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 Highland
s
August 13th to 25th, 2018

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
We walk first to the nunnery with its sheela-na-gig, then visit St Oran's chapel where we can pay our respects to the ancestors at the royal burial mound of Scotland's kings. This afternoon there will be options for a boat trip around the island, free time to visit the craft studios and bookshops in the village, or find a sandy beach on which to relax. This evening, learn about the faery traditions with a walk to an ancient faery hill.

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 there will be an optional walk to a beach where you may be lucky enough to find the beautiful Iona greenstones. In the evening there will be a chance to explore Iona Abbey, founded by St. Columba and lovingly restored by the Iona Community.

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 at historic Glengarry for a traditional Scottish High Tea. Afterwards there will also be a chance to see 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
Today is a day to explore different facets of Skye. You may choose to spend time in Portree, the bustling harbour town, exploring its many shops, galleries and eateries; you may also take a wildlife boat trip to view seals and sea eagles; or follow Scot for a hike through the magical landscape of the luminous Fairy Pools.

Day Eight
This morning we will hear stories about the faery tradition on Skye, then we’ll make our way to Dunvegan Castle by the sea, home of the famous Fairy Flag of the MacLeod clan. After lunch at the castle, we will cross the haunted Fairy Bridge and wander through the Fairy Glen, a truly magical place filled with strange little hills believed to be fairy dwellings.

Day Nine
We wind up the east coast of Skye through an enchanted country of waterfalls, dazzling seascapes and fascinating rock formations such as the Old Man of Storr.  Then we set sail for the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, a remote and ancient island that is home to many world-famous archaeological sites, the most famous of which is the Callanish stones, an extraordinary ceremonial complex that is older than Stonehenge. This evening we will take a short journey to spend time at the stones.

Day Ten
This morning we walk to Dun Carloway Broch, a ruined tower over 2,000 years old, and later 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 Callanish stones where she will give us a guided tour.

Day Eleven
We travel 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 house. This afternoon we continue our exploration of this ancient megalithic landscape with a tour of other extraordinary, little-known sites in the area.

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, and visit 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.

 
 
   
 
Celtic Spirit Journeys and Retreats. Spiritual journeys to sacred & ancient Celtic sites in Great Britain & Ireland.
Call for details: From USA: (free) 1 800 657 1520 • From UK: 01239 858 830 • Worldwide: (+44)1239 858 830
© Chalice Productions 2012 • info@celticspiritjourneys.com