Isle of Iona

Isle of Iona

My parents visited Iona in 1968 with my two young brothers the year before I was born.  I grew up hearing stories of this beautiful tiny island of rock and heather with white sandy beaches, free roaming animals, and a noble history.  I was so moved by their accounts that I promised myself I would take my own family one day.  In 2015 I set off with my husband and our three young daughters, in a rented motorhome to visit Mull and Iona. I fell in love with the island and with the Hebrides. The rest is history, we never looked back, just onward to start our own Hebridean Journey. 

Iona - a potted history.

In 563AD the Irish monk St. Columba arrived on the white sandy beaches of Iona with a handful of followers. He built his first Celtic church and established a monastic community on the island. St Columba set about spreading the Christian faith to most of pagan Scotland and northern England. This seat of learning and centre for Christian worship soon became a place of pilgrimage.

None of St. Columba’s original buildings have survived, however on the left-hand side of the Abbey entrance can be seen a small, roofed chamber which is claimed to mark the site of the saint’s tomb.

Just outside the chapel is the Reilig Odhrain the sacred burial ground of the Scottish kings, said to include Macbeth‘s victim Duncan. Forty-eight kings of Scotland are buried here.

As well as its impressive past, Iona is a lovely place to visit, with two hotels, a tea shop, restaurant and several wonderful shops selling local hand made and hand-crafted products.  One of these shops, the very well-known Iona Craft Shop has been shining brightly since 1962, helping to establish the reputations of some of Scotland’s finest designers and craftspeople.

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