9 Day - Pilgrimage Tour of Scotland & Northumberland
Day One - Airport Transfer - Glasgow Cathedral - St Mungo Museum of Religious Life - Glasgow
Arrive into Glasgow Airport, where you will be met by your driver for the transfer into central Glasgow to check-in at your hotel for overnight. This will be followed by a visit to Glasgow Cathedral, the parish church for Glasgow and is a rare example of an almost complete original 13th century church, built over the supposed tomb of St Kentigern. On then for a visit to St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life, with its unique focus on things spiritual, it has 3 galleries dedicated to religious art, world religions and religion in Scottish history.
Day Two - Loch Lomond - Inverary Castle - Isle of Mull
After breakfast depart for the journey to Loch Lomond which is renowned for its beauty and tranquillity for a stop at the Visitor Centre. Continue towards Oban, skirting Loch Long and Loch Fyne, with a stop at the pleasant town of Inveraray, an early example of town planning, as the original settlement was moved to accommodate the present Castle. A visit will be included to the castle and this multi-turreted mock Gothic palace has been the home the Chief of the powerful Clan Campbell, the Dukes of Argyll, since 1701. Take the afternoon ferry to the Isle of Mull and this will be your base for the next 2 nights.
Day Three - Iona Abbey - Isle of Mull
Take the journey to Fionnphort, for the short ferry crossing to the Isle of Iona, a place of pilgrimage since St Columba came from Ireland in AD 563 to found a monastery and convert Scotland to Christianity. Many early Scottish Kings and Chiefs were buried here including Macbeth. A visit will be included to Iona Abbey before enjoying some free time for reflection and contemplation in this place of pilgrimage and retreat. Return to your hotel and enjoy a panoramic tour of the Isle of Mull on your return journey.
Day Four - Stirling Castle - Bannock burn - Wallace Monument - Stirling
Take the return ferry to the mainland and head to Stirling for a visit to the castle, the grandest of all Scottish castles, both in its architecture and its dominant situation on a crag high above the town. This will be followed by a visit to Bannockburn, which is undoubtedly of one of the most spectacular battles of the Scottish Wars of Independence. Although the struggle against the English was to continue for some 13 years more, the Scottish victory was of enormous importance as it secured the future of the throne for Robert Bruce, King of Scots. This will be followed by a stop at the Wallace Monument to include an audio visual tour. Check-in at your hotel in Stirling for overnight.
Day Five - Edinburgh Castle - Palace of Holyroodhouse - Edinburgh
After breakfast depart for the journey to Edinburgh for a visit to Edinburgh Castle, dominating the capital's skyline and giving stunning views of the city and home to the Scottish Crown Jewels. It was last attacked during the 1745 rebellion when the city, but not the castle, fell to Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Army. This will be followed by an afternoon visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty the Queen. Dinner is at leisure.
Day Six - John Knox House - St Giles Cathedral - Edinburgh
After breakfast visit John Knox House, which has been largely unaltered since the 1550's when the Mosman family, Goldsmiths to Mary Queen of Scots, remodelled the house. John Knox, leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of the Presbyterian Church, lived here for a short time before he died here in 1572. Now maintained by the Church of Scotland, the museum holds an exhibition about Knox's life and times. On then for a visit to St Giles Cathedral, where in 1559, Knox led the Lords of the Congregation into Edinburgh and was elected minister of Edinburgh. Knox played a principal role in establishing the styles of worship and administration that were to be accepted throughout the country. Knox served as Minister at St Giles' until 1572. Rest of the day is at leisure in Edinburgh.
Day Seven - Rosslyn Chapel - Holy Island - Lindisfarne Castle - Lindisfarne Priory - Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Depart Edinburgh for a morning visit to the exquisite Rosslyn Chapel (the reported hiding place of the Holy Grail and ancient home of the Knights of Templar) before continuing over the over the border into Northumbria for a visit to the Holy Island (Lindisfarne). A visit will be included to the castle, built in 1550 to protect the Holy Island harbour from attack. The castle was later restored and concerted into a private house in 1903. This will be followed by a visit to Lindisfarne Priory, one of the most important early centres of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. St Cuthbert converted pagan Northumbria, and miracles occurring at his shrine established this 11th century priory as a major pilgrimage centre. Return to the mainland and check-in at your accommodation in Berwick-upon-Tweed for overnight.
Day Eight - Jedburgh Abbey - Traquair House - Glasgow
Depart for the journey to Glasgow, stopping in the Scottish Borders to visit Melrose, the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart and Jedburgh, home to two of the 4 great Cistercian abbeys, founded in the 12th century. A visit will also be made at Traquair House, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland. It is particularly rich in association with the Catholic Church in Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobite Risings. Return to Edinburgh Glasgow to check-in at your hotel for overnight.
Day Nine - Airport Transfer
To Glasgow Airport for your return flight home.