Local pastor to lead Celtic trip this summer

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2019


The Rev. David O’Connor, pastor at St. Mary Basilica and Assumption churches, will lead a 10-day group trip to England, Scotland, N. Ireland and Ireland in July.

“The group (approximately 30-40) will depart from Jackson international airport for Manchester, England, on Monday July 8 and will return from Dublin (Ireland) to Jackson on Thursday, July 18,” O’Connor said. “The trip, nine nights in four-star hotels, will be a guided tour of scenic and historic places. The coach driver/guide and I will meet the group on arrival at Manchester airport. We will lead a panoramic sightseeing tour of local landmarks and historic sites. That evening we will have dinner together as a group.”

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The next day, July 10, the group will travel northward through the lake district of England. On the way they will make a stop at Grasmere, where William Wordsworth spent 14 years.

Wordsworth described the area that has 16 lakes and 900 square miles of magnificent scenery as “the loveliest spot that man hath found.” On arrival in Edinburgh the group will have dinner together. The next day they visit the bustling Princess Street and the Royal Mile, before visiting historic Edinburgh Castle (July 11) which contains the Scottish Crown Jewels. This day will conclude with a very special dinner — the Spirit of Scotland Dinner Show that includes great food, Scottish song and dance.

Leaving Edinburgh after breakfast the group travels northward to the city of Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Along the scenic journey they will visit the world-renowned Edradour Distillery and quaint villages that are representative of the culture of the Highlands. Their two night stay in Inverness will be at the Balavil Hotel Newtownmore. Their travel in the Inverness area will include a visit to Culloden Battlefield, to Clava Cairns (a 4,000 year old burial ground near the Cairn river), and to a kilt-making factory. Kilts are a traditional dress in Scotland that date back hundreds of years.

Departing from Inverness on July 14 for Glascow, the group will stop at the famous Loch Ness where they take a boat cruise on the lake, which is said to be the home of the Loch Ness Monster. Another interesting stop this day will be the Village of Glencoe in a steep-sided valley known for waterfalls, trails, red deer and golden eagles, thatched cottages, and local historic sites.

On Monday, July 15 the group will leave Scotland on their coach and ferry across the Irish Sea to Belfast for a panoramic sightseeing tour of Belfast. This will include the City Center, and two areas that were central to the civil right struggle of the past forty years — Shankill Road (Protestant) and Falls Road (Roman Catholic). The next day they continue to explore Belfast (the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland) and will visit one of the world’s best known tourist attractions — Titanic Belfast. They will visit nine galleries in the Titanic Quarter that tell the story of the Titanic in an innovative, interactive and insightful way — the story of its conception, construction, maiden voyage and tragic end.

On the final full day of the tour they will travel to Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. There the group will take a panoramic sightseeing tour of the city with its local landmarks and historic buildings. In the afternoon they will visit one of Ireland’s best-known places— the Jameson Distillery where Ireland’s premier whiskey is distilled for over 200 years. The formal ending to the trip is the dinner together to toast the end of a memorable trip. Next morning (July 18) they head for Dublin international airport for their return trip to the USA.

For information or reservation, please contact CARA Travel at 617 639 0273 or email:  info@caragrouptravel.com.