Pilgrimage overview

MAY 28-JUNE 10, 2024

Led by Fr. Bill and Sandy Miller

For our Celtic forebears, a “thin place” was an extraordinary spot where the veil between heaven and earth was so sheer that one could reach across and touch the other side. Following in the footsteps of Celtic Saints, this life-changing pilgrimage to Celtic lands gifts each participant an experience of the eternal dimensions of such special and sacred places. 

We will hear the inspiring stories of Celtic saints – ancient and modern – who continue to change the world through God’s love: Columba, who founded the major Celtic monastery at Iona, Aidan, who traveled from Iona to found the Celtic mission on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne,  Hilda, amazing Abbess of Whitby, Cuthbert, beloved saint of Northumbria , and Bede, whose writings gifted us with the knowledge of the history of the Celtic church in Britain, and even Brother Walfrid, founder of the world-renowned Scottish football team, Celtic. We will spend three full days (four nights) on the magical island of Iona and will also visit Glasgow, Oban, Edinburgh (two nights), the stunning Scottish Border Region (two nights), Whitby, Lindisfarne, Hexham, Jarrow and conclude in the lovely city of Durham (three nights), whose stunning Cathedral is the final resting place of Cuthbert and Bede. 

Our time will be rich, full, and contemplative and our pace will allow us to slow down and ponder God’s gifts and there will be time for meditative walks and quiet exploration. And, of course, several special one-of-a-kind events are planned over the course of our time together!

We are especially delighted to welcome an extraordinary young musician who will offer her musical gifts throughout our journey together. Ellen Melissa Story is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter with Scottish roots. It will be a real blessing to enjoy her musical gifts along the way.

Sandy and I have taken great care to plan a bucket-list experience for all those who participate. We are delighted to offer excellent presenters, incredible accommodations, spectacular scenery, and delicious farm-to-table meals. But most of all, we offer you the opportunity to grow deeper in your faith. We invite you to join us on this epic spiritual pilgrimage in which, together, we will touch heaven as we follow in the footsteps of Celtic saints. 

With excitement and gratitude,

Fr. Bill Miller


  • Airfare
  • All airport departure & passenger taxes
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast & dinners on days 2,3,4,5, 6, 9, 10 & 13.
  • Entrance fees & local government taxes
  • Modern air-conditioned tour buses

Not Included

  • Single room supplement
  • Travel insurance
  • Any item of a personal nature
Download pdf brochure


+ SCHEDULED FLIGHTS FROM HOUSTON & GLASGOW (LKM Royal Dutch, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines)
MAY 28-KL662-Houston/Amsterdam-3.05 pm/7.15 am (May 29)
MAY 29-KL937-Amsterdam/Glasgow-9.25 am/10.00 am

JUNE 10-VS109-Manchester/Atlanta-12.35 pm/4.50 pm
DL2949-Atlanta/Houston-7.53 pm/9.01 pm

Please note the following important information about the flights:
The group flight for this pilgrimage is out of Houston in economy class. We can arrange upgrades both from other cities, and also in premium economy or business class. Please email info@lightlinena.com if you would like to know about either possibility. KLM and Virgin are part of the same alliance as Delta. If you are a Delta frequent flier, supply that number when you book and you will receive credit for the flights.

The Voco Grand Central Glasgow - a conveniently located hotel in downtown Glasgow
The Argyll - a charming hotel in an excellent location on Iona
The Malmaison Edinburgh City - a highly acclaimed hotel in downtown Edinburgh
The Schloss Roxburghe - an exquisitely located hotel in the Borders
The Hotel Indigo, Durham - set in a fascinating historic building in this great cathedral city

+ Meals: breakfast throughout and dinner on days 2,3,4,5, 6, 9, 10 & 13.

+ All entrance fees for sites listed in the itinerary.


ABSOLUTELY NO HIDDEN COSTS: (The only items NOT included in the tour price are:)
Single room supplement: $1295; gratuities: $185; travel/trip insurance – which is required for participation in this pilgrimage, and can be purchased through Travelex, Allianz or your own broker; lunch, laundry, drinks, optional tours or other items of a personal nature.

In order to participate properly in this pilgrimage, a certain amount of basic fitness is required. Pilgrims must be able to walk at least half a mile without any physical concerns, and be able to walk with ease up at least three flights of stairs. While it is our desire to make our pilgrimages as inclusive as possible, the terrain on Iona and in Durham city center is not suited to the use of a wheelchair.

Day 1: TUESDAY, MAY 28

We meet in the afternoon at Bush Airport in Houston to board our overnight flight to Amsterdam. Dinner will be served on board, and we hope to be able to sleep as we cross the Atlantic. Departures can be arranged from other airports across the United States – please enquire as needed.


We land mid-morning in Glasgow, and after clearing formalities, we will head to the ground of Celtic FC to learn about the history and legacy of Brother Walfrid and the world-famous football club he created. This evening we will visit a Glasgow steakhouse for our opening meal together, before our first night’s sleep in Britain.


After breakfast we journey north west to the harbour town of Oban on Scotland’s west coast. After breaking for lunch (not included in the tour price) we cross to the island of Mull, drive across it, and come to the ferry terminal at Fionnphort. From here we take the short ferry crossing to Iona, where we will land in good time to unpack and freshen up for dinner.


We have three whole days on Iona, during which there will be time for prayer, walking, sleeping, relaxing, sharing food and sharing worship. During these days we will have a pilgrimage walk around the island, and visit the medieval abbey.

Day 7: Monday, june 3

Leaving Iona after breakfast, we reverse our journey to Oban, where we will stop for lunch. In the afternoon we make our way to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, which will be our home for two nights.

Day 8: tuesday, june 4

Today is a free day to enjoy the many delights of Edinburgh.

Day 9: Wednesday, june 5

We will enjoy a further morning in Edinburgh, including a visit to its Episcopal cathedral, before journeying into the Borders, where we will base ourselves for two nights at a hotel set amongst some of the loveliest countryside of northern England.

Day 10: Thursday, june 6

Today will be devoted to a substantial visit to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, dramatically located on the Northumbrian coast. Founded St Aidan and other monks from Iona, it was an important base of Celtic Christianity until the latter part of the seventh century. We will have an early dinner on the island before returning to our hotel in the Borders.

Day 11: FRIDAY, JUNE 7

We continue our journey south, stopping first at the exquisite market town of Hexham, which boasts a magnificent abbey that now functions as a parish church. The abbey was once home to Saint Wilfrid, a vital figure in the disputes and discussions between Celtic and Roman Christianity. From here we head east to Jarrow, the lifetime home of the Venerable Bede, whose history of the English people and church is the principal source of our knowledge of this period of history. From Jarrow we make our way down to Durham, which will be the home for the final three nights of our pilgrimage.


Our morning begins with a guided tour of Durham Cathedral, which holds the shrines of both Bede and Saint Cuthbert (the most beloved of the Northumbrian saints). After this we head to the coastal town of Whitby. This was the location where the Abbess Hilda presided over the Synod which brought unity to the church, and we will visit the dramatic ruins of the medieval abbey which stands on the clifftops overlooking the sea and the town.

Day 13: SUNDAY, JUNE 9

Our final day of pilgrimage will be spent in Durham, worshipping with the local community at the main Cathedral Eucharist, and having free time to wander along its riverbanks, shop or rest. In the evening we will have a final dinner together to celebrate our pilgrimage journey.

Day 14: MONDAY, JUNE 10

After an early light breakfast our bus will take us to Manchester Airport for a flight to Atlanta, connecting onwards to Houston (or other cities as requested), ready to share the joy of our pilgrimage and of the blessings of Celtic wisdom with our families and friends.

Download pdf brochure