Scotland Presbyterian Heritage Tour
September 1 - 12, 2014
Celebrating the 500th birth date, a special tour of Scotland and John Knox sights has been arranged. Dr. Erskine Clarke will lead the tour, which contains special programming see itinerary at right.
NOTE: Space is limited, please send in deposit early see details in registration form below.
For a flyer with the registration form and itinerary - click here
For pricing information - click here
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John Knox House, interior
Interior of St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
Abbey at Iona Community
Mon, Sep 1 UNITED STATES TO EDINBURGH
Depart your hometown and take an overnight flight across the Atlantic. Enjoy in-flight entertainment and meals as you travel to start your vacation.
Tue, Sep 2 EDINBURGH ARRIVAL
Land in Edinburgh and after you disembark, pass through immigration and customs at the airport. Your CIE Tours guide will welcome you to Scotland and escort you with your luggage to the coach. Drive to your hotel and check in and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. You may choose to visit Gladstone's Land on the Royal Mile for an insight of life in the Old Town of the 17th century or visit the Georgian House to see life in the Georgian New Town. The Royal Museum of Scotland houses excellent collections of many types in wonderful Victorian galleries and the National Gallery of Scotland contains paintings by the world's leading artists. In the evening join your fellow travelers for dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DINNER & OVERNIGHT: ROXBURGHE HOTEL, EDINBURGH
Wed, Sep 3 EDINBURGH SIGHTSEEING & ST GILES CATHEDRAL
This morning, enjoy a guided walking tour of Edinburgh. Visit St. Giles Cathedral which is the High Kirk of Edinburgh, and has been at the heart of the city's spiritual life for at least 900 years. A living church with an active congregation, it also hosts around a quarter of a million visitors every year who come to experience its unique atmosphere of continuing worship and ages-old history. John Knox, leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of Scottish Presbyterianism, first preached here in 1559. His statue can be seen inside St. Giles, and he was buried in the old St. Giles kirkyard which is now covered by flagstones. Continue along the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty The Queen. The afternoon and evening are free for individual pursuits and dining.
OVERNIGHT: ROXBURGHE HOTEL, EDINBURGH
Thu, Sep 4 EDINBURGH CASTLE
After a hearty Scottish breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of the imposing Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city on volcanic rock. Return to our hotel and after lunch attend lectures at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Jane Dawson will lecture on John Knox, and Rev. Dr. Iain Whyte will lecture on slavery controversy in Scotland.
OVERNIGHT: ROXBURGHE HOTEL, EDINBURGH
Fri, Sep 5 ST. ANDREWS HIGHLIGHTS & ABERDEEN
Today, leave Edinburgh and drive north across the Firth of Forth to St. Andrews, once the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, the country’s oldest seat of learning, and where golf originated. Enjoy a panoramic tour of St. Andrews to see the highlights including the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and golf course. Visit St. Andrews Castle which was founded in 1200 as a fortress and home of the Bishop of St. Andrews. From the Castle, Archbishop Beaton watched George Wishart burn at the stake, himself to perish at the hands of a group of avenging Protestants afterwards. See St. Andrews Cathedral, founded in 1160 and then consecrated in 1318. It was by far the largest church in Scotland before its destruction at the Reformation. The adjoining Priory was similarly the most important monastic foundation of its time. John Knox probably studied for the priesthood at the University of St. Andrews. He was captured by the French at the Castle and carried away to slavery in 1547. After your tour continue north to Aberdeen to attend a lecture at the University of Aberdeen by Pro Chancellor Dr. Iain Torrance on “Church & Contemporary Scottish Society”. In the evening enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DINNER & OVERNIGHT: THISTLE HOTEL, ABERDEEN
Sat, Sep 6 ABERDEEN HIGHLIGHTS & SPEYSIDE DISTILLERY
This morning enjoy a panoramic tour around Aberdeen which is called the Granite City as the granite buildings glisten in the sunshine. It is a center for fishing and oil industries. After your tour depart Aberdeen and drive to Craigellachie to visit Speyside Distillery to see the process of whisky production and sample the finished product at the end of the tour. Continue your journey to Culloden Moor to explore the Visitor Centre. See the battlefield where, on April 16, 1746, British Government forces defeated the army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in just one hour and ended hopes of restoring the Jacobite Stuarts to the British throne. The brutal measures imposed after the battle signaled the end of the distinctive Highland way of life and culture. Next, visit the Clava Cairns. Peaceful and inspiring, the cairns have an atmosphere all of their own. These cairns at Balnuaran of Clava give their name to a set of thirty monuments which are distributed up and down the rivers around Inverness. After your visit drive to Inverness and check into your hotel. In the evening enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DINNER & OVERNIGHT: PALACE HOTEL, INVERNESS
Sun, Sep 7 OLD HIGH STREET CHURCH WORSHIP SERVICE & CAWDOR CASTLE
Today, attend worship at Old High Street Church. After the service, enjoy lunch at Cawdor Tavern and conversation on local church life with Rev. Peter Nimmo, pastor of Old High Street Church. Next, visit Cawdor Castle with its extensive gardens. This family home for over 600 years is the reputed place of the murder of Duncan, Thane of Cawdor, immortalized in Shakespeare's play "Macbeth." Return to your hotel where the remainder of the day is free for individual pursuits.
OVERNIGHT: PALACE HOTEL, INVERNESS
Mon, Sep 8 GLENCOE VISITOR CENTRE
After breakfast, depart Inverness and travel across the haunting Rannoch Moor and through Glencoe, notorious for the Campbell massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Drive through the splendid Glen Coe with towering mountains on either side. Stop to visit the Glencoe Visitor Centre and explore the landscape, wildlife and history of this special place. Have lunch with your fellow travelers at the Ballachulish Hotel and then motor south to your hotel in Oban. Check in and enjoy some time to settle into your room before joining your group for dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DINNER & OVERNIGHT: ROYAL HOTEL, OBAN
Tue, Sep 9 IONA
Today, take an early morning ferry from Oban to Craignure then board your coach for a scenic drive across the Isle of Mull to Fionnphort, then another short ferry ride to the peaceful Isle of Iona. There will be an orientation to the island, a guided tour of the Abbey and an introduction to the Ional Community. You may also choose to participate on an “on-road pilgrimage” led by an Iona Community member. After your island visit, return by ferry and coach to Oban where you may enjoy some free time to explore and dine on your own.
OVERNIGHT: ROYAL HOTEL, OBAN
Wed, Sep 10 STIRLING CASTLE
After breakfast, depart Oban and admire the beautiful countryside as you travel to Stirling to visit Stirling Castle. Captured from the English in 1297 by William Wallace and again in 1314 by Robert the Bruce, the castle has been featured largely throughout Scottish history. At one point Stirling Castle was also a royal residence and Mary, Queen of Scots, spent some years here. After your visit journey along to Glasgow and check into your hotel where the rest of the afternoon and evening are free for individual pursuits and dining.
OVERNIGHT: HILTON HOTEL, GLASGOW
Thu, Sep 11 GOVAN OLD PARISH CHURCH & ST. MUNGO’S MUSEUM
A morning service of worship is planned at the historic Govan Old Church, the oldest place of worship in Glasgow. Learn about church life in Govan today. Visit Glasgow Cathedral and St. Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art. Next, visit Gorbals Parish Church for lunch, more discussion and reflection. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner.
OVERNIGHT: HILTON HOTEL, GLASGOW
Fri, Sep 12 RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES
Transfer to Glasgow Airport in plenty of time to check in for your transatlantic flight. You may choose to do some last minute shopping at the duty free stores. Enjoy your flight across the Atlantic Ocean back to your hometown in the United States.