Saturday – We will pick you up from the Gold Coast Conference and drive north. We will stop at the Boyne Visitor Centre and learn all about the Battle of the Boyne, where William of Orange and a Protestant army defeated James VII’s Roman Catholic army thus ending the Stuart dynasty in 1690. We will then continue driving north and stop off at Downpatrick where we will visit the grave of St Patrick before arriving at our accommodation in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Lord’s Day – Our policy at Reformation Tours is that the Sabbath is to be a day of worship and rest both for the Tour guides and for those on the Tour. So, we will pick you up from your hotel in Belfast, and then we will worship at a local Reformed Presbyterian church. After lunch, you could either rest at your accommodation or visit a local park (weather permitting) for a lovely walk, and then evening worship.
Monday – Today we will visit the city of Belfast visiting Northern Ireland’s Parliament building known as Stormont, now the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. We will visit the city centre and see the beautiful City halls. In the afternoon we will drive to Donaghadee Harbour. This was a major crossing point for Covenanters and ministers during the time of persecution. Some would row over in the morning and back at night.
Tuesday – Today we will drive along the Antrim Coast and visit the impressive Carrickfergus Castle, a Norman structure built in the 12th century. We will visit the Ballycarry church ruins. The church was built in the early 1600s, during the Plantation of Ulster when settlers from Scotland came to the area bringing Presbyterianism. In this spot is the grave of Rev. Edward Brice, the first Presbyterian minister in Ireland. We will also visit Glynn Old Church, an ancient church ruin over 1,000 years old and an important place of early Christianity. Larne is where many Scottish Presbyterian settlers came during the Plantation of Ulster, and Larne Port is where many Presbyterians left for a new life in America, we will visit the monument there.
Wednesday – First we will go to Glenwherry. The Scottish Covenanter minister, the Rev. Sandy Peden sought refuge here and worked as a farm labourer before preaching in the area. We will then travel on to Slemish, the mountain where St Patrick was working as a slave-shepherd and where he was converted. After lunch we will travel to the Round Hole, this was a Conventicle site and natural amphitheater where many Presbyterians in Ireland met for outdoor worship during the persecution of the 17th century. We will then visit Cullybackey and Kellswater churches. Covenanting Societies had been operating in the Kells and Connor area from the late 1600s. Before the provision of a meeting house, they met on Ferniskey Hill, south of Kells. David Houston, an important figure in the Irish Covenanting movement in the late 1600s, preached, administered communion, and baptised children at Ferniskey. The church hall at Kellswater was built in memorial of him.
Thursday – We will travel north to walk over the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a rope bridge across the Atlantic Ocean to Carrick-a-Rede Island, home to a single building – a fisherman’s cottage. Suspended almost 100 ft (30 m) above sea level, the rope bridge was first erected by salmon fisherman 350 years ago. Then we will go on to the world famous Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO world Heritage Site. It is a geological wonder and home to a wealth of history and legend with 40,000 basalt stone columns left by volcanic eruptions. Then we will travel on to the scenic Dunluce Castle which was first built on the dramatic coastal cliffs of north County Antrim by the MacQuillan family around 1500.
Friday – We will check out of our hotel in Belfast and travel south to Dublin. Once in Dublin we will visit Trinity College Library and see the Book of Kells which contains the four Gospels in Latin. Then we will visit St Patrick’s Cathedral which was built in the mid 13th century and now belongs to the Church of Ireland. You will then have some free time for shopping in Dublin city centre before spending the night in a hotel in Dublin.
Saturday – We will take you from the hotel to the Dublin airport.
The price for this Tour is £1,675 pounds sterling per person, with discounts for children 16 and younger. The Tour can be paid for in three installments or in one payment.
The price includes all accommodation, all transport within Northern Ireland, and Ireland, all meals, entry to all sites visited, all gratuities, and the services of our Tour Guides.
The price does not include international airfare.
Reformation Tours is a non-profit ministry of the RPCS, any money left after costs are paid is used for church planting in Scotland.