September 25 – October 7, 2021
hosted by Rev. Frank Dew and Joe + Ann Bauer | from $4,495 per person
Explore the Celtic and Reformed roots of Christianity in Ireland and Scotland with this thirteen-day pilgrimage. Explore pre-Christian, early Christian, and modern Celtic spirituality, allowing time to pray and reflect. Highlights include the Glendalough monastic site, the Celtic high crosses at Monasterboice, the Book of Kells in Dublin, and the cathedrals of Edinburgh. Spend two nights on the Scottish isle of Iona where St. Columba founded his iconic monastery. While in Northern Ireland, the group will visit Belfast on a dual narratives tour to learn about the history of The Troubles, then spend time with the Corrymeela Community on the Antrim Coast to learn about their peacemaking work. The whole trip is dotted with spectacular scenery and warm Irish and Scottish culture. This itinerary provides an accurate look at what you may expect in your 13-day tour, but may be adjusted for efficiency and guide availability.
September 25 - October 7 Daily Itinerary
After your morning arrival in Dublin, a coach will transport the group into the city’s historic center for a visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed which displays the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. It is one of only a few such manuscripts that survived Viking raids. The group will also visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. Construction on the current cathedral began around 1250 on a site associated with St. Patrick since the fifth century.
Enjoy a celebratory welcome dinner (included) before returning to your hotel in historic Dublin for overnight accommodations.
Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 A.D. and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. The visit includes a guided pilgrimage walk with ample time for prayer and reflection. Lunch is included.
After lunch, we return to Dublin for a free afternoon and evening to explore the city. Overnight accommodations in Dublin’s historic center.
As we make our way toward Northern Ireland, we will stop at the early Christian settlement of Monasterboice. It was founded in the late 5th century by Saint Buithe and was an important center of religion and learning. The site houses two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower, but it is most famous for its 10th century high crosses.
In the after noon, we will continue to Armagh for an introduction to Celtic Spirituality with Rev. Grace Clunie of the Celtic Spirituality Center. At the same location, the Navan Fort one of Ireland’s most famous and important archaeological sites, the legendary Emain Macha. Legends say that Macha, the ancient goddess of war and fertility, scored the earth with her brooch pin and traced the famous outline of this sacred stronghold of the hero Cu Chulainn, home of the famous Red Branch Knights and Ulster Cycle of tales.
In the late afternoon, we head north to the Antrim Coast, of one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines, arriving at the Corrymeela Community in the late afternoon. We’ll have a brief introduction to their peacemaking work before dinner, evening prayers, and overnight accommodations.
Please note that Corrymeela is an intentional Christian community, not a tourist hotel. Accommodations are comfortable but simple. Travelers will have private rooms with an en-suite bath, but toiletries are not provided.
Begin the morning with a deeper dive into Celtic worship and spiritual practices at Corrymeela.
The afternoon provides time for a leisurely visit to the natural wonders at Giant’s Causeway. At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, he unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of Atlantic storms. The rugged symmetry of the columns and the associated folklore never fails to intrigue and inspire visitors. Those who desire may participate in a hike along the coastline.
In the nearby village of Bushmills, you’ll find the oldest working distillery in Ireland. At Bushmills, family and friends have worked over 400 years, keeping to the philosophy that hand crafting small batches is the way to produce beautifully smooth Irish whiskey. Enjoy a tour of the distillery and the option for a tasting. Return to Corrymeela for dinner and overnight accommodations.
St. Columba (Colum Cille in Gaelic), founder of the famous Iona Abbey, is also known as the founder of Derry. Our morning walking tour of Derry will cover it’s ancient history to the more modern political history of the city. Our guide will take us on a walk around the city walls to introduce how the city came to be divided. We will visit the Bogside neighborhood, site of the Bloody Sunday massacre and now home to 12 giant murals known as the People’s Gallery.
In the afternoon we visit Holywell Trust, a center for peace and community building. Here we will here the stories of two local people, one Republican and one Loyalist, who were once engaged in The Troubles but are now doing the work of healing themselves and their community after 40+ years of conflict.
Enjoy dinner on your own and overnight accommodations in Derry.
We will spend time today learning more about “The Troubles” that plagued Northern Ireland from the 1960s through 1998. With guides representing both Unionist and Republican ideals, you will receive a through introduction to the conflict and its historic origins. We will visit both Unionist and Republican neighborhoods including Falls and Shankill Roads, the peace murals, and the Crumlin Road Jail and Courthouse. We will also meet with local organizations who have been doing peacebuilding work in Belfast and the surrounding region. Lunch included.
In the late afternoon, enjoy free time to explore the city of Belfast on your own. Overnight accommodations in Belfast.
The group will fly from Belfast to Glasgow on a short, direct flight.
Arrive in Glasgow with time for a walking tour, a visit to the Cathedral and, time permitting, a visit with Glasgow-based members of the Iona Community.
Enjoy a free evening to explore the city. Overnight in central Glasgow.
One piece of checked baggage is included on the flight from Belfast to Glasgow. Additional checked baggage will be assessed a fee by the airline. In most cases, bags that are considered carry-on or roll-aboard by US carriers are considered checked/hold baggage by regional European carriers. We recommend you travel light and only bring only one piece of luggage.
Today is largely a travel day as the group makes its way from Glasgow to the Isle of Iona in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. We will travel from Glasgow to Oban by private coach through the region of Loch Lomond. From Oban, we will take the ferry to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. From there we will continue by coach to the westernmost point on Mull for a short ferry ride to Iona. Dinner (included) and accommodations at St. Columba Hotel on Iona.
Travelers will need to move their luggage several times on this trip between the coaches and ferries. We strongly recommend that you travel light and do not bring more luggage than you can handle on your own.
The group will begin the day with morning worship at the Iona Abbey Church. After worship we will tour the abbey and other ruins on the island as a group. After lunch, you will be set free to explore on your own, or take time to meditate and pray in the beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces. Those who enjoy hiking might plan to explore the many footpaths that wind through and around the island. Dinner is included at St. Columba Hotel.
We depart Iona this morning for another round of ferry and coach travel, this time arriving in Edinburgh. Along the way we will visit a woolen mill and other cultural sites. We arrive in Edinburgh in time to rest or explore on your own a bit before dinner (not included). Overnight accommodations in Edinburgh’s historic center.
Spend the day today touring Edinburgh with our guide. We will visit the home and grave of John Knox, the Greyfriar’s Kirk, the first church to be built in post-Reformation Scotland, and St. Giles Cathedral where John Knox preached and ministered in the 1560s. You will have the option to attend a noon-time service or concert in one of these historic churches. Continue touring including Edinburgh Castle in the afternoon before closing the day with a celebratory group dinner. Overnight accommodations in Edinburgh’s historic center.
Today the group will depart from Edinburgh to Raleigh-Durham on Delta Airlines, arriving in Raleigh at 4:46pm. Those wishing to extend their stay in Scotland may add additional nights in Edinburgh or work with Progressive Pilgrimage to make arrangements to visit other parts of the UK or Europe.
The cost for the thirteen-day pilgrimage is $4,495 per person, double occupancy. Single occupancy is available upon request for a surcharge of $815. Group size is limited to 23 participants. An early bird discount of $150/person is offered through January 31, 2021.
|Round-Trip Airfare from RDU||Ground Transportation||Expert Local Guides|
|Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 6 dinners||Entrance Fees||Pre-trip Educational Resources|
|First Class Hotels||Gratuity for Drivers and Guides||Ordained Spiritual Guide|
Departure from airports other than Raleigh-Durham is available. Any fare increases will be billed to the traveler. Please specify in the “special instructions” section of the registration form if you wish to originate from an airport other than RDU.
Terms and Conditions
Sensitive to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have offered a more flexible cancellation policy as follows. These terms supersede the traditional terms found on the Terms & Conditions page. You can find our full Coronavirus update here.
- Initial deposit is refundable minus a $50 handling fee through December 31, 2020.
- From January 1 – May 17, 2021 there is a $250 cancellation penalty.
- Beginning May 18, 2021 the deposit is non-refundable.
- Final balance is due July 19, 2021 and is 50% refundable until August 22.
- On or after August 22, 2021, no refunds are available.
Progressive Pilgrimage will make a decision about the viability of this trip based on government-ordered travel restrictions on July 16, 2021. If the trip is cancelled by Progressive Pilgrimage at that time, registered travelers will receive a cash refund of the balance paid minus $250 reserved as credit for any future trip. If the trip must be cancelled between July 17 and departure, any non-refundable payments will be issued as credits for future travel with Progressive Pilgrimage.
A $500/person deposit is due at time of registration, payable online via PayPal or credit card. Full payment is due by July 19, 2021. Participants will be invoiced for the balance due which may be paid by check, ACH, or credit card. Credit card payments of the remaining balance will incur a 3% fee.
Please read the complete Terms and Conditions online. ENROLLMENT IN AND PAYMENT FOR THE TOUR CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONDITIONS AND STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY.