Sacred Scotland the Blessed Isles
A Journey of Exploration and Discovery through
the Ancient Sacred Lands of Bonnie Scotland
July 3 – 15, 2012
Tour operated in cooperation with Gothic Image Tours
In particular, we visit the enchanted islands of the West – the Hebrides – and the North – the Orkneys – and get a real live feel of their history, culture, myths and folklore.
We visit such treasures as the Gaelic Isles of Iona, Mull, Skye, Harris and Lewis, the formerly Viking Orkney Islands and the Templar Chapel of Roslin.
Each island has a unique quality all of its own with sacred sites, histories and traditions that inspire the mind and delight the soul.
We shall visit holy wells, stone circles, hermit cells, Druid groves, enchanted woods, dramatic dolmens, sacred rivers, majestic glens and bonnie lochs, each with its own story to tell.
Along the way we shall be met by authors, historians, musicians and storytellers who will help enhance our experience of this wonderful land. The tour director at Gothic Image, Jamie George, himself a Scot, loves to share his home country with you.
Our journey begins at Glasgow airport. From there we travel to the little village of Roslin where lies the exquisite Roslin (Rosslyn) Chapel – a ‘book in stone’ that is festooned with arcane symbols and steeped in Knights Templar associations. Here we meet Knights Templar Chevalier Robert Brydon who will guide us through the mysteries of this wonderful place. Later, an optional visit to Edinburgh Castle and Scotland’s capital city.
Onward and north through the bonnie Highlands – Rob Roy country and the Trossachs – to Aberfoyle, where we meet the Druid Fiona Davidson. She will guide us to Fairy Knowe Hill where the mystic Rev Robert Kirk was stolen away by the Fairy Queen. By the shores of the Lake of Menteith, Fiona will sing Scottish ballads and give us a harp recital. From there we travel to Dingwall, overlooking the Moray Firth.
As we travel along the rugged east coast of Scotland with its Pictish Brochs and spectacular views across the North Sea, we come to Thurso where we take a ferry to the Orkney Islands.
Here are some of the most evocative sacred sites in Europe – the ancient village of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar stone circle, the Stones of Stennes and the rune-decorated mound Maes Howe. We visit the charming towns of Kirkwall and Stromness and the enchanted gardens and falls of Woodwick House.
On leaving the Orkneys we traverse the Highlands, visiting for lunch the impressive 12th Century Tulloch Castle – the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland – where its owner will take us on a tour of the dungeons and the beautiful oak panelled rooms. Onwards to the fishing port of Ullapool on the west coast. En route we visit the Fairy Glen at Rosemarkie on the Black Isle.
Our journey takes us by ferry to the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Here we meet Margaret and Ron Curtis who guide us through the sacred landscape of Callanish – ‘Scotland’s Stonehenge’. We learn of the many astronomical alignments of this site and the extraordinary precision that the ancients used in their construction. We also visit the beautiful neighbouring island of Harris, with its lochans, beaches and standing stones.
Then, over the sea to Skye where we visit Dunvegan Castle and gardens and view the famous fairy flag that has figured so importantly in battle. On Skye we get a sense of the timeless nature of an ancient landscape, with the Cullin Hills and the Isle of Oronsay, and much interesting flora and fauna.
Our ferry back to the mainland takes us to Mallaig, then we move on to Glenfinnan Monument and Fort William to the gateway to the Highlands – Oban. A ferry takes us to the island of Mull, which we cross, to take another ferry on to the sacred island of Iona.
Here we stay and visit the Abbey, Nunnery, Hermit’s Cell and St Columba’s Bay. We delight in the beauty and power of this magical place and take time to receive its healing energies.
On leaving Iona and Mull, we travel southwards via Oban to visit Kilmartin Valley, a landscape temple with the neolithic monuments of Temple Wood and Nether Largie.
We stop for tea at the little village of Inverary, overlooking the tranquil Loch Fyne, and then on to stay our last night on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Here, after a farewell dinner, we return to Glasgow airport.