To think of Scotland is to hear the pipes and smell the heather in your mind. Undoubtedly, the 1995 Academy Award winning movie Braveheart brought Scotland to the front of our minds. Can you say, “FREEEEDDOOOOMMMM!” Scotland is a land of tough Highlanders, aristocratic Lowlanders and possibly even a Loch Ness monster. Like her Celtic neighbors, she seems to call to the hearts of people from around the world.
Scotland is Wonder Voyage at its best. When Columcille took 11 monks and launched into the Irish Sea toward Scotland they were embarking on what the Irish referred to as a Wonder Voyage. This was a journey into unknown territory while being led by a God who intensely loved them and the people they would be sent to serve. A Wonder Voyage was the ultimate act of trust, courage, and love for the Irish monk. In Scotland, you will experience a wondrous pilgrimage or missions trip that could take you to Iona, Edinburgh, the Highlands, or even the Holy Island.
- Walk ancient paths of the saints of old and remember their stories.
- Enjoy a time of worship and Eucharist at Arthur’s Seat.
- Search for the Loch Ness monster.
- Take a tour of Edinburgh’s underground city.
- Go castle raiding and explore an ancient structure that seems to reverberate with the sound of knights.
Every Wonder Voyage itinerary (mission trip and/or pilgrimage) is personalized to the desires, direction and personality of each group. This itinerary is only a description of the kind of journey we can create for your unique team.
- Day 1 – Ceud Mìle Fàilte
Our pilgrims are in Great Britain! After we pick you up from the airport we will travel south to the borderlands of England and Scotland. You will immediately be able to appreciate the beauty of the Scottish countryside. Before we arrive at our first Scottish home, we will visit the picturesque Melrose Abbey, the center of Christianity in the region. Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s great liberator, had his heart buried within the Abbey. You will have time to explore the hamlet of Melrose and eat a tasty lunch before we settle in for the evening. Prepare for a fantastic week.
- Day 2 – Borderlands
The Borderlands is a distinct region battled over for centuries. We begin our day by driving south into England through the Northumberland National Park. From there we’ll venture to Chester’s Roman Fort, a prominent site along Hadrian’s Wall (built by the Romans to contain the wild Picts from crossing into Roman territory). Then we head back to the park and enjoy our lunch in the charming town of Bellingham. In the afternoon, we will take a leisurely nature walk from the town center to the Hareshaw Linn waterfall. Then it’s back to Scotland for a quiet evening.
- Day 3 – The Tweed Valley
Known locally as “the Merse,” the Tweed Valley is a beguiling and gentle landscape of rich farmlands and wooded river banks. But this pastoral Eden was once filled with war between Scotland and England. The Tweed Valley was also home to Sir Walter Scott, a writer who gained most of his inspiration from the surrounding countryside. Beautiful ruins, stately homes and sacred Abbeys will meet us everywhere as we travel in this southern Scottish paradise.
- Day 4 – The Holy Island, Lindisfarne
Today we visit The Holy Isle. The monastery of Lindisafarne was founded by St. Aidan, who had been sent from Iona at the request of Northumbria’s King Oswald in 635 A.D. Lindisfarne became the center of Christian missions in northern England and had a significant impact on the history of Britain. We will learn about Lindisafarne’s history, saints and island life while the tides hold. In the evening we will transition to our new home.
- Day 5 – Thin Places
There are precious few moments in our lives when we can stop and rest in God’s presence. This Saturday, we revisit Lindisfarne for a very different experience. Today we come as pilgrims in search of Thin Places, places where heaven meets earth. We start our day on Lindisfarne with a Eucharist service. You will have the day to walk, think, journal, explore and spend time in prayer. Before we leave we will gather in the sanctuary for evening prayer. May Christ meet us in a significant way on this day.
- Day 6 – Coast Lands
Our slower-paced day starts with a Eucharist at a local Anglican fellowship. After a rejuvenating lunch we will spend the afternoon at Bamburgh Castle, one of the finest castles in England and of great historic relevance. The evening will allow you to catch up with journaling, sleep or laughter.
- Day 7 – Edinburgh
Our final destination on our borderland journey is the thriving city of Edinburgh. A city filled with stories of saints and sinners, heroes and scoundrels, royalty and poverty, Edinburgh will stir your imagination. In the afternoon we will introduce you to the history, architecture and culture that makes Edinburgh a one-of-a-kind place. This evening we will settle into our retreat center and rest for the final leg of our adventure.
- Day 8 – Free Day
Your last full day in Scotland will be spent exploring Edinburgh. Whether you want history, sacred space, hiking, shopping or just wandering, the day will be yours to decide. Our evening will come to a close with a very special celebration meal.
- Day 9 – Iona
We will travel across Scotland to the west coast and take a couple of ferries to get to Iona. St. Columba established his monastery here in the 6th century as a beacon of light to the world. Iona’s influence lasts even until today. This once in a lifetime experience will establish a special place in your heart.
- Day 10 – Heading Home
You have spent the last several days discovering borders. You have crossed country and cultural borders. You have straddled the boundaries of ocean and land, day and night, heaven and earth. You have walked in the steps of royalty, saints, storytellers and sages. Our prayer is that as you cross back over the borders of your daily life, you will do so with a deeper appreciation of your Christian roots, plenty of joy-filled tales of your community and an peace that passes all understanding. May ‘thin places’ abound back home.
Legacy in Scotland
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.