Walking Awake on the Isle of Iona, Scotland: September 2024

A September 6th - 14th, 2024 Pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, Scotland 

LIMITED RESERVATIONS AVAILABLE! 

You are invited to join Denise Crawn and Nick Prance of Walking Awake on a small group pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, Scotland. 

The Isle of Iona is often referred to as a 'thin place' and it has long been a place of pilgrimage influencing art, music, poetry and religion across the ages. The history and myth surround Iona are both intriguing and inviting. Being on Iona for an entire week is a wonderful way to get a true sense of its energy and story. 

Temple Wood Stone Circle, KilmartinOur trip will begin on Saturday, September 6th, 2024 at 8am when Denise and Nick will meet the group at 8:00am at the Holiday Inn EXPRESS at the Glasgow Airport. Together we will board our private-hire bus for a day filled with adventure. Wending our way through the Highlands and Islands, our first stop will be the Kilmartin Glen. Here we will spend the day amongst its many rock carvings, standing stones and Neolithic and Bronze Age burial cairns. Once the Kingdom of the Dal Riata (kin of St. Columba of Iona), we will first stop at Dunadd, a 2000 year old hill fort where Kings were once anointed and where you will have the opportunity to take in the stunning views and literally stand in the footsteps of Kings and Saints! 

5610F36C C772 46C6 8B10 2CDD98A2B9BEWA Knights Grave Kilmartin Cemeteryhile in Kilmartin, we will walk amongst its impressive standing stones including the stone circles of Temple Wood. There will also be time to visit the newly refurbished Kilmartin museum and the Kilmartin Parish Church: a Gothic style church dating back to 1835 (in its Kirk yard lies incredible medieval tomb slabs featuring the carvings of Knights and Celtic symbols). 

After our day in Kilmartin is complete we will once again board our bus and make our way to Oban (known as the 'gateway to the isles'). Here we will settle into our accommodation (TBA) where you can choose to rest, or head out for individual sightseeing or shopping. Around 7:30 this evening we will gather for our group-booked meal at an atmospheric and delicious restaurant by the waterside. 

The next morning, Saturday, September 7th, 2024: 

ObanAfter breakfast there will be time for individuals to further explore Oban before our group re-gathers to board the ferry to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. This beautiful 45 minute sail with picturesque views provides a great opportunity to capture amazing photographs. Upon arriving in Craignure we will board a public bus and make our way across the majestic Isle of Mull to Fionnphort where upon arrival, we will catch our final 15 minute ferry over the turquoise blue Sound of Iona to the Isle of Iona. 

After setting foot on Iona, we will walk to our home-away-from-home for the week (approx. a 10 minute walk on a paved road). Our cozy cottage is located within steps of the Sound of Iona and within short walking distance of the village, shops, restaurants and Iona Abbey (approx. 15 minute walk). Tigh an Easbuig; ruins near the Iona Abbey

After settling into our cottage, we will gather for a brief walk/introduction to the island. Our first evening meal will be cooked together as a group (led by Denise) followed by a welcoming group circle/evening session. 

In regards to meals for the rest of the week on Iona:

Nick tour Abbey reduced szOur self-catering cottage will be stocked with all you need for breakfast and lunch through out the week (which you may choose to prepare on your own or as a group). Evening meals are up to you! You may wish to book yourself into one of the island's hotel restaurants, cook for yourself, or arrange to continue cooking together as a group (there is a small well-stocked store on Iona). For our final evening meal on Iona (Sept. 13th), depending on availability, we will either gather for a group-booked meal at one of the island's restaurants or order-in delicious gourment pizzas made fresh by a very talented resident of Iona.Fingals Cave on Staffa

Throughout our week on Iona, Nick and Denise will offer guided walks and tours to Iona's sacred sites, you will have the opportunity to embark on a boat trip to the Isle of Staffa where you can get a close-up of Fingal's Cave, there will be offerings of informational group sessions on the history, myth, legends of Iona, and on subjects such as; the Iona Community and the community of Iona, Celtic Spirituality, and Walking Awake in Nature. All will be blended beautifully with Walking Awake's eclectic mix of poetry, song, ceremony, story and simply 'walking awake' in all we do! If desired, there will also be time to attend services at Iona Abbey, and to partake in other religious offerings on the island. And of course, there will be plenty of un-programmed time while on Iona for individual quiet reflection and exploration. 

A more detailed itinerary and description of guided walks, informative group sessions and other activities will be provided after registration. 

REGISTRATION: (Only a few spaces remain!)

Cost: 

$2300.00 per person, if registered by February 2nd, 2024

If registered after February 2nd, 2024: price increases to $2500.00 per person and must be paid in full 

A non-refundable deposit of $700.00 per person will reserve your place on this pilgrimage however, please contact Denise Crawn to confirm availability prior to placing your non-refundable deposit

All reservations are shared room accommodation (two to a room)

After placing the $700.00 non-refundable deposit, the payment schedule is as follows: 

January 15th, 2024: $500.00 due 

March 15th, 2024:    $500.00 due 

May 1st, 2024: Balance of $600.00 due 

All payments are to be made to Walking Awake via the PayPal link found on the homepage of this website

Cost includes: 

Transportation: 

  • Private bus pick-up from the Holiday Inn EXPRESS at Glasgow Airport at 8:00am sharp on Friday, September 6th, 2024 
  • Bus journey/day-trip to Kilmartin with an early evening drop-off at our accommodation in Oban
  • Return ferry: Oban/Craignure, Fionnphort/Iona (September 7th/September 14th)
  • Return public bus: Craignure/Fionnphort (September 7th/September 14th)
  • One way train ticket from Oban to Glasgow Queen Street Station on Saturday, September 14th, 2024 (time TBA). From here, you are on your own to further explore Scotland or return to the airport.

Accommodation: 

  • 1 night shared accommodation in Oban (location TBA) 
  • 7 nights shared accommodation on Iona at our self-catering cottage 

Meals: 

  • September 6th, 2024: Evening meal is included (up to £35 value pp) and will be group-booked at a restaurant in Oban by the waterside 
  • Breakfast on Saturday, September 7th, 2024 
  • Group cooked evening meal in our cottage on Saturday, September 7th, 2024 
  • Last evening on Iona: Depending on availaibility, we will either book the group into one of Iona's restaurants or order gourmet pizza's (value up to £35 pp)

Other: 

  •  Week-long admission to Iona Abbey and Museum 
  • Guide(s) and bus driver fees 
  • Group-booked boat trip to Staffa and Fingal's Cave (if weather permits) 

Not Included: 

  • Airfare (we suggest you arrive at least a day prior to our meeting in case of delays)
  • Any travel or accommodation prior to and following the dates of our trip 
  • Individual travel insurance for all eventualities (REQUIRED) 
  • Options not listed above 
  • Optional tips for bus driver, guides, or other services
  • Any unforseen/additional costs incurred due to travel delays within our pilgrimage (see below)

Travel Delays: 

Arrival in Scotland: We suggest you consider planning to arrive in Scotland at least 24 hours prior to our scheduled pick-up time on Friday morning, September 6th, 2024 - just in case you encounter flight or any other travel delays preventing you from arriving at 8:00am at the Holiday Inn EXPRESS at the Glasgow Airport 

In the rare event that we might possibly encounter travel delays within our journey (such as weather, ferries not running, train or bus delays/issues, etc) each individual is responsible for any and all additional costs incurred including but not limited to: accommodation, new travel plans, and meals. Fortunately, this has not yet occurred in all our years of running trips to Iona (see Walking Awake, LLC's Terms and Agreements for further details prior to placing your non-refundable deposit)

Flying Home: Because of the possibility of unforseen travel delays within our journey, we highly suggest that you do not book your return flight reservations until (at least) later in the evening on Sunday, September, 14th, 2024 (or better yet, a day or two later) 

*PRIOR TO MAKING A DEPOSIT OR PAYMENT: Contact Denise to check on availability then click here to read Walking Awake, LLC's Terms of Agreement & Cancelation Policy. Upon making your deposit or payment you are acknowledging that you have read, fully understand, and agree upon Walking Awake, LLC's Terms of Agreement & Cancelation Policy. 

The Hermits Cell, Iona