Thin Places | Joe Walsh Tours

Thin Places

Explore Celtic Spirituality in Scotland & Ireland. Ireland and Scotland’s Celtic roots date back many centuries and are deeply entwined into the history of both countries. This specialised leisure and pilgrimage tour gives you a fantastic opportunity to visit places where Celtic heritage is most evident.

Travelling past the enchanted lakes and rolling hills of the Scottish countryside, visiting many of its well-preserved churches, monasteries and spiritual landmarks, you will be taken on a journey through the beginnings of Celtic Christianity before arriving on the island of Ireland to visit some of the oldest Christian ecclesiastical sites and explore some of the country’s most important monastic settlements and ancient religious sites where the Celtic spirituality is felt at its strongest.

Visiting Scotland, Ireland & Northern Ireland:
» The Palace of Holyroodhouse
» Edinburgh Castle
» Cathedral Church of Saint Mary
» Rosslyn Chapel
» Stirling Castle
» Oban
» Iona
» St. Oran’s Chapel
» Nunnery Church
» Church of St. Ronan
» St. Conan’s Church & Luss
» St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral
» Downpatrick
» Down Cathedral
» Saul Church
» Newgrange
» Monasterboice
» Mellifont Abbey
» St. Kevin’s Monastic City
» Ruins of Teampall na Skelling
» Trinity College
» Guinness Distillery
» Christchurch Cathedral

Can't find what you're looking for? Need a tailor-made itinerary?
Irish traditions and values are deeply rooted in our business and the type of travel experience that Joe Walsh Tours provides. We are extremely proud of our Irish heritage and passion for our native island is reflected in every mile travelled and every story told by our guides. We are delighted to share our knowledge and love of Ireland with our visitors and very happy to welcome you to the Emerald Isle.

Should you require further information regarding a specific tour itinerary or would like us to tailor-make your trip based on any special requirements your travelling party may have, please do not hesitate to give our Tours of Ireland specialists a call on 00 353 1 241 0800 or drop us a line via email info@joewalshtours.ie and we will be delighted to assist. We’re only a phone call away!

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Local Information

  • Currency: Euro (€, EUR)
  • Local time: GMT
  • Airports: Dublin (DUB); Cork (ORK); Shannon (SNN); Knock (NOC)
  • Languages: English is the official language with some areas also speaking Irish
  • Climate: Ireland has a moderate climate influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Summed up as moist and mild, the weather is very changeable with high levels of rainfall and a lack of extreme temperatures
  • Voltage: 230V A/C. Frequency 50hz. The most common plug is the 13 amp three-pin plug, power socket type G. You can use your electric appliances in Ireland, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220V - 240V (as in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100V - 127V (as in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you will need a power converter.
  • Visa: not required for EU citizens; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities
  • Passport: EU passport holders travelling to Ireland must have an up-to-date passport valid for travel six months beyond the date of return; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities.

Transport & Accommodation

  • Flight from your home airport to Edinburgh
  • Transfer on arrival from the airport to your hotel with guide assistance
  • Hotel accommodation in Ireland for the selected number of nights
  • Meals served each day as per agreed itinerary
  • Transfer from your hotel to Airport for return flight
  • Direct flight from Dublin to your home airport
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach for all transfers and tours
  • Assistance of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the pilgrimage and at airports

Tours & Religious Programme

  • Tours, excursions and religious programme organised by Joe Walsh Tours
  • Full services of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the pilgrimage and tour

Detailed Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Arrive Edinburgh, Scotland
    We arrive at the Edinburgh Airport where we will be met by our driver. We will enjoy a tour of Edinburgh and visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, standing at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile and against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur's Seat. It is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty, The Queen. This fine baroque palace is associated with Scotland's rich royal history. We will visit Edinburgh Castle. This instantly recognizable fortress is a powerful national symbol and part of the Old and New towns of the Edinburgh World Heritage site. We visit the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary, built in the 19th century in the west end of Edinburgh’s New Town. We will cross the border into England where we will have dinner and overnight at Berwick-Upon-Tweed.



  • DAY 2:
    We begin our day walking across the tidal causeway, the ancient route of pilgrims across the sand and mud flat from the mainland to Holy Island, Lindisfarne, with its Priory and Castle. In 635 AD St. Aidan came from Iona and chose to found his monastery on Lindisfarne, one of the most important early centers of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. The Christian message flourished here and spread throughout the world. On arrival we will have a talk from a member of the Community of Aidan and Hilda on various aspects of the history of the island and the northern Saints. We will depart on our coach and visit the exquisite 15th century medieval Midlothian Rosslyn Chapel before arriving back in Edinburgh for dinner and overnight.



  • DAY 3:
    We depart Edinburgh and travel west over Scotland. We will visit Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important of all Scottish castles. Mary Queen of Scots, as well as other monarchs, was crowned here and the castle has been sieged many times in history. We continue to Oban and visit the Oban Distillery, famous for its single malt Scotch Whisky. Dinner and overnight in Oban.



  • DAY 4:
    Today, we take the early ferry from Oban to Iona. Iona has been called the “entry way of Christianity into Scotland”. St. Columba landed here from Ireland in 563 AD and founded the monastery that was to become the most important in Europe. Our first visit this morning will be to St. Oran's Chapel and Cemetery (the burial ground of 48 Scottish kings including Duncan who was killed by Macbeth), Nunnery Church and Church of St. Ronan. We will take the late ferry back to Oban for dinner and overnight.



  • DAY 5
    We depart Oban and travel through the picturesque countryside along the west coast of Scotland. We will visit St. Conan’s Church at Loch Awe and stop at the picturesque village of Luss before we arrive at Stranraer to take the afternoon ferry to Belfast, Ireland. We continue to Armagh for dinner and overnight.



  • DAY 6:
    This morning we will meet with the Director of the “Centre for Celtic Spirituality”, Rev. Grace Clunie, for a welcome and tour of St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral. We will attend worship there and learn about its history from the Celtic perspective. After an early lunch we will continue to Downpatrick where we will visit Down Cathedral and Saul Church. Saul is claimed to be the oldest ecclesiastical site in Ireland. In the year 432 AD St. Patrick built his church here. We return to Armagh for dinner and overnight.



  • DAY 7:
    This morning we will travel to the pre-Christian, megalithic site, Newgrange, an ancient burial ground designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will stop to see the Celtic Crosses of Monasterboice, some of the most in-tact high crosses in Ireland dating back over 1000 years and also see the peaceful Mellifont Abbey. We continue to Dublin for dinner and overnight.



  • DAY 8:
    This morning we explore Glendalough, the setting of some of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. We will go to the visitors’ center and see a film, “Ireland of the Monasteries”, which will give us a brief history of the monastery. We will then have a guided tour of St. Kevin’s Monastic City led by Fr. Michael Rodgers who has returned to Ireland after twenty years of missionary service. He will lead us on a spiritual journey from the Monastic City along the Pilgrims’ Way to the upper lake and visit the remains of St. Kevin’s Cell and the Reefert Church. We can gaze across the lake to see St. Kevin’s Bed and the ruins of Tempall na Skellig, “Church on the rock”. Overnight in Dublin.



  • DAY 9:
    Our first stop this morning is Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1200 year old Book of Kells, the beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels designed by monks in the 9th century. We will visit the Gothic Christchurch and explore the Cathedral and its vaults. We will visit the Guinness Distillery and have dinner and overnight in Dublin.



  • DAY 10:
    We will depart from Dublin Airport for our return flight.

Optional

  • Travel insurance €25 per person (conditions apply); please note that there is an additional insurance premium of €25 for persons aged 86 to 94 years

Notes

  • Packages are based on two people sharing twin/double rooms with private facilities
  • Passengers are entitled to check in one standard piece of luggage subject to airline’s conditions
  • Single rooms are on request and supplements apply
  • A non-refundable deposit is required for booking
  • Meals and in-flight catering where not stated are not included
  • Itinerary may be subject to change; E&OE
  • All bookings protected by the Commission for Aviation Regulation in Ireland (T.O. 052 | T.A. 0689) and the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK (ATOL 5163)