Most of the western isles of Scotland are relatively small and off the beaten track yet their reputations around the world are impressive. Who has not heard of the Isle of Iona or Mull? Their stunning beauty and dramatic location certainly help, and so does another unseen mysterious quality – the power and energy in the land. In building their sacred sites on these remote islands our Neolithic and Celtic ancestors recognized this quality and have left us treasures set in stone.
We start our journey at the most northerly of the Outer Hebrides – the Isle of Lewis. There we find Callanish stone circle has even taller stones than Stonehenge and a north-south aligned leyline named after it. We will get an understanding of life through the centuries as we visit a broch, a sturdy communal dwelling from 2,000 years ago, a black house typical of those lived in by peasant farmers since Viking times and a 20th century white house. This will also be a fun and dramatic journey as we take the local ferry-boats from island to island; from Lewis and Harris, to North & South Uist, to Mull and Iona.
The lovely harbour town of Oban is set in a dramatic location in the Firth of Lorn and protected by the Isle of Mull. This is our base as we explore some of the special places on the mainland such as the Kilmartin Valley with the greatest concentration of sacred sites in the whole of Scotland. On route we visit holy wells, stone circles, faery glens, chambered cairns, a former spiritual university of the Middle Ages, an abbey, early saints churches, lochs, glens, mountains, islands, beach and ocean! Oh, and there's a warm Scottish welcome and maybe some live traditional folk music in local pubs on free evenings.
And at the end of this remarkable journey we will have a special guided tour of the Knights Templar sanctuary of Rosslyn Chapel with its many secrets and the mysterious underground cave system known as Gilmerton Cove. The tour ends at Edinburgh with a visit to Edinburgh Castle and time to experience a taste of royal Scottish city life.
Day 1 – Sun 15th Sept: You will be met at Stornoway airport on the Isle of Lewisafter your connecting flight from Glasgow. Go to hotel for rest-up or explore this Scottish harbour town. Introductions meeting. Dinner at hotel
Day 2 – Mon 16th Sept: Morning orientation meeting. Today we explore 5,000 years of history through some remarkable sites.
We start with a visit to the ‘White House’ and ‘Blackhouse’ at Arnol giving us an atmospheric glimpse into the lives of local Hebrideans through the centuries since Viking times. Then we visit Dun Carloway Broch overlooking Loch Roag. This is one of the best preserved round stone houses in the Hebrides built around the time of Jesus. We conclude this day as we explore the three stone circles of Callanish. This Neolithic complex is amongst the finest to be found anywhere and is known as ‘Scotland’s Stonehenge’. We will learn of the astronomical alignments of the site and experience the power within the land firsthand. Free-choice dinner not included in tour price
Day 3 – Tues 17th Sept: Drive through the stunningly beautiful scenery of the adjoining isles of Lewis and Harris. Catch the ferry from Harris to N. Uist. Afternoon on North Uist. Visit Pobull Fhinn circle, a beautiful dreaming circle on moorland, overlooking a sea-loch and nearby Barpa Langais Chambered Cairn (for drumming and deep meditation into the Earth). Overnight at a hotel on North Uist. Dinner at the hotel
Day 4 – Weds 18th Sept:
Teampull Na Troin is a ruined church which was a former spiritual university in the Middle Ages, people came from all over Europe to study here. There is a beautiful feeling here on the edge of a sea-loch. This is a great place for connecting to ancient wisdom. En route we can see the Lady of the Isles, a stunning 1960’s statue of Mary holding the child Jesus aloft, placed directly on the Callanish energy line! We catch the ferry to Oban on the mainland, a 5 ? -hour sailing, part of which is through the beautiful Sound of Mull. Stay at hotel in Oban. Free-choice dinner not included in tour price
Day 5 – Thur 19th Sept: We have a free morning in Oban, a busy port town with a history. After lunch we will drive to Kilmartin Valley with over 150 sacred sites! We visit Stone Avenue, Templewood stone circle, with a cist & chambered cairn.
We will spend the afternoon exploring some of the sites there. Stay at Oban hotel again. Free-choice dinner not included in tour price
Day 6 – Fri 20th Sept: We catch the early Oban – Craignure, Mull ferry, just a 45 minute sailing. We then have an hour’s scenic drive through Mull to the ferry terminal over to Iona. Day on Iona: Iona Abbey, with its beautiful acousticChapel, St. Columba’s cell and the Nunnery gardens which are sublime. Everywhere on Iona is wonderful for meditation. We catch the return ferry to Mull where we stay for the night. Dinner at hotel
Day 7 – Sat 21st Sept: We start the day with a visit to Lochbuie Stone Circle, a Faery circle surrounded by mountains, its location is idyllic. We shall celebrate the autumn equinox within this atmospheric circle of energetic stones. We then catch the return ferry to Oban before driving to the capital city of Edinburgh. Stay at hotel in Edinburgh for three nights. Dinner at hotel
Day 8 – Sun 22nd Sept: Today we have guided visits to Rosslyn Chapel, Gilmerton Cove and Temple.
Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by The DaVinci Code, is a remarkable building full of secrets, Green man carvings and esoteric symbolism that our guide will tell us about. It is like no other chapel or church you have been to before. After lunch, in a hotel in Roslin, we visit the Preceptory at Temple, a church built by the Knights Templar. Finally we go to Gilmerton Cove, a mysterious system of passageways and ‘rooms’ carved out of the rock under the main street of Gilmerton. Free-choice dinner not included in tour price
Day 9 – Mon 23rd Sept: This final day starts with a guided visit to the historic Edinburgh Castle. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the aspects of Edinburgh that appeal to you, from Holyrood Palace to shopping on The Royal Mile. Farewell dinner at our hotel.
Day 10 – Tues 24th Sept: A one-hour drive to Glasgow airport for return flights home.
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