Enjoy an 11 Day Scotland Visit
Today, we arrive at Glasgow Airport to start our Scotland visit. We meet with our coach driver and English-speaking guide and depart for Falkirk. Once in Falkirk, we enjoy a photo stop at the Falkirk Wheel. It was designed to reconnect the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. This remarkable and elegant mechanical marvel is the only rotating boatlift in the world. We then enjoy a photo stop at the Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures. Upon arrival in Glasgow, we enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, which is the largest in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. Next, we visit Glasgow Cathedral of St. Mungo, which stands majestically in the heart of Scotland’s largest city. We end the day of our Scotland visit by touring Govan Old Parish Church, designed by Robert Rowand Anderson and influenced by features at Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin. After breakfast the next morning, we enjoy a day of talks, workshops, and a buffet lunch at the Iona Headquarters in Glasgow. The Iona Community was founded in Glasgow and is still today very much where its heart is, working across a range of projects involving young people, publishing and church renewal. The Glasgow Office is situated on the South side of the River Clyde at Carlton Court and provides the main administrative support for Members, Associates and Friends as well as the Community’s operations in Iona and Mull. This evening of our Scotland visit we enjoy dinner and entertainment at Ledard Farm. They also have great passion for hosting you at their unique historical venue the Scottish way! The following morning we depart Glasgow and journey to Inveraray. En-route we enjoy a cruise along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. This morning we visit Inveraray Castle.Then we depart Inveraray and journey to Mull. Next we will visit St. Conan’s Kirk has been providing the local community and visitors alike with a most enchanting experience. Then we enjoy time at leisure in Oban. Afterwards, we depart Oban taking the ferry across the mouth of Loch Linnhe to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in the Oban area.
Fun Fact: Glasgow was known as the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period.
Working with the Highland Shepherd
After breakfast the next day, we enjoy the scenic drive across the remote island to Fionnphort for a short ride on a passenger ferry to the Island of Iona. We enjoy morning worship at Iona Abbey. In Iona, we walk past the old nunnery and the historic graveyard that contains the remains of a score of Scottish and even some Norse Kings. We continue on to the restored Abbey Church. We will then enjoy lunch. After seeing the work of today’s Iona Community, we walk back to the village and onto the beach where Viking raiders slaughtered most of the scholars in the 8th century. The scholars main task was to copy the Bible in an age before printing. Iona is a holy isle, an enduring symbol of Christianity in Scotland. The following morning of our Scotland visit we depart the Isle of Mull via ferry to Oban and continue to the Cairngorms and enjoy a photo stop at Glencoe. We participate in the working day of a Highland Shepherd and his dogs. The next morning we depart the Cairngorms and journey to St Andrews. En-route, we visit Dalwhinnie Distillery, at over 1,073 feet, one of the highest distilleries in the land! It is an opportunity to sample the ‘Gentle Spirit’ of the glen. We will get to see the distillers at work, harnessing the snow-fed waters of the Allt an t’Sluic, fresh from their journey through moorland heather, producing a wonderfully full-bodied, smooth and warming malt whisky. Upon arrival at St. Andrews, we enjoy a walking tour of the city. Our Scotland visit will take us to the city’s historical attractions, the famous golf course, and the university. We also visit St. Andrews Castle- the focal point of the Church in Medieval Scotland. In addition, we visit St. Andrews Cathedral which was Scotland’s largest and most magnificent medieval church. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Touring St. Giles Cathedral
The following day of our Scotland visit we depart St. Andrews and journey to Edinburgh via the coastal route. We enjoy lunch at a local pub/restaurant in Anstruther. We then visit St. Monan’s Parish Kirk. Upon arrival in Edinburgh, we enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. Edinburgh is one of the world’s finest cities. The city tour includes the Georgian New Town and photo stop on Calton Hill where we admire the splendid views of the city and the historic Old Town. Overlooking it all perches Edinburgh Castle, the medieval fortress which dominates the city’s skyline. We also pass St. Giles Cathedral noted as the mother church of Presbyterianism. After breakfast the next day of our Scotland visit, we visit St. Giles Cathedral which was the church of John Knox during the Reformation and is often referred to as the ‘Cradle of Presbyterianism’. We then visit Rosslyn Chapel. Founded in 1446, as the Collegiate Church of St Matthew, Rosslyn Chapel is a unique building with its and mysterious carvings and the beauty of its setting. The chapel took some 40 years to complete, its ornate stonework and symbolism have inspired – and intrigued – artists and visitors ever since it has been completed. In the evening, we enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Prestonfield House. Featuring a nightly performance by acclaimed Three Scottish Tenors, Scotland’s most famous evening of traditional Scottish music, bagpipes, fiddles and dance with wine and dinner is not to be missed! Moments from the bustle of the Royal Mile, we enjoy a memorable evening of emotive song and spirited dance. A delicious 4-course dinner of Angus beef and Orkney salmon with wine and taste of haggis accompanies this unmissable evening of traditional hospitality and entertainment. The next day of our Scotland visit we enjoy the day at leisure in Edinburgh. Dinner is on your own this evening. After breakfast the final morning at our hotel, we depart for the airport for our return flight home. We arrive back in the U.S.A. the same day.