Iona 2023!

We have TWO Iona Pilgrimages to the Isle of Iona, Scotland scheduled for May, 2023!

(Scroll down for information on both!)

May 2023 Iona Pilgrimages: 

Our first one:

Friday, May 5th - Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Exploring our Iona Connections: A Columcille Pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, Scotland led by Denise Crawn and Nick Prance of Walking Awake, organized for Columcille Megalith Park 
 
This Pilgrimage is open to Columcille Megalith Park Members and Friends, and all those who have a connection to, and interest in both Iona and Columcille.   

More about the Isle of Iona, Scotland and Columcille Megalith Park Connection:

The Isle of Iona is often referred to as a 'thin place'; a sacred space where little separates the material from the spiritual. For centuries the Isle of Iona has influenced art, music, spirituality and religion. The historical and mythical stories surrounding Iona are both intriguing and inviting.

Over the mid-20th century, Columcille's founder, William (Bill) H. Cohea, Jr. experienced a series of dreams and visions while on this small Hebridean isle. It is from these Iona encounters that Columcille Megalith Park was created. 

Columcille Megalith Park too, is a thin place and is named after the Irish monk Columba, who along with his 12 followers settled on Iona in 563AD. Located in rural Pennsylvaina, various Columcille sites carry the titles ascribed to Iona's sacred sites and stories such as: the St. Columba Chapel and the Oran Bell Tower. Lovingly referred to as "the Land of Myth and Mystery" by the late Bill Cohea, Columcille Megalith Park is the home of over 90 standing stones, and is a manifestation of Cohea's mystical Iona encounters.  

Our Journey Together:

This pilgrimage will be hosted, organized and guided by Walking Awake's Denise Crawn (former Columcille Board President, and once neighbor and friend of Columcille's founders) along with her husband, Nick Prance (former Isle of Iona resident) with the intention of weaving (and continuing) the dance between these two magical places. 

On our way to Iona we will wend our way through the Highlands and Islands on a private hire bus stopping to spend an afternoon in the company of the standing stones and ancient sites of Kilmartin. Kilmartin too, holds ties to Iona and Bill Cohea felt a strong connection to its standing stones and its ancestors. 

After our day in Kilmartin, our bus will take us to our overnight accommodation in the picturesque harbor town of Oban, known as the 'Gateway to the Isles'. That evening, we will enjoy a meal together in a beautiful and delicious restaurant located on the water's edge before setting off the next morning to the call of our pilgrimage, the Isle of Iona. 

Our week on Iona will include guided walks to its many wild and sacred sites, as well as informative and explorative group sessions delving deeply into the myths and stories that tie these two thin places (Columcille and Iona) together.  

Cost: 

*$2500.00 per person if registered by placing the non-refundable deposit or paying in full before December 1st, 2022. 

After December 1st, 2022, price will increase to *$2700.00 per person. 

A non-refundable deposit of $700.00 will reserve your place with the balance in full due by March 1st, 2023. 

There are a limited amount of spaces available. Early reservation is recommended. 

*Prior to making your deposit or payment: Contact Denise to check on availability. 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.       

Included: 

Transportation: Bus and ferry transport to Iona from designated meeting place in Glasgow (TBA). Ferry, bus and train return to Glasgow 

A day visit to Kilmartin including stops at the Hill Fort of Dunadd, ancient standing stones sites and burial cairns

Accommodation: 1 night in shared accommodation in Oban (location TBA), 7 nights shared accommodation on Iona in self catering cottages 

Admission to Iona Abbey and Museum

Guided group walks and talks to sites including: Kilmartin, Columba's Bay, the Iona Abbey and St. Oran's Chapel, and other hidden sites and special places on Iona 

Boat trip to Staffa where you will be able to visit Fingal's Cave and possibly see the puffins! 

Meals: Two inclusive restaurant meals (maximum value £35pp per meal): Welcome dinner in Oban and closing dinner on Iona. Stocked breakfast and packed lunch items for cottage. There will also be opportunity to break bread together (cook together) as a group while on Iona.    

Guide fees. 

*All prices include a $150.00 donation to Columcille Megalith Park. To find out more about Columcille Megalith Park, click here

Not included:

Airfare

Any travel or accommodation prior to or following the dates of our trip. 

Meals not listed as included.

Options not listed above.

Individual travel insurance.

Any unforseen costs incurred due to travel delays within our pilgrimage due to weather or transportation disruption. 

Itineray details: 

KILMARTIN and OBAN: 

Standing Stones of KilmartinIona w friends 046 72Friday, May 5th, 2023: Early morning we will gather as a group at a designated meet-up location in Glasgow (time and location TBA) and together we will board our bus for a day full of adventure. Wending our way through the Highlands and Islan ds our first stop will be the KilmaA Knights Grave Kilmartin Cemeteryrtin Glen where 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, we will first stop at Dunadd, a 2000 year old hill fort where Kings were once crowned and where you will have the opportunity to take in the stunning views and literally stand in the footsteps of Kings and Saints. While in Kilmartin you will also have the opportunity to walk amongst its standing stones, enter ancient burial chambers, visit the cafe and museum (if open: it is currently being renovated) and nearby Kilmartin Parish Church; a gothic style church dated back to 1835 (in its Kirk yard lies incredible medieval tomb slabs featuring 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 where we will settle into or accommodation with time for individual sightseeing, shopping or rest. Later that evening we will gather as a group for our Welcome Dinner at an atmospheric (and delicious!) restaurant by the water side.

IONA
The next morning, Saturday, May 6th:
After breakfast (time TBA) we will board the ferry to Craignure. This beautiful 45 minute sail with picturesque views is a great time to capture amazing photos. Upon arriving in Craignure, as a group we will board the public bus and make our way across the majestic Isle of Mull to Fionnphort where we will catch our final 15 minute ferry over the turquoise blue Sound of Iona to the Isle of Iona. Once on Iona, our group will settle into our (nearby) charming self-catering cottages which upon arrival will be stocked with all you need for breakfast and lunch throughout your stay. Your home-away-from-home while on Iona will be steps away from the shores of the Sound of Iona and within walking distance of the village, Iona Nunnery and Abbey, restaurants and shops. After a brief introduction to the island, we will gather for our first evening meal on Iona which we will cook and eat together as a group in one of our cozy cottages. Afterwards, we will gather for a welcoming and informative group circle. 


Throughout our week on Iona: 
Denise and Nick will offer guided walks and tours to Iona's sacred sites and hidden places many of which connect deeply to the roots of Columcille and the hearts of its founders, Bill Cohea and Fred Lindkvist. You will also have the opportunity to embark on a boat trip toNick tour Abbey reduced sz the Isle of Staffa where you can get a close up of Fingals's Cave (and maybe even puffins!). There will be offerings of informational group sessions on the history, myth, and legends of Iona and its Columcille connections woven with aspects of Celtic Spirituality and Nature teachings (a more detailed itinerary will be given nearer our journey).

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 the Iona Abbey and partake in the 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. 

Saturday, May 13th, leaving Iona: Our pilgrimage together will conclude with the group returning to Glasgow on public transportation via ferries, bus and train on Saturday, May 13th. (Note: If you are interested in the possibility of extending your time on Iona for a couple of days, there will be limited space available to do so. Please contact Denise for availability and additional cost per day.)   

 

The Village of Iona as viewed from the ferryOur Second May 2023 Iona Pilgrimage: 

The Wild and Sacred Spaces of Iona:

Friday, May 19th - Saturday, May 27th, 2023 

This Pilgrimage is a traditional 'Walking Awake on Iona' Pilgrimage and is geared towards those who are comfortable traveling on their own and wish to spend their time completely focused on the sacred Isle of Iona.

Details:

Friday, May 19th: Each individual booked on this journey will weave their own way to the Oban Ferry Terminal by a (TBA) pre-designated time where either Denise or Nick of Walking Awake will greet the group and we will board the ferry together setting off to Craignure. This beautiful 45 minute sail with stunning views is a great time to capture amazing photos! Upon arriving in Craignure, as a group we will board a public bus and make our way across the majestic Isle of Mull to Fionnphort where we will catch our final 15 minute ferry over the turquoise blue Sound of Iona to the Isle of Iona. Once on Iona, our group will settle into our charming self-catering cottage which will be stocked with all you need for breakfast and lunch throughout your stay. Your home-away-from-home while on Iona will be steps away fromthe Sound of Iona and within walking distance of the village, Iona Nunnery and Abbey, restaurants and shops.Fingals Cave on Staffa

After a brief introduction to the island, we will gather to 'break bread together' as we prepare, cook, and eat together as a group in one of our cozy cottages. Afterwards, we will gather for a welcoming and informative group circle.  

In re08gards to evening meals for the rest of the week: we will gather together for another group prepared/cooked meal on our final evening (Friday, May 26th) other than that, evening meals throughout the week are your choice: You can book yourself into one of the island's hotel restaurants, cook for yourself, or arrange to cook with those in your cottage (there is a small store on Iona for any additional supplies needed). 

Throughout our week on Iona, Denise and Nick will offer guided walks and tours to Iona's Wild and Sacred sites and hidden places, 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 (and maybe even puffins!), there will offerings of informational group sessions on the history, myth, legends of Iona, and on subjects such as; the Iona Community and the present-day community of Iona, Celtic Spirituality and Nature, and much more. A more detailed itinerary will be given nearer our journey. 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 the Iona Abbey, and to partake in the 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. 

Saturday, May 27th: We will depart Iona early morning as a group with Denise and Nick leading the way via return ferries and bus back to Oban where we will say our final goodbyes and *you can either choose to further explore Scotland on your own or make your way back to the airport to fly home. 

Cost:

$1800.00 per person if registered by placing the non-refundable deposit or paying in full before December 1st, 2022. 

After December 1st, 2022, price will increase to $2000.00 per person. 

A non-refundable deposit of $700.00 will reserve your place with the balance in full due by March 1st, 2023. 

There are a limited amount of spaces available. Early reservation is recommended. 

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Included:

  • Assigned shared accommodation in self-catering cottage on Iona.
  • Guided group walks and talks to sites including: Columba's Bay, the Iona Abbey, Iona Nunnery and St Oran's Chapel, and more.
  • Boat trip to the Isle of Staffa (home of Fingal's Cave and where (if we are lucky! ) we may see puffins!
  • Iona Abbey and museum admission, return ferry and bus transportation from designated meeting/drop off points, stocked cottages on Iona for breakfasts and lunches throughout the week.
  • Evening meals will be a mix of sharing in the preparing/cooking of group evening meals, individual opportunity to book into the island's two restaurants, or making meals on your own.

*Prior to making deposit or payment:

  • This is a small group oriented pilgrimage therefor space is very limited. Please check with Denise regarding availability.
  • If interested, there may be the opportunity to arrive a few days earlier on Iona. Please contact Denise for availability, details and additional fees. 
  • Click here to read Walking Awake LLC's Terms of Agreement and 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. 

* Denise and Nick will be more than happy to offer suggestions as you discern and plan for your individual journey to and from, as well as within Scotland. 

To hold your space on either of the above May 2023 Walking Awake Pilgrimages to Iona:

After reading, fully understanding, and agreeing upon Walking Awake, LLC's Terms of Agreement and Cancelation Policy and upon checking with Denise in regards to availability: Please go to our home page to make your deposit or payment via our PayPal link.