A wonderful thing popped up in my Twitter feed this week which deserves a huge shout-out.
Longing to visit the isle of Iona again? I certainly am. Well, thanks to Historic Environment Scotland you can do so virtually. They’ve assembled a fantastic array of immersive resources for the armchair traveller we’ve all (temporarily) become, here: https://blog.historicenvironment.scot/2020/06/a-virtual-day-out-at-iona-abbey/.
There’s a free comprehensive audio guide which lets you “visit” the island as if you were a pilgrim travelling to Iona to celebrate St Columba’s feast day on the 9th of June sometime in the 1400s. It’s packed full of videos about the abbey’s significant early landmarks, including Columba’s scriptorium, the abbey’s famous high crosses, and its collection of West Hebridean grave markers, the best in Scotland (you can explore these at your leisure in the Canmore archive and collections database, also linked). There are also Gaelic tutorials on a whole host of useful subjects.
Until you can get there again, it’s a fun, safe way to get closer to the Iona that Columba loved and created; a connection to the world of the past–and the present–which may feel lost to us just now.
Thanks a million @HistEnvScot!