Do note that this pilgrimage is based on making your own way to and from Glasgow. Useful advice on getting to the hotel is further on.
- Scenic drive from Glasgow to Finnphort
- Scenic ferry from Oban to Mull
- Guided pilgrims walk on Iona
- Nature scenic island guided walk on Iona
- Fascinating talk on the Iona Community and St Columba in the hotel
- Morning and evening worship services at Iona abbey
Staffa boat trip. Times and costs (approx £35) will be advised on Iona and payable locally on any day you choose though you may wish to join with others on day five (weather depending).
- All coach driver gratuities
- Local guide gratuities
- Hotel restaurant and other small gratuities
- McCabe's own faith leader accompanying the group
Included meals & drinks
Meals: a full breakfast each morning, dinner each evening and two lunches. Lunch in the hotel on Iona and a packed lunch on the return to Glasgow on the final day.
drinks: welcome and farewell drinks and tea or coffee with the lunch in the St Colomba Hotel. All other drinks are at your own expense.
Our team on Iona
Our dedicated McCabe Tour Leader is there solely for our guests. They will lead worship and be available for any queries and offer advice, hints and tips for you to get maximum enjoyment of your time with us or simply allow you to retreat and contemplate. They are passionate about Iona and wish to share this wonderful experience with you.
Getting to Glasgow
Your hotel is close to Glasgow Central Station and is the Leonardo Glasgow Central (not West End..there are two Leonardo Hotels in Glasgow!) and rooms are available from 15:00 and we meet for pre-dinner drinks at 18:30. If you arrive earlier there is a facility to store your luggage.
The Leonardo Hotel is just a short walk from the Central Station. For train times and information visit the trainline website.
National Express operate services to Glasgow direct from a number of UK destinations. The Buchanan Street Bus Station is close to your hotel.
Glasgow International Airport is 10 miles from the city centre with a regular bus service every 30 minutes to Glasgow Central Station.
Parking is available within a 3 min walk from the hotel at Qpark Jamaica Street - with charges from £8 for 24 hours. To secure this rate make sure to get your ticket validated at the hotel reception and pay for your parking at the QPark Car Park Office.
Five nights accommodation are included, one night in the centre of Glasgow close to the Central Station and four nights on Iona at the St Columba Hotel.
St Columba Hotel on Iona
With just 27 rooms the St Columba Hotel is owned by a group of locals, former islanders and individuals with a close connection to Iona. So you can be sure of the warmest welcome. They want you to experience the Iona they know and love. So whether you want to spot wildlife, find an awe-inspiring walking route or simply the best place to watch the waves crash you only have to ask. Meals are served in the dining room, with beautiful views over the Sound of Iona. The Larder is situated directly across from the hotel. Inside you will find an array of carefully sourced artisan products from around Scotland as well as take-away refreshments.
Your hotel room: each room has sea or island view and comes with tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary shortbread and free WiFi.
Your bathroom: rooms have bath or shower and provide a hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.
The price is based on a standard or twin or double room with sea view. Upgrades to a superior double with sea view is £119 per person.
Single room supplements
We can offer a limited number of single rooms at the St Columba Hotel with the following supplements:
Single room island view £99;
Single room with Sea View £159.
Single occupancy of a double or twin with island view £199.
Single room island view £100;
Single room with Sea View £150.
Iona and St Columba
Iona is a tiny and beautiful Hebridean island off the west coast of Scotland, cradle of Christianity in Scotland. In 563AD, the Irish monk Columba (Columkille) established a monastic settlement, evangelising large parts of Scotland and the north of England and Iona became an important centre of European Christianity. In the Middle Ages it became the site of a Benedictine abbey, and over the centuries it has attracted many thousands of people on their own pilgrim journeys.
The Iona community
The Iona Community was founded in 1938 by George MacLeod, minister, visionary and prophetic witness for peace, in the context of the poverty and despair of the Depression. From a dockland parish in Glasgow, he took unemployed skilled craftsmen and young trainee clergy to Iona to rebuild both the monastic quarters of the mediaeval abbey and the common life by working and living together, sharing skills and effort as well as joys and achievement. That original task became a sign of hopeful rebuilding of community in Scotland and beyond. The experience shaped – and continues to shape – the practice and principles of the Iona Community. As an aside, the late Ursula MacLeod, George’s cousin, was a founder member of McCabe Pilgrimages.
Today, Iona remains a centre for pilgrimage and the daily services of the Iona Community are open to all. There is a year-round population of over 100; long-established island families as well as more recent arrivals, including those who work for the Iona Community as staff or volunteers. The abbey itself is now managed by Historic Scotland but the Iona Community remains in residence as a living, worshipping presence. The islanders, the Iona Community and Historic Scotland work together to maintain Iona as a place of welcome.
The UK weather and Scottish spring, summer and autumn has its own mood as we are all aware. Please do cater for all eventualities remembering that the coastal winds can make warmer days still seem cooler. Comfortable trainers or boots will be ideal to wander Iona and get the best of the scenery and to view the wildlife and abundant birdlife.
There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this pilgrimage so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Tour Leader will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up then please make sure you tell them so they can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage.
Boats feature strongly in our programme and can be a lot of fun. Our coach travels with us on the ferry to Mull which is a large modern vessel with restaurant, bar, shop, lounges and viewing decks. The boat has lifts so is fully accessible.
In contrast, foot passengers, bicycles and islanders’ cars only are allowed on the small ferry to cross to Iona. The hotel is a short walk from the ferry and luggage will be transported. The Iona island taxi can assist anyone who prefers not to walk from the ferry to the hotel.
We will travel in our own coach to and from Glasgow and be accompanied by experienced McCabe leaders. On Iona we will meet members of the Iona community and offer two programmes, one involving more walking than the other. A highlight will be a service in Iona Abbey itself.
Whilst UK residents are fully covered under the UK National Health Service we do advise that you have insurance in the event of having to cancel your travel plans and need to claim loss of deposits or payments made.
Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.
For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website
Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.
Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates
The McCabe Educational Trust
The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.
McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.
Full financial security
All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.
AITO Quality Statement
McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.
You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here