Elemental Scotland

July 20-27, 2019

A Retreat and Pilgrimage on the Isle of Mull (with visits to Iona and other sacred sites) — led by Carl McColman, Phil Foster and Fran McColman

Save the dates! We will be announcing details soon on how to register.


Explore the wisdom, the poetry, and the sacred stories of Celtic Scotland on this seven-day retreat in the windswept Hebridean Isle of Mull!

Join Carl McColman (author of Invitation to Celtic Wisdom), poet/storyteller Phil Foster, and contemplative artist Fran McColman, as we celebrate the spirituality of the saints, the legends of ancient heroes, and the abiding mystery of the old Celtic lore.

Lochbuie Stone Circle

We will be based at the elegant Ardfenaig Lodge (previously the hunting lodge for the Duke of Argyll), with easy day trips to Duart Castle, Lochbuie Standing Stone Circle, Staffa Island (home of Fingal’s Cave, immortalized by poet James McPherson and composer Felix Mendelssohn), and Iona — legendary home of Saint Columba, burial place of Scottish kinds, and the sacred destination of Celtic pilgrims from the world over).

Our time together will be designed to foster a meaningful and contemplative retreat experience. Each day Carl and/or Phil will guide us into the spirituality of the Celts through stories, poetry, legends, and lore.

Duart Castle

Carl and his wife Fran will offer guidance for contemplative creativity (journaling, photography, and art).

Our schedule is designed to balance our day-trips with time for reflection and the space to explore and enjoy the convivial culture of the Scottish Hebrides, including visits to pubs, churches, and cafés.

Ardfenaig Lodge

To maximize the contemplative nature of our week together, we are limiting this experience to 10 participants.


The cost for Elemental Scotland is $2200. This covers:

  • Lodging (double occupancy) for 7 nights (no single occupancy rooms available)
  • All breakfasts (including fresh eggs), 3 lunches, 3 dinners with wine
  • Transportation (including ferry to Iona) around the island after arriving at Ardfenaig
  • Duart Castle tour
  • Standing Stones
  • Trip to Staffa
  • Sunday service at Iona Abbey
  • Tour of Iona Abbey
  • Pilgrimage walk around Iona by a member of the Iona Community

This price does not include air fare or transportation costs to and from Ardfenaig. We recommend you travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow, and we will provide detailed instructions for making your own pilgrimage from the city to the remote setting of our retreat.

Space is limited for this Celtic retreat, so plan to register soon. If you want to be notified when registration is open for this retreat experience, please complete the form below — and you’ll get notification as soon as we begin accepting registrations.

A $300 deposit will hold your spot, with the balance due by July 1, 2019.

To be notified when registration opens for the Elemental Scotland retreat, please fill out this form:

Author of Befriending Silence, Christian Mystics, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Catechist. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.