Unforgettable journeys to the ancient sites of
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France
 
     
Castles
Iron Age Homesteads
Medieval Abbeys
Tranquil Lochs
Neolithic stone circles
Heather-clad hills
Mountains
Craft Galleries
 
The Spirit of Scotland -
Mystical Islands and Highlands

August 20th to September 1st, 2019

Day One
We meet at Edinburgh Airport and the journey begins! We visit the exquisite Rosslyn Chapel, steeped in stories of the Knights Templar, starting with a walk in beautiful Rosslyn Glen. Then it's westwards through the wild glens of Loch Lomond, and a stroll through the harbour town of Inveraray on Loch Fyne. A scenic mountain drive takes us to the hill of Dunadd, once the royal seat of the first Scots in the 5th century, where we will hold our opening ceremony to make a connection with the sacred land. Tonight we stay at a hotel with spectacular views of a sea loch.

Day Two
Today we explore one of the richest archaeological landscapes in Scotland: Kilmartin Glen, home to an astonishing array of stone circles, cairns, henges, and forts over 5000 years old, including the Nether Largie standing stones and Temple Wood stone circle. We will also visit a hidden holy well, and other little-known and special sites of power. Then back to our hotel in the evening, with time for a wander by the sea or in the famous gardens.

Day Three
A short drive up the west coast takes us to Oban, the “Gateway to the Isles,” where there will be free time to stroll through this bustling Victorian harbour town. Then we cross by ferry to the wild and unspoilt island of Mull for a scenic drive through the mountains. Another short ferry ride takes us over to the holy Isle of Iona where we will stay for the next three nights at the famous St. Columba Hotel.
       
 
       
Day Four
Today we visit St Oran's chapel and the royal burial mound of Scotland's kings where we can pay our respects to the ancestors. Afterwards, we take a walk to the beach "at the Back of the Bay" where you might find beautiful Iona greenstones and walk a labyrinth. After lunch there will be a free afternoon when you can visit the craft studios and bookshops in the village, or find a sandy beach on which to relax.

Day Five
You will learn about Iona's connection with the goddess and saint, Brighid or Bride, and gather reeds to weave her crosses. Then we'll take a walk up the holy hill of Dun I to the Well of Youth, to bless them in the holy waters sacred to the ancient goddess. This afternoon you can take an optional guided tour of Iona Abbey, founded by St. Columba and lovingly restored by the Iona Community, then walk with Scot to a hidden faery hill.

Day Six
Leaving Iona, we head northwards up the spectacular west coast, passing through the deep glens and rugged coastline of the Western Highlands made famous in the films Rob Roy and Braveheart. We take the ‘Road to the Isles’ through the magnificent highlands, stopping to view Eilean Donan, known as the most romantic castle in Scotland. Then it's "over the sea to Skye" to reach our hotel for the next three nights, dramatically situated by a sparkling loch at the foot of the black Cuillin hills.

Day Seven
This morning we explore the faery tradition with a visit to Dunvegan Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Northern Scotland and ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod. Waterfalls and streams flow around it into a sea-loch, which is home to a colony of seals. Dunvegan houses many priceless treasures, not least of which is the mysterious Fairy Flag. After lunch at the castle, we will visit the haunted Fairy Bridge. Skye is steeped in faery lore and stories that you will hear along the way. Later there will be time to browse in Skye's interesting craft and art galleries.

Day Eight
This morning we'll visit the Faery Glen, a truly magical place filled with strange little hills believed to be fairy dwellings. After lunch in the nearby harbor town of Uig, a short drive takes us to a little-known spectacular loch also sacred to the Sídhe. Then we wind along the east coast of Skye through an enchanted country of waterfalls, dazzling seascapes and fascinating rock formations such as the celebrated Old Man of Storr.

Day Nine
We set sail for Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, a remote and ancient island that is home to many world-famous archaeological sites. After paying a visit to a Harris tweed shop and famous distillery we drive to the beautiful and remote island of Bernera, where we can explore a fine example of a recently excavated Iron Age village on a sandy beach and enter an authentically reconstructed Celtic long house. Then on to our hotel near the sea, which will be home for the next three nights.

Day Ten
Today we will spend some time exploring and attuning to the stones of Callanish, then meet up with a remarkable woman, Margaret Curtis, who probably knows more about the megaliths on this island than anyone else alive. Margaret will entertain us with some fascinating demonstrations of how the stones were built – and why – in her studio, then accompany us to the stones where she will give us a guided tour.

Day Eleven
We start the day with a walk to Dun Carloway Broch, a ruined tower over 2,000 years old, then free time for you to spend as you wish: deepening into this sacred landscape, meditating, journaling, or taking a bus to explore the lively historical town of Stornaway.

Day Twelve
An early morning ferry takes us back to the mainland, landing at the fishing village of Ullapool. After a stroll through this harbour town, we travel through the Highlands, stopping at a beautiful waterfall en route. After lunch we visit an ancient holy well and then spend time at the Clava Cairns, one of the best preserved Bronze Age sites in Scotland in a lovely woodland setting. This evening we relax in a traditional Scottish country house hotel in the heart of the Highlands, to celebrate our journey together with a farewell dinner and closing circle.

Day Thirteen
Our journey comes full circle when we arrive back at Edinburgh airport for farewells to Scotland and the friends we have made along the way.


Please note: While we make every effort to keep to the above itinerary, it may be subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen conditions.

 
 
   
 
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