August 8-18, 2022
Hosted by Rev. Jon Owens of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Oakland, California.
This pilgrimage is full. Thank you for your interest.
A Celtic Journey, an 11-day pilgrimage, provides an introduction to Celtic culture and spirituality from the pre-Christian era, through the monastic movements, and into modern times. Pilgrims will also learn about the nuances of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland and peacemaking work thereafter. Highlights include the Book of Kells; St. Patrick’s Cathedral; Glendalough Monastic Site; Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland cathedrals at Armagh; Iona Abbey in Scotland; a “dual narratives” tour through Belfast; and an introduction to the peacemaking work of the Corrymeela Community.
Monday, August 8, 2022 | Depart USA
Pilgrims depart US for Dublin.
Tuesday, August 9, 2022 | Dublin
Pilgrims should make their own arrangements for transfer from Dublin airport to the Hyatt Centric, The Liberties in Dublin city center. The pilgrimage officially begins at 2:00pm local time. Leaving from the hotel on foot, we’ll tour the historic center of Dublin with our guide Padraigin Clancy, a native Dubliner whose background includes Irish history and Celtic spirituality. Padraigin will introduce the group to both the history of Dublin and the major themes of the Celtic spiritual traditions as we weave our way through Dublin’s historic core.
We conclude the evening with a celebratory dinner filled with Celtic music and storytelling.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 | Glendalough, Dublin
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.
Returning to Dublin in the late afternoon, we will visit Trinity College and 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. Those who choose can close their day with choral evensong in the cathedral. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Thursday, August 11, 2022 | Armagh
Departing Dublin, 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.
We arrive in Armagh for an conversation on Celtic Spirituality with Rev. Grace Clunie of the Celtic Spirituality Center. At the same location is 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.
After lunch (included) we will visit the two St. Patrick’s Cathedrals of Armagh – one Roman Catholic and one Church of Ireland to better understand ecumenical relations in this city that was once the Christian heart of Ireland and remains and important site of worship and church leadership. Overnight accommodations at Armagh City Hotel.
Friday, August 12, 2022 | Antrim Coast
The morning 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.
We then arrive at the Corrymeela Community, an ecumenical peacemaking community where we will reflect on Celtic Spirituality at their scenic center. Dinner (included) and overnight accommodations at Corrymeela.
Please note, Corrymeela is an intentional community and retreat center, not a typical hotel. Rooms are simple but comfortable and include en suite bath. However, toiletries and other “extras” are not available.
Saturday, August 13, 2022 | Belfast
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 and the peace murals.
After the tour and lunch, we’ll depart Belfast International Airport for Glasgow. We’ll arrive in time for dinner and overnight accommodations at the Radisson Blu Glasgow.
Sunday, August 14, 2022 | Glasgow to Iona
Today is filled with travel, as we make our journey from Glasgow to the Isle of Iona in the 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
Monday, August 15, 2022 | Iona
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.
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 | Iona to Edinburgh
We depart Iona this morning for another round of ferry and coach travel, destined for Edinburgh. We’ll arrive in Edinburgh with a bit of free time to explore the city before dinner (on your own). Overnight accommodations in Edinburgh’s historic center.
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 | Edinburgh
Enjoy a guided tour of Edinburgh where you will learn about the history of the Church of Scotland and its schism from the Church of England at sites like Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, Greyfriars Kirk, and John Knox home. Enjoy free time or rest in the late afternoon before gathering for a celebratory closing dinner (included). Overnight accommodations in central Edinburgh.
Thursday, August 18, 2022 | Return to USA
Transfer to Edinburgh International for return to US
The cost for the eleven-day pilgrimage is $3,900 per person, double occupancy, excluding airfare. Single occupancy is available upon request for a surcharge of $600. Group size is limited to 20 participants. Your ground price includes 9 nights accommodation in three- or four-star hotels, ground transportation in Ireland and Scotland, airfare from Belfast to Glasgow, all entry fees, expert local guides, breakfast daily, six lunches and seven dinners, educational resources, taxes and gratuities.
|Three-star or better hotels||Ground Transportation||Expert Local Guides|
|Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 7 dinners||Celebratory Welcome and Closing Dinners||Pre-trip Educational Resources|
|Entry Fees||Gratuity for Drivers and Guides||Host and Logistical Guide|
This pilgrimage does not include airfare. Travelers are responsible for purchasing their own airfare arriving in Dublin on August 9 and departing from Edinburgh on August 18. Progressive Pilgrimage can arrange airfare for those who prefer assistance.
Progressive Pilgrimage is committed to the safety of our travelers, and we continually monitor health and safety updates from the CDC. We also stay abreast of travel restrictions in the countries we visit. The CDC has advised that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to travel internationally. Based on current guidelines in Europe and the UK, you might expect the following:
- Travelers must be fully vaccinated and may be required to show printed proof of vaccination upon entry to Scotland and Ireland.
- Travelers may be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure from USA.
- Travelers may be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before boarding the return flight to the USA. (Progressive Pilgrimage will arrange for testing at the traveler’s expense.)
- Masks may still be required on airplanes and in airports. In addition, many public places in the UK and Europe still require masks. Travelers should be prepared to wear masks in all public places. Masks will not be required when traveling in a private motorcoach.
Terms and conditions
A $500/person deposit is due at time of registration, payable online via credit card. Participants will be invoiced for additional payments which may be paid by check, ACH, or credit card. Credit card payments of the remaining balances will incur a 3% fee.
Final payment is due June 1, 2022.
Sensitive to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we are offering the most flexible payment and refund policy we can. These terms supersede the standard cancelation policy found on the Terms & Conditions page. You can find our full Coronavirus update here.
We strongly encourage the purchase of travel insurance. On the registration page, you have the option to purchase discounted group travel insurance through Progressive Pilgrimage, underwritten by Allianz. We encourage you to shop around for a policy that best fits your individual needs.
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.