Iona and other lovely places

We have been very blessed to get just over two weeks holiday again this year. We went up to the caravan site near Bamburgh and spent a day on Lindisfarne, aka Holy Isle.

P1020974It’s family tradition that the children walk the causeway from Beale on the mainland to Lindisfarne, following the poles that stick out of the sand marking the way. The older three have walked the causeway a few times and last year was Ronan’s first time. This year Avila joined the walk for her first time also. Hopefully Heleyna will get her turn in the next couple of years.

P1020977It’s not quite the same as the monks and pilgrims because we meet them in the car at the end, but it’s close.

From Bamburgh we came up to Edinburgh and spent the night catching up with cousins. The children all played together as though they see each other every day, rather than once or twice a year. I love how well they get on.

The folks went on their holiday at some unearthly hour the next morning and left us their house for two weeks.

We were able to meet up with other family and catch up.

Then on Tuesday we headed north to Iona where we had a B&B booked for two nights and Josh’n’Jenny had a hotel booked.P1110515

It’s a very long journey through stunning countryside, mountains and waterfalls. The Highlands are Tolkeinesque in beauty and space.

We got the ferry to the island of Mull and drove across it to the ferry that would take us to Iona.

P1110694We were last their 12 years ago. It’s been a long time and Ronan has been looking forward to going there for a long time. He finally got to visit the ruins of the Augustinian nunnery that was destroyed by Henry VIII and handed over to his already wealthy friends. In the ground is what is left of the little chapel dedicated to St. Ronan of Iona.

Ronan was a bit disappointed that the building had been turned into a kind of shed and locked up. But we saw it at least.

P1110605The lady who ran the B&B was lovely. She had a lovely kitchen and we were allowed to use it whenever we liked, making tea and coffee. She was very generous and took a real shine to the children. She told me the whole island had been told about my kids – in a good way! She had a particular soft spot for Iona and gave her a big hug when we left.

She met us at the ferry and gave us all a lift to the house and then took us back to the ferry when we left.

Ronan overcame his fear of dogs making friends with a big softie of a dog who just loved being stroked and fussed.

There were sheep in the garden (owned by the son) and views across the sea.

We were going to head further north but the travelling was way too much so we came back to Edinburgh. Al needed a rest after all that driving.

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