Celtic Footsteps in Scotland
Wonder Voyage, in partnership with Jeff Johnson, presents our Celtic Footsteps Pilgrimage in Scotland. Celtic Footsteps offers plentiful opportunities to encounter God’s peace in the holy “thin spaces” of Scotland and Northumbria where monks and travelers have encountered God’s peace for centuries. Jeff Johnson’s unique Selah worship experiences are a blend of contemplation, prayerful meditation, sung worship, and silence. Through cultural immersion, expert guides, and fine dining, we have developed a one-of-a-kind itinerary. Each day has two tracks – one featuring a quieter, slower-paced, cultural experience and another with more energetic hiking and exploration activities. Our Celtic Footsteps pilgrimages are offered for 20 people. We invite you to be one of those blessed souls and join us on this special adventure.
- Single Supplement: +$300
What is included in price:
- All lodging
- Breakfast and dinner
- All ground transportation
- A one-of-kind pilgrimage
- Quality tour leaders
- Unique cultural experiences
What is NOT included in price:
- Travel insurance*
- Snacks/extreme dietary needs
*Travel insurance is required.
A non-refundable deposit of $300.00 per person is required to save your place. The balance of three equal payments are due February 1, April 1 and June 1.
- Day 1 – Ceud Mìle Fàilte – A Thousand Welcomes! (Monday, September 3)
The beautiful city of Edinburgh is the perfect stepping off point to begin our pilgrimage into the land of our Celtic forbears. We firstly invite you to find your feet and explore “Auld Reekie”, a city of history, literature, and excitement. In the evening we encounter the holy through laughter, worship, prayer, and maybe even a glass of whisky or two. After a sumptuous meal, we’ll talk through the week and learn a little about each other. Our Scottish Selah pilgrimage has begun!
- Day 2- Castle Sanctuaries (Tuesday, September 4)
Today we travel to the gorgeous Alnwick (pronounced “AN-ik”) Castle and Gardens in Northern England. The grounds were featured in Downtown Abbey, Harry Potter, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and dozens more movies and TV shows. After your Quidditch lesson, we head to the town of Bamburgh where we rest for the next couple days. Behind this picturesque little town looms Bamburgh Castle, designed to impressively dominate the ocean coastline. After a delicious supper we enjoy our first Selah service in the historic St. Aidan’s Church where we learn of his life and mission to Northumbria.
- Day 3- The Holy Isle (Wednesday, September 5)
In 635 AD, King Oswald of Northumbria charged the priest Aidan to found a monastery at Lindisfarne. It grew to become the center of Christian missions in Northern England and the holy presence that rests on this island still speaks to those who love history, nature, stillness, and adventure. Today we enjoy the peace of the island, joining the locals and fellow pilgrims on the path for a Eucharist service at St. Mary’s Parish Church. The afternoon is spent in contemplation at your favorite place on the island.
- Day 4- Coastal Shift (Thursday, September 6)
Heading to the west coast of Scotland, we stop off at the historic city of Stirling, allowing you to wander its winding roads and have a bite for lunch. Then it is on to the charming village of Oban, where we take in the seaside beauty of this bustling town. A hearty seafood dinner is a must tonight as we prepare for our sea crossing in the morning.
- Day 5- Columcille’s Island (Friday, September 7)
Are you ready for our three-day adventure on the holy island of Iona? Vaulting over ocean wave and craggy hill from Oban to the Isle of Mull, we reach Iona Abbey. Founded by the exiled Irish monk St. Columcille in 563 AD, it is one of the true homes of Celtic Christianity. After our exciting trip we stretch our legs with a walking tour of the island, and then attend a service of healing at Iona Abbey.
- Day 6- Where Heaven and Earth Blur (Saturday, Sept 8)
Iona is one of the “thin places”—where the borders between heaven and earth mingle. Join the eternal pilgrimage here, matching your strides with those of the many followers of Jesus who have lived, worked, prayed, and worshiped on Iona in the last 1,500 years. Columba of Ireland landed on the southern shores of this island with a handful of monks and the intention of creating a place where the love of Christ would shine to all the world. Iona’s most famous spiritual son, Aidan, would later be sent out to foster the gospel of Christ across Britain. This morning we worship in a special Selah service in one of the ancient chapels. After touring the town we give you time to find a bite to eat. The afternoon offers the choice of an Iona specific cultural experience or a beautiful hike over hill and seaside trails where humble saints walked and worshiped. Our evening centers around the table as we share the day’s adventures and eat and worship beside one another.
- Day 7- Breathing In Iona (Sunday, Sept 9)
One of the greatest privileges in coming to Iona is taking time to slow down, breathe, and rest in the holy atmosphere that saturates the island. After Eucharist at the Abbey we give you time to reflect, pray, and just be in this glorious place, roaming where your heart takes you. The evening provides local food and live music for those who wish it during our last night in this most sacred of places.
- Day 8- Gentle Transition (Monday, Sept 10)
This morning, we pack up and head back to Oban where we partake in the Scottish tradition of uisge beatha—the “water of life”—with a tour of the famous Oban distillery. Crossing back to the East Coast we return to Edinburgh in time for a storytelling tour through the dusky streets on the Saints and Sinners Tour, meeting the many historical characters that have colored the city through the centuries. A night out on the town is a delightful break as we take in Edinburgh in the evening.
- Day 9- Edinburgh Wanderings (Tuesday, September 11)
Your last full day in Scotland is spent exploring the spellbinding city of Edinburgh. The day starts with two choices: a hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat—a volcanic hill in the east end of the city—for a bird’s eye view; or a visit to the National Museum of Scotland which contains artifacts from the prehistoric tribes of the area, right up to the industrial age. Then you can continue to explore, pick up some souvenirs, or even track down the legendary haggis! Edinburgh is one of the best cities in the world to walk. Our evening comes to a close with a very special Celebration Meal where we share the stories of our day and rejoice over the incredible week we have had together.
- Day 10- Alba Sàmhach -Scotland, farewell! (Wednesday, September 12)
We have entered pilgrimage together, discovering Christianity’s Celtic heritage as we walked in the Celtic Footsteps of Scotland from coast to coast. The beauty of guided worship in Jeff Johnson’s Selah services have let you experience peace, contemplation, joy, and wonder in some truly rare settings. We have passed through history and rubbed against the thin places of this world in an attempt to feel the peace of the next. We have traced the boundaries of ocean and land, day and night, and heaven and earth. We have followed the paths of royals, saints, storytellers, and sages. As you cross back over the borders into your daily life, you now do so with a wider understanding of God, your life enriched with intimate encounters with Christ and us, his anointed. May Christ’s peace continue with each of you!
Shawn Small – Voyage Director
For the past twenty years, Shawn’s Wonder Voyage has led thousands of seekers into the ancient sacrament of pilgrimage in over forty countries. He is a storyteller, author, documentary film maker and a wonderful host.
Jeff Johnson – Worship Leader
About the time Shawn began Wonder Voyage, Jeff was developing the Christian contemplative worship service called the Selah Service. From its beginnings, Selah took much inspiration from the Christian Celtic tradition which is at the heart of this pilgrimage.