Pictures from Scotland and England

Exploring the Spiritual Roots of Celtic Christianity

A Pilgrimage to Scotland & England

Led by:

The Rev. Stuart Taylor
Elkin Presbyterian Church

and

The Rev. Rebecca Husband Maynard
Stacking Stones Ministry

April 17 - 28, 2015

Trip map

DAY 1: Friday, April 17, 2015 - Depart the Greensboro Airport for our flight into Glasgow.  Meals on board flights. M

DAY 2: Saturday, April 18, 2015 - Upon arrival in Glasgow, we clear immigration, meet our driver, board our coach and begin our journey to Iona.  We drive through the beautiful Scottish countryside to Oban and visit St. John’s Cathedral, the mother church of the historic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, which is within the Scottish Episcopal Church.  We are free to enjoy lunch on our own and time permitting explore Oban prior to boarding the ferry (about a 45 minute ride) to the Isle of Mull.  Our bus will take us from Craignure across the largest of the Inner Hebridean Islands, Mull, through the moorlands to Fionnphort where we will board another ferry for a short ride (5 -10 minutes) to Iona, our home for the next four nights.  Iona has been called the entry way of Christianity into Scotland and Northern England.  Time permitting those who wish may attend evening prayers at the Abbey.  This evening we enjoy a “welcome to Scotland” dinner.  Overnight Iona. D

DAY 3: Sunday, April 19, 2015 - Today we begin our exploration of the enchanting Island of Iona. Iona is the preeminent historical site for Celtic Christianity.  A monastery was established by St. Columba in the 6th century and he died here in 597.  The island is a true “thin space” where pilgrims have sensed the nearness of the Holy throughout the ages.  After breakfast we attend services at Iona Abbey at 10:30 AM.  Following services, we will walk to the Chapter House where we will participate in the introductory session “What is the Iona Community?”  The rest of the day we will be free to spend time on the island reflecting.  Dinner and overnight Iona. BD

DAY 4: Monday, April 20, 2015 - After breakfast, we begin a full day of exploration.  We 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 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.  This evening we attend the Village Hall for a Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee), a Scottish get-together held at 10 PM.  Dinner and overnight Iona. BD

DAY 5: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - After breakfast we make our way to the abbey for morning prayer and then adjourn to St. Oran’s Chapel for singing.  Every Tuesday the Iona Community hosts a pilgrimage walk across the island.  This is an all day event that will be somewhat challenging visiting places of both historic and religious significance.  The pilgrimage begins from the Abbey grounds at 10:15 AM and you must dress for all weather and bring sturdy boots.  There is also an “On Road” pilgrimage that begins at 12 Noon and returns around 3:30 PM.  The remainder of the day there will be time to explore the several shops unique to Iona or spend time in quiet prayer and reflection.  We attend evening services at the Abbey.  Dinner and overnight Iona. BD

DAY 6: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - We travel to Glasgow by way of Fort William where we see Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain.  We continue on through the spectacular Trossachs to Loch Lomond, the largest of Scotland’s lakes and, according to Sir Walter Scott, “The Queen of Scottish Lakes.”  Our journey ends at the second largest city in Scotland, Glasgow, where we enjoy a panoramic tour, visit the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life, and Glasgow Cathedral for evensong. The Cathedral is a rare example of an almost complete original 13th century church.  It was here that St. Mungo, a 6th century Bishop of Strathclyde and Glasgow’s patron saint, told the oxen pulling a cart with the remains of Fergus (a holy man) to take the cart to where God wanted him to build his church.  The oxen took Fergus’ remains to the spot where the cathedral was built and now stands.  Dinner and overnight Glasgow. BD

DAY 7: Thursday, April 23, 2015 - Our journey continues south into England to Hadrian’s Wall, the 73 mile wall begun under the direction of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.  We explore Housestead’s Fort, one of the “milecastles” or small forts built every mile along the wall.  We visit Hexham Abbey, which since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537, has been the parish church of Hexham and today is still a centre for worship and witness to the Christian faith.  Dinner and overnight Hexham. BD

DAY 8: Friday, April 24, 2015 - This morning we travel to Seahouses where we board a boat to the Inner Farne Bird Sanctuary.  We cruise around all of the Farne Islands, viewing the sea birds on the cliff faces and visiting the Grey Seal colonies.  In the year 678 Inner Farne was home to St. Cuthbert.  After 12 years as Prior of Lindisfarne, St. Cuthbert retired to Inner Farne until he beame Bishop of Lindisfarne in 684.  He returned to Inner Farne when his health deteriorated and died there on March 20, 687.  We continue to Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, which has been inhabited since the Iron Age.  Christianity was brought to the island by St. Aidan when he established a monastery here in AD 635.  St. Aidan came from Iona where he was a monk in the monastery founded there by St. Columba.  We visit Lindisfarne Priory, Lindisfarne Castle and have time for reflection and prayer in this quiet, holy place.  Dinner and overnight Lindisfarne. BD

Note: Access to and from Lindisfarne is via a causeway and therefore governed by tides..

DAY 9: Saturday, April 25, 2015 - This morning we meet with a member of the Community of Aidan and Hilda who will discuss various aspects of the history of the island and the northern saints and then will lead the group across the sands and mud flats, walking the ancient route via the pilgrim posts.  Dinner and overnight Lindisfarne. BD

DAY 10: Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Today we will be free to worship and explore on our own.  Places where you may like to worship are the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Aidan’s Roman Catholic or the Reformed Church.  Dinner and overnight Lindisfarne. BD

Day 11: Monday, April 27, 2015 - We travel north today back into Scotland stopping along the way to see the beautiful border abbeys.  We 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; and Rosslyn Chapel, dedicated to St. Matthew in 1446.  The chapel is known for the quality and variety of the stone carvings inside which cover almost every square inch of stonework.  The chapel is believed by many to be the burial place of the Holy Grail and was a featured location in the popular novel, The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.  We continue on to Edinburgh where we enjoy a “farewell to Scotland” dinner.  Overnight Edinburgh. BD

Day 12: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - After breakfast in our hotel, we depart for the Edinburgh Airport and board flight home. BM

Price: $4,869.00* Estimated per person.  Air from Greensboro, NC.

* Price is estimated and is subject to change until the Iona & Lindisfarne accommodations are confirmed.  Space on Iona and Lindisfarne cannot be confirmed until we have 17 pilgrims signed up for the pilgrimage.  Pricing does not include airline taxes and fuel surcharges currently at $678.00 per pilgrim and are subject to change until the tickets are issued.  The price is not guaranteed and may change due to the fluctuation of the British Pound and the US dollar.  We make every effort to avoid any increase and will only do so if the value of the dollar falls against the British Pound.  Your pricing was based on the exchange rate of $1.68 to the British Pound.  Single supplement:  $609.00

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

A deposit of $500.00 per person due with application and copy of passport.

Final payment due January 16, 2015

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 16, 2015: $400.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ January 17 – March 2, 2015: $700.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 3, 2015 or later: 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, 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.

Optional Extension April 28 – May 1, 2015


Day 12: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Our journey continues as we travel to St. Andrews, the ancient ecclesiastical capital of Scotland on the North Sea coast.  We visit the ruins of the St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Andrews Castle with its notorious “Bottle Neck Dungeon” where Knox and Reformers were held prisoner. We continue to Stirling to visit the Church of the Holy Rude where, in 1566, John Knox preached at the baptism of James VI.  We visit Stirling Castle where James VI was educated by the Scottish reformer,George Buchanan.  We return to Edinburgh for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 13: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Today we explore Edinburgh the spiritual capital of Scotland and the place where Scotland’s Reformation began.  We tour Edinburgh Castle, where James VI, who authorized the KJV Bible, was born.  We visit the historic John Knox House where John Knox, leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of the Presbyterian Church, lived for a short time before he died here in 1572.  We continue to Greyfriars Presbyterian, where in 1638, the National Covenant was presented and signed in front of the pulpit.  Now on to Holyrood Abbey founded in 1128 by King David I of Scotland for the Augustinian Canons.  According to medieval legend, a vision of a stag with a cross glowing between its antlers came to David while hunting in the area.  Interpreting this as an act of God, the King declared that an abbey should be built on the same spot.  Overnight Edinburgh. B

DAY 14: Thursday, April 30, 215 - This morning we visit St. Cuthbert’s Church.  The architecture and interior decorations of the church building are very unusual in a Presbyterian Church.  We continue to St. Giles Cathedral, Mother Church of Presbyterianism, which contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle.  At 12 noon we will participate in Holy Communion with the congregation of St. Giles Cathedral.  The rest of the day we will be free to explore on our own, shop or revisit a favorite place.  You might consider the Royal Museum, the Museum of Scotland, or the Palace of Holyroodhouse.  The former Royal yacht, Brittania, is located at the Ocean Terminal which also has shops and many eateries.  Our guide will direct us to areas of interest.  We gather this evening for a fun night of Scottish music and food.  Dinner and overnight Edinburgh. BD

DAY 15: Friday, May 1, 2015 - After breakfast in our hotel, we depart for the Edinburgh Airport and board flight home. BM

Price: $1,449.00* Estimated additional.  Price based on double occupancy.  * Price is estimated and is subject to change until the confirmation of the return air space that will be confirmed when we know who will be on the Extension.  Single supplement costs $409.00* additional. 

The price includes all entrance fees for sites in itinerary, roundtrip airport transfers, accommodations, tips for meals when meals are included, and hotel taxes.

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

All terms and conditions, cancellation penalties and payment due dates remain the same as for the main itinerary.

Final payment due January 16, 2015

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 16, 2015: $400.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ January 17 – March 2, 2015: $700.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 3, 2015 or later: 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, 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.