The Holy Isle of Iona: A Historical Pilgrimage

iona abbey

Like the first monks and today’s travelers, I first glimpse the holy Isle of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides from the sea. This birthplace of Celtic Christianity has attracted the faithful for nearly 1500 years and I wonder how Iona has drawn so many pilgrims and tourists to such a remote spot. Its enormous appeal is quite out of proportion to its size. The converted trawler, Glen Tarsan, of ... Read Full Article

The Unspoiled Isles of the Scottish Outer Hebrides

wild Heather

Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of time-travel— never into the future, always to the past — but the closest I can achieve without magic is traveling amongst history. The Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the Western Isles, proved one of the best destinations to feed my dreams. . They are empty of soaring Gothic cathedrals and have no teeming cities, but I relished experiencing the unchanged locations ... Read Full Article

The Subtle Palette of Scotland’s Isles of Harris and Lewis

As the fog dispersed we saw a typical inlet of The Bays region on Harris’s southeast coast.

I ripped open my package from the Isle of Harris. As I pushed my nose into the fabric, it smelled of lanolin and scratched my face. I had chosen it a month before because its color would forever remind me of the heather, sky, and rock that cover this Hebridean island. The fog was thick as my husband and I awaited the ferry to take us to the most northerly of the Western Isles. This ... Read Full Article

A Wee Jaunt to Arran and Tiree

Not all tartan is made into kilts!

I knew I’d arrived when my taxi driver said, “Enjoy your wee Hebridean jaunt.” But I was left in no doubt when I discovered tartan carpets and upholstery in my room. Later, I even saw tartan VW vans! In fact, my adventure was not wee at all, but fifteen islands and three weeks long. I began in the south on the Scottish Isle of Arran, an easy drive and ferry ride from Glasgow ... Read Full Article

A Small Ship Cruise in the Scottish Hebrides

Glen Tarsan anchored off the Isle of Staffa with a misty Mull in the background

Every September morning I wondered why I hadn’t explored the Scottish Hebrides before. White sand beaches and turquoise sea, purple-washed mountains and golden glens lured me every day. Dry weather heightened my enchantment as I lapped up the islands’ ancient history wherever I found it. The Hebridean islands, formed by ancient volcanoes and sculpted by the restless Atlantic, run north-south off ... Read Full Article