbeys that sit between England and Scotland.  We will explore the magnificent ruins of Melrose Abbey, founded by King David I in 1136 and the first Cisterician monastery in Scotland.  The heart of Robert the Bruce is buried here.  We will visit Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century chapel located in the village of Roslin.  Originally Roman Catholic, services were discontinued after the Scottish Reformation in 1560 and Scottish Episcopal services were begun in Rosslyn Chapel in 1861 and continue to this day.  The chapel was made famous with its inclusion in the book The DaVinci Code.  We continue to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Friday, May 13, 2016 - Today we have a full day guided tour of all the sites of Edinburgh.  Among our many visits today, we will see Edinburgh Castle which dominates the city from its location high atop a black volcanic rock precipice and, within the castle complex, we will visit St. Margaret’s Chapel.  We visit Holyroodhouse, home of the Queen when she is in Edinburgh, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Edinburgh.  We see St. Giles’ Cathedral, best known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh.  Dinner and overnight Edinburgh. BD

DAY 10: Saturday, May 14, 2016 - Today we will have a full day free for independent sightseeing or shopping.  The guide will aid you in directions and suggestions.  We will join together for a “farewell dinner” and overnight Edinburgh. BD

DAY 11: Sunday, May 15, 2016 - We will have breakfast and then board our coach and drive to the airport where we bid our driver and guide goodbye and board our flight back to the USA arriving back into New York this afternoon. BM

Price: $3,299.00  Price is based on a minimum of 20 Pilgrims, double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Air from JFK Airport New York on Aer Lingus Airlines.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single Supplement $599.00.

* Airline taxes and fuel surcharges are NOT included.  Taxes and fuel on June 24, 2015 were $518.87 and may change.  These will be added to your final invoice.  Pricing based on exchange rate of 1 pound sterling = 1.54 USD.  If exchange rate changes, price may change.

$300.00 per person non-refundable deposit due with application and copy of passport.

Final payment due February 1, 2016.

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 31, 2016:  $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ February 1, 2016 or later :  NO REFUND

It is recommended that you purchase additional coverage.  Go to our website and click on Travelex Insurance to read the coverages and rules regarding existing conditions or call 800-228-9792 Location # 09-1983.  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, 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.