Pictures from Scotland and England

Stones and Crosses: Reading Symbolic Landscapes in Scotland and England

A Pilgrimage to Scotland and Northern England

Led by:

Dr. Marnie Jones and Dr. Robert Thunen

University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL

March 13 - 22, 2008

Trip map

DAY 1, Thursday, March 13, 2008 - We depart from Jacksonville for our trans–Atlantic flight from Newark to Glasgow, Scotland.  We have dinner on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Friday, March 14, 2008 - Arrive in Glasgow. This morning we visit Glasgow Cathedral and the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life.  The museum, named for Scotland’s Patron Saint, will frame our trip: it represents the human struggle to find meaning in life, exploring religion as a source for artistic inspiration, a structure for the phases of life, and a sociological force shaping life in Scotland.  The Cathedral next door is a rare example of an almost complete original 13th century church.  It is one of a very few Scottish cathedrals to escape destruction during the Scottish Reformation so it provides a unique opportunity to read in stone the impact of the Protestant Reformation.  We visit the Necropolis, right behind the Cathedral, to explore what this city of the dead suggests about the values of Glasgow’s richest and most influential inhabitants.  In the afternoon, we settle into our hotel.  This evening we will enjoy a “welcome to Scotland” dinner.  Overnight Glasgow. D

DAY 3: Saturday, March 15, 2008 - Today we journey to Iona, the earliest sacred Christian site in Britain.  It takes the better part of a day to reach Iona.  Celtic Christianity sees nature as a theophany; we begin to appreciate what that means as we travel by coach, crossing the border between the Lowlands and the Highlands, enjoying the craggy hills and sparkling lochs of The Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park.  At the Port of Oban we take a 45-minute ferry trip to the Island of Mull; our coach takes us across to the west coast of Mull where we take a short ferry ride to Iona.  The island is a true “thin space” where pilgrims have sensed the nearness of the sacred throughout the ages.  Overnight Iona. BD

DAY 4: Sunday, March 16, 2008 - Today we explore the Island of Iona which permits us to read the evolution of Celtic influences in stone over the course of thirteen hundred years:  St. Columba established a monastery here in the 6th century; St. Martin’s Cross, the finest of Iona’s Celtic crosses, dates to the 8th century; St. Oran’s Chapel, remains intact from the 11th century; Iona Abbey, a Benedictine monastery begun in the 13th century, was destroyed during the Reformation and rebuilt by George McLeod in the 20th century.  We will attend a Palm Sunday service in the Abbey conducted by the Iona Community.  The Abbey and Nunnery grounds house one of the most comprehensive collections of Christian carved stones in Scotland.  Overnight Iona. BD

DAY 5: Monday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day), 2008 - This morning we retrace our route back across Mull to Oban.  Then we head south to Kilmartin and the Kilmartin House Museum to study the ritual use of space by prehistoric peoples—burial cairns, rock carvings, and standing stones which antedate Stonehenge.  We continue on to the city of Stirling to visit Stirling Castle, which dominated Scottish history for centuries and remains one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland.  Below the castle is Old Town, still protected by the original 16th century walls, built to keep Mary Queen of Scots safe from Henry VIII.  Overnight Stirling. BD

DAY 6: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - Today we deepen our understanding of monastic life by analyzing the ritual use of space at the ruins of two Abbeys:  the Augustinian Jedburgh Abbey and the Benedictine Lindisfarne Priory.  We have a very early departure from Stirling bound for the Scottish Borders region where ancient ruins, such as Jedburgh, bear witness to the conflict between England and Scotland.  Jedburgh is a spectacular example of the Transitional architectural style, from Romanesque to Gothic; its stone ruins speak to its 12th century spiritual and political power.  From Jedburgh we travel to the rolling hills of Northumberland to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.  This liminal island is separated from the mainland except at low tide.  Weather permitting we will walk to the island, following in the footsteps of pilgrims throughout the ages who have crossed the 3-mile causeway from the mainland.  Lindisfarne was an outgrowth of missionary work at Iona.  St. Aidan, a monk from St. Columba’s monastery on Iona, brought Christianity to the Picts in the early 7th century.  Under its most important Abbot, Cuthbert, Lindisfarne Priory became one of the greatest centers of learning in Christendom; The Lindisfarne Gospels were created here around 700.  Philip Newell, author of one of our class texts and the former warden of Iona Abbey, will join us for dinner and conversation.  Overnight Lindisfarne. BD

DAY 7: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - This morning we continue our discussions with Philip Newell and visit Lindisfarne Heritage Center to deepen our appreciation of the Lindisfarne Gospels.  There will be time to visit Lindisfarne Castle and explore the island before our coach takes us across the causeway at low tide and we travel to Edinburgh.  Overnight Edinburgh. Dinner on your own. B

DAY 8: Thursday, March 20, 2008 - This morning we travel to Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century private chapel.  We will study the elaborate carvings, an example of the resilience of Celtic symbols, despite nine hundred years of official suppression, making connections back to the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Celtic Crosses.  After lunch we explore Edinburgh.  We will visit St. Giles Cathedral, the historic High Kirk (Church) of Edinburgh, 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 explore Edinburgh Castle where the views from the Battlement are breathtaking.  We will see St. Margaret’s Chapel, Queen Mary’s Apartments and the Crown Room.  Tonight you will be free to enjoy a bit of nightlife—perhaps some traditional Scottish music at Sandy Bell’s Pub or a traditional Ceilidh (storytelling/music-sharing party).  Dinner on your own and overnight Edinburgh. B

DAY 9: Friday, March 21, 2008 - A full day to explore Edinburgh on your own, shop or revisit a favorite place.  This evening we will enjoy a “farewell to Scotland” dinner before returning to our hotel for overnight.  Overnight Edinburgh. BD

DAY 10: Saturday, March 22, 2008 - After an early breakfast we make our way to the airport for our return flight to the United States arriving back into Jacksonville this afternoon. BL

Price: $3,879.50  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Jacksonville, FL.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement is not available at this time.

Final Payment due January 4, 2008

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Between October 5, 2007 – January 11, 2008 - $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ Between January 12, 2008 – January 25, 2008 - $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After January 26, 2008: 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.