Iona island, a wonderful delight !

The plan after visiting Staffa (and the puffins) was to visit Iona island and have lunch over there. Iona is a very small island (about 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long) and has about 120 permanent residents. This tiny island is also well known for being “The cradle of Christianity” in Scotland.

The ferry dropped us at Baile Mor, the only harbour on this island. As you can see, the weather was already a bit better.

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We first explored the Nunnery, one of the best-preserved medieval nunneries in Britain. This was the realm of Iona’s religious women, founded around 1200, providing refugefor unmarried daughters, widows of illegitimate girls. Many nuns came from noble families.

The nunnery

 

Much of the ruins date from the 14th century. Nowadays you can find a beautiful garden in what was once the cloister. It was lovely to wander around and take pictures of the flowers, with a few raindrops remaining on their petals.

From there, we could see the ruins of the Iona Abbey in the distance, founded by St Columba in 563. We walked there and saw the big cross in front of the Abbey, St Martin’s Cross dating from the 9th century. It was very impressive.

The ancient burial ground next to the abbey contains the 12th century chapel of St Odhrá. It is thought to be the final resting place of 48 medieval kings of Norway, Ireland, and Scotland.

There were several shops on the island and a lot of handicrafts. The sheep were super cute and the weather was so nice !

The afternoon really passed quickly and it was time for us to take the ferry back to Mull.

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86 responses to “Iona island, a wonderful delight !

  1. This is such an exquisite place. I have often wondered what it’s like to be born and raised in a place like this. Looks like living in a dream, away from the rat race of urbanisation. Would love to visit these places.

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  2. My dad has been to Iona, Gin and said how lovely it was. Looks beautiful especially in such lovely weather! Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and will be in touch again soon :)

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    • I’m sure everyone who has been to iona had felt in love with it. It’s impossible not to :-) I hope the xmas rush is over for you and that you are back to your usual life. The weather has gotten worse here, it has even snowed a little bit in Leeds this morning !

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      • Yes it looks a beautiful and peaceful place – would be a wonderful spot to go to to recharge one’s batteries! Yes this week has been the first one I’ve started to catch up! It was lovely having our daughter here but obviously there was so much going on I got very out of routine! I was going to email you very soon as I realised I never got back to you! Hope you had a lovely Christmas too back in Belgium :) Snow in Leeds… brr sounds like it has started to get very cold. My dad says it’s been unusually mild so far this winter. Am now starting to think about my trip – it will come around soon. Strange to think I’ll be in Yorkshire in less than 3 months now!! Will be in touch :) Hope the New Year has started well for you and the jewellery business is going really well! :)

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  3. “Get thee to a nunnery!” I loved that quote (used it a lot in High School after reading Shakespeare!), so very happy I have a chance to use it again :-) Beautiful photos, what a treasure Iona Island is…great introduction.

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  4. Absolutely love your pictures! I took the ferry from Oban to South Uist about 10 years ago now, but I still remember the spectacular scenery in that part of the world.

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  5. Pingback: Driving through Mull, just like a taste of water which is too little to quench the thirst | Darwin on the rocks and around the world·

  6. Another wonderful tour! I love the pretty scenery, history and old buildings. I’ve always been fascinated by nunneries actually and often pondered what it was like for women to spend their lives like that. Thank you for the interesting tour and the beautiful photographs. :-)

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  7. Your photos are so rich-looking – all that old stone and the rain-moistened grass and flowers. The last one really stopped me – just enough clouds to throw nice shadows on the rough shoreline. Beautiful!

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  8. Looks beautiful.I would love to visit some more Scottish Islands.I”ve only ever been to Skye and a tiny island called Cumbrae off the coast of Largs and that was in my childhood.Oneday!

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  9. Glad the weather got better! That’s more like the Iona weather I know & love. There’s a nice beach at the north end where I love to go & watch the waves crash on the shore. Love your photos.

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    • Yes, we were very fortunate for the rest of the day. In just half a day it’s difficult to visit everything. I think 2 days and 1 night would be perfect to walk around and hike on the top of the hill. Love this place.

      Thank you !

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