Celtic Missions to Anglo-Saxon Britain
- TOUR DATES: July 10 to 18, 2018
- 8 Nights in 3/4 star hotels
- 8 Dinners, 6 Lunches & 1 Boxed Lunch
- Tour Guide - Specialist in Christianity
- Ferry Crossing Ireland to Scotland
- Saving of £70 (GBP) for bookings before January 31st, 2018
Day 1 Tuesday July 10
Arrive Dublin airport and meet guide/tour manager. Depart for Dublin city centre for a panoramic sightseeing tour taking in the wide boulevard of O’Connell Street, the Customs House on the Liffey, the colourful Georgian Squares and the historic centre with Trinity College, Dublin Castle and the Cathedrals. Lunch. In the afternoon enjoy an interior visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College to view the magnificent Long Room Library and the world-famous Book of Kells. Transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 2 Wednesday July 11
Breakfast. Depart for a tour through Counties Wicklow and Kilkenny which make up part of Ireland’s Ancient East. First visit of the day is to the ancient site of Glendalough. St Kevin established the monastery here in the 6th century and the peace and tranquillity which attracted the saint can still be experienced today. Continue to the medieval city of Kilkenny where you can enjoy some free time for lunch before a guided visit to the magnificent St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower. The Church of Ireland Cathedral dates to the 1250s and the Round Tower is only one of two Round Towers in all of Ireland that visitors are allowed to climb, weather and ability permitting. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Thursday July 12
Breakfast. Begin the journey northwards this morning through the rich Boyne Valley which lies to the north of Dublin. The highlight for this morning will be a stop to visit the Loughcrew Cairns and Megalithic Centre. The Loughcrew Cairns are the oldest and most significant site in the Boyne Valley. The artwork, construction, alignment and sheer volume of Cairns show it really was a focus point in Ireland over 5000 years ago. Afternoon continues to Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland where you will have time to visit one of two St Patrick’s Cathedrals. Check into hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 Friday July 13
Breakfast. This morning is a specialised walking tour of Belfast which takes in 8 key sites of the city where major incidents happened between 1971 and 1976 – the tour starts with an introduction to Irish/British History and goes on to demonstrate the peace process. Lunch and afternoon at leisure. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Saturday July 14
Breakfast. Depart Belfast hotel and transfer to the port for your ferry crossing to Scotland. Lunch on board. On arrival in Scotland visit Whithorn, the country’s earliest recorded Christian settlement at the mouth of the Solway Firth. It owes its origins to St Ninian, who has been acknowledged as Scotland’s first saint. The present priory ruins date from the twelfth century but archaeological digs have revealed much earlier churches from the Celtic period. The priory museum includes the Latinus Stone and a fine collection of carved stone crosses. Stop at Ruthwell Church before driving along Hadrian’s Wall with a stop at one of the forts for an insight into military life and discover the past behind the archaeological remains. Continue to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 Sunday July 15
Breakfast. Full day visit to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a place of tranquillity, spirituality and scenic beauty. St Aidan came here from Iona at the request of King Oswald in AD635 and built his monastery, a place also prominent in the life of St Cuthbert. Take a guided tour and explore the priory, castle and Lindisfarne Centre (which includes a leather-bound facsimile of the Lindsfarne Gospels in the atmospheric scriptorium). Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
(Lunch on this day will be a boxed lunch)
Day 7 Monday July 16
Breakfast. Morning visit to the twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow. It was here that St Bede wrote the Life of St Cuthbert and History of the English Church and People. Visit the Churches of St Peter and St Paul. Continue to the picturesque city of Durham. Lunch. Walking tour of the city. Durham Cathedral and its neighbour, Durham Castle, together provide one of the best man-made views in the whole of England. Visit the cathedral – monks from Lindisfarne brought St Cuthbert’s body here as a sanctuary safe from pillaging Vikings. St Cuthbert’s tomb (buried with King Oswald’s head) is still here and, at the other end of the Cathedral, the remains of St Bede are enshrined in the Galilee Chapel. Evensong at the Cathedral (dependant on Cathedral Schedule). Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 Tuesday July 17
Breakfast. Morning visit to Whitby, situated on Yorkshire’s east coast and famous for its connections to Captain James Cook and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The ruins of St Hilda’s Abbey dominate the town’s skyline. Oswiu, King of Northumbria after Oswald, called the Synod of Whitby in 664AD in order to bring to a head the conflict between the traditions of the Ionian church and Roman Church. Continue to York for lunch. Afternoon walking tour of the city including a visit to the famous York Minster, the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter – one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 Wednesday July 18
Breakfast. Transfer to Manchester airport for return flights to USA.
Photographs: Durham © Visit Britain; Glenadlough Monastic Site © Ireland/Chris Hill Photographic; Lindisfarne Priory © English Heritage
Included in the per person price: 8 nights in 3/4 star hotels; 8 dinners at the hotels, 6 lunches & 1 boxed lunch; transport (motor coach and ferry crossing); entrance fees to places listed in itinerary
Not included in the price: Travel to Dublin (where the tour begins) and from Manchester (where the tour ends)
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