Whether you’re based in Edinburgh permanently or stopping off for a few weeks during a travel adventure, you may find yourself seeking spiritual sustenance off the beaten track.
The good news is that several iconic and intriguing sites with a magnetic appeal for open-minded travellers are a short car, train, or plane ride away.
So here are three spiritual destinations a stone’s throw from Edinburgh.
If you’re a fan of The Da Vinci Code, you’ll definitely be familiar with Rosslyn Chapel.
But the real-life location’s even more thrilling than Dan Brown’s blockbuster book — the elaborately carved stonework of its interior whispers mysterious tales of a messianic bloodline, masonic intrigue and murder and transatlantic trading routes that predated the era of Christopher Columbus.
If this sounds tempting, travelling by public transport to Rosslyn Chapel from Edinburgh is hassle-free — simply jump on a service 37 bus from the city centre and you’ll be in Roslin village within 45 minutes.
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne was founded in 635 ACE when Saint Aidan travelled from Iona to establish a monastery that helped spread the message of Christianity around the globe.
There’s some accommodation on the island and camping and caravan sites in nearby Berwick. The island’s bird life and natural beauty make it popular with nonreligious visitors as well as Christian adherents.
Access to Lindisfarne is via a causeway which disappears when the tide is out, and this adds an extra layer of enigmatic adventure to your trip.
Getting to Lindisfarne by train from Edinburgh is probably the most convenient route — transfer to a local 477 bus at Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station and the entire journey takes under two hours.
A pilgrimage to Lourdes is on the bucket list for many spiritual adventurers seeking to absorb the alleged healing powers of the famous water.
The first famous apparitions of the Virgin Mary were spotted here by a miller’s daughter—Bernadette Soubirous—in 1858 at the Grotto of Massabielle, although she was later joined by hundreds of locals when the ghostly figure reappeared a total of 18 times in quick succession.
If you’d like to experience this iconic location personally, catch a flight from Edinburgh and transfer at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport to Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees International.
The duration is between six and eight hours, depending on stopover time, but it’s not too onerous an undertaking to steep yourself in one of the world’s most mystical locations.
And parking at Edinburgh airport is convenient with several onsite and nearby meet and greet options enabling you to stow your car safely for the duration and pick it up at the end of your cathartic trip.
So there are three spiritual destinations a stone’s throw from Edinburgh. Book one today and broaden your horizons.
What’s the best spiritual location you’ve visited? Share your thoughts in the comments section.