The Wild and Sacred Spaces of Iona
The Wild and Sacred Spaces of Iona:
A Pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, Scotland
September 10th - 19th, 2021 *This pilgrimage is provisional depending on travel restrictions nearer the time. Contact Denise if interested.
Led by Denise Crawn and Nick Prance of Walking Awake.
You are invited to join Denise and Nick of Walking Awake on a group pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, Scotland, Friday September 10th - Sunday, September 19th, 2021.
This journey will include: One week on Iona, two nights in Oban, and a day trip to the Kilmartin Glen.
Friday, Sept. 10th: In the morning we will gather as a group at a designated meet-up location in Glasgow (TBA) and together we will board our private hire bus for a day full of adventure. Wending our way through the Highlands and Islands our first stop will be the Kilmartin 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 footstep of Kings! While in Kilmartin you will also have opportunity to walk amongst standing stones, enter ancient burial chambers, and visit the cafe, museum and nearby Kilmartin Parish Church, a gothic style church dated back to 1835. In its Kirkyard 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, Scotland’s Sea Food Capital, where we will settle into our beautiful B&Bs 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 waterside.
Saturday, Sept. 11th - Saturday, Sept.18th : After breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 11th we will board the ferry 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 home base for the week will be a charming self-catering cottage stocked with all you need for breakfast and lunch throughout your stay. Your home-away-from-home while on Iona is literally steps away from the shores of the Sound of Iona and within walking distance of the village, Iona Nunnery and Abbey, restaurants and shops. For our first evening on Iona we will cook and eat together as a group in our cozy cottage and afterwards we will gather in an informative and welcoming group circle. In regards to evening meals for the rest of the week, the choice is yours! You can book yourself into one of the island’s hotel restaurants, cook for yourself, or arrange to continue cooking together as a group (there is a small store on Iona for any additional supplies needed). For our final evening meal on Iona (Sept. 17th), we will gather for a group pre-booked meal at one of the island hotel restaurants. Throughout our week on Iona, Nick and Denise will offer guided walks and tours to Iona’s Wild and Sacred sites, 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, there will be 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 more. 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 other religious offerings on the island. And of course, there will be plenty of un-programed time while on Iona for individual quiet reflection and exploration.
On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 18th we will weave our way via return ferries and bus back to Oban. Upon arrival in Oban we will check into our B&B. There will be an optional group tour of the Oban Distillery offered that afternoon, or you may opt to spend the day as you wish; rest, explore, pub hop, or shop! We will close out our evening together with a group booked meal at one of our favorite restaurants.
Sunday, Sept. 19th: After breakfast we will board a private hire bus and begin our journey back to our designated drop-off location in Glasgow (TBA). On our way, we will take our time enjoying the vistas of the Scottish Highlands as we drive through the picturesque Glencoe Valley. The views are spectacular and they are sure to be forever etched in your memory! We’ll make a couple of stops before we arrive back in Glasgow where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the history of Glencoe at The Glencoe Visitor’s Center, and grab a cuppa and shop for those last minute souvenirs at the world famous Green Welly.
Price: $2400.00 per person.
(This includes a $700.00 non-refundable deposit).
*If a payment plan is needed, please contact Denise.
*Prior to making a deposit or payment: Contact Denise to check on availability. Also, click here to read Walking Awake, LLC's Terms of Agreement & Cancellation 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 Crawn (Prance) was born and raised in the US and now resides in Scotland with her husband, Nick Prance. Creator of Walking Awake, Denise is an ordained Interfaith Minister through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, NYC, author of “Walking Awake: The Faces in Nature”, and creator of several inspirational card decks. Denise’s ministry and love of nature is expressed through her photography, book, cards, and events which focus on becoming more aware and awake by accessing our innate connection with Nature. Her deep-rooted relationship with Nature began as a child when she would join her father and siblings hunting and fishing. No longer a hunter, she remains forever an outdoors woman with a keen eye for Nature’s beauty and a true gift for reading Nature’s hidden messages. Since her encounter with the standing stones of Columcille Megalith Park in PA, USA in 1996 (which inspired her first visit to the Isle of Iona in 2003), she has enjoyed visiting and bringing others to Iona on a regular basis becoming very familiar with its landscape, history and myths, and its longtime residents.
Nick Prance was born in the north of Ireland, raised in Liverpool, and has lived in Scotland for the last 18 years. He worked within the Mental Health services in the UK as a Psychiatric Nurse latterly as a Cognitive Behavioural therapist. Whilst pursuing this career Nick also trained for and was ordained as minister within the Anglican Church. Shortly afterwards he took a career break to live and work for three years on the Island of Iona working for the Iona Community helping to organize and run the program for the many guests who came on pilgrimage and retreat. He also joined the Iona Community as a member at that time. Following leaving Iona Nick had a belated gap-year travelling the world, including a profound and life changing trip to Antarctica, Since that time Nick has successfully un-joined the church and the Iona Community also taking retirement from full time work and has been enjoying dropping seeking, living fully in the sufficient and vibrant present moment. Nick currently spends his time leading pilgrimages and workshops, walking in the wild and beautiful spaces of Scotland, and learning from his four life affirming young grandchildren!
As a couple: Eight years ago, Denise and Nick met on a ferry while each were traveling to the Isle of Iona. In October 2016 they were married in Scotland surrounded by family and friends. (They call it their 'Ferry-Tale' come true!) Since meeting, they have traveled together throughout Scotland, England and Wales along with other magical places visiting standing stones and ancient sites and loving every minute of it! Both have deep and long standing connections to the people and energies of Iona. As co-leaders they bring together an eclectic mixture of backgrounds including everything from trainings in ministry, theatre, mental health, shamanism, and mindfulness, as well as their love and connectedness to poetry, song, story, music and nature. Nick and Denise enjoy sharing these treasures, passions and adventures with others as they lead and co-lead workshops, retreats and pilgrimages on 'both sides of the pond'.