Heritage Trips

Christ Church, Dublin and Trinity College: Wednesday, April 24
After a bus tour of city monuments and highlights, the tour group landed at Christ Church, where Handel’s Messiah had its premiere. The group explored the cathedral, then departed for Trinity College and the opportunity to see the Book of Kells illuminated scriptures. The open afternoon offered an opportunity for church friends to discover the city at their leisure.

Traveling to Dublin by way of Ulster American Folk Museum: Tuesday, April 23
On the way to Dublin, the tour group made a quick stop to view “Let the Dance Begin,” a grouping of stainless steel and bronze statues in Strabane that marked the new millennium and represented a new and shared beginning for the community. Then the group visited Ulster American Folk Park, which took visitors through the experience of being an Irish immigrant that traveled to America. On arrival in Dublin, the bus drove through the city and our guide pointed out landmarks and highlights.

Dunluce Castle, Old Bushmills Distillery and Giants Causeway: Monday, April 22
A blustery, cloudy day was the setting for exploring the ruins of Dunluce Castle northeast of Derry/Londonderry. The group warmed up during a tour of the Old Bushmills Distillery before heading a short distance down the road to the Giants Causeway to walk the hiking paths and admire and climb on basalt volcanic rock formations.

First Derry Presbyterian Church and Guild Hall: Sunday, April 21
The First Derry congregation warmly welcomed our Heritage tour group, offering tours and homemade scones before the service and luncheon at the Guild Hall down the street following worship. The service was led by the women of the congregration as it was the Ladies’ Annual Service. After lunch, the group enjoyed a tour on the Derry walls and learned more about the long history of the community from which many people emigrated to central Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

Corrymeela: Saturday, April 20
The group enjoyed a beautiful day at Corrymeela Community learning about peace and reconciliation.

Belfast City Tour, Titanic Museum and Political Tour: Friday, April 19
Our morning city tour took us past the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Queen’s College, and many murals in West Belfast. For most, the rest of the morning was spent at the impressive Titanic Museum. Did you know the Titanic was built in Belfast? In the afternoon, two smaller groups took a three-hour walking tour: the first half with either a Unionist or Loyalist guide, then the groups switched guides and heard the other side of the story of The Troubles.

Robert Burns Museum and Ferry to Belfast: Thursday, April 18
The group hopped on the bus right after breakfast and made their way through rain showers to Alloway, UK to visit the museum and birthplace of poet Robert Burns and walk across the Brig o’Doon bridge. Back on the bus, the group traveled to Cairnryan and boarded the ferry to Belfast, arriving after a two-hour sea journey on a rainy, foggy day.

Glasgow: Wednesday, April 17
The tour group began the day with a visit to Glasgow Cathedral. The rest of the day was on your own. People rode the hop-on, hop-off city tour bus, visited the Clydeside Distillery, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art, and more.

Loch Lomond/Luss/Iona: Tuesday, April 16
A dozen Derry members made alternate plans to visit Iona (by ferry, bus, and train) while the rest of the group traveled to Loch Lomond to take a boat ride, followed by a brief stop at the village of Luss. The group arrived mid-afternoon at Glasgow and had time to explore the city before a group dinner.

Oban/Inverary/Glencoe: Monday, April 15
The planned trip to Iona was cancelled due to high winds and rain. Instead, the group toured Inverary Castle and lunched in town. Ask the Royers about the fish & chips! The tour continued into the highlands where we saw snow capped mountains and rainbows coloring the landscape. At the Glencoe National Nature Reserve, we explored a recreation of a turf and creel house.

Edinburgh/Stirling/Oban: Sunday, April 14
The tour group began the day by worshiping at St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (the church where John Knox preached). Following the service, they stopped at the Helix Park to see the Kelpies, then continued on to Stirling Castle where we had a serendipitous meeting with the Englund-Kriegers and a travel group from Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church. After exploring the castle (including a photo op with Carol Schneidereit and Alan Brechbill checking out the king’s and queen’s chairs), the Derry group drove two more hours to reach Oban.

Edinburgh, Day 2: Saturday, April 13
Six golfers spend the day in St. Andrews. Everyone else enjoyed a city tour on the bus, then a chance to explore Edinburgh Castle. In the afternoon, people chose their own adventure: some went to the National Museum of Scotland, others explored Holyrood Palace and Queen Elizabeth’s Britannia yacht. The evening concluded with a Scottish dinner and entertainment.

Departure and Edinburgh, Day 1: Friday, April 12
Firth of Forth bridge sighting, visits to the 900-year-old St. Giles Cathedral and the John Knox House, the Royal Mile and a pub visit!