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Retreat to Iona

Sunset Iona

Retreat to Iona

Bishop's House is the perfect location for group and individual retreats on Iona. We are located in the village and near to the Abbey, a haven of peace away from the tourist throng. Set in our own grounds, the House overlooks the sound of Iona with access to one of Iona’s white sand beaches at the bottom of the garden.

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The House is open from March until November for full board guests and can be booked for small groups or exclusive use groups (who then have the whole house to themselves). We also offer a number of open weeks. These are an opportunity for individuals to find peace in the house with other modern-day pilgrims. Bishop's House does not often offer led retreat programs per se, but we do arrange for a regular rhythm of services and meals that help to structure the day, and our library is a real treat for guests to dip into and find nourishment for the mind and heart. If rooms are released by a group due to a cancellation, then we sometimes make rooms available for individuals (private guests) to stay alongside groups. The House provides a flexible space and ‘sharing’ seems to work fine!

We are regularly booked up a year in advance (if not two), and in response to this demand, we have extended our season from March to November. During these months, full board is available.

Open Weeks at Bishop’s House:

Open Weeks are a great opportunity for individuals and smaller groups of friends or family to stay at Bishop’s House. These are not necessarily led retreats, but they do have a set rhythm of meals and services, leaving you to fill in the rest, as best fits. Our open weeks are generally very popular so we do recommend you make a reservation sooner rather than later. One night’s deposit is all that is needed to make a confirmed booking.

To book or get additional information, please email iona@island-retreats.org or call us on 01681 700111.

What about a step into the unknown…? Be among the few to discover the beauty of Iona in the winter…

In the low season, ie between November and February, Bishop’s House can be booked by individuals and small groups. The low season gives you a very special opportunity to enjoy Iona’s crisp and glorious winters from the warmth and comfort of Bishop’s House. The library with its open coal fire is ideal for big reads and big chats through long peaceful Hebridean evenings, which often culminate in a riot of stars in our black skies. And the spacious lounge is also an ideal space for flexible gatherings and general ‘chilling’. The island is very quiet indeed at this time of year, and it really offers a sense of escape and profound beauty – those of us who winter on Iona (some of whom come from as far afield as Vermont!) find storm watching on the bad days is as much a privilege to behold as a June sunset! Contrary to popular opinion, we get snow around once every ten years, and rare hoar frosts, so bitter winter weather is not something you are likely to contend with on Iona.

We are developing a new approach in self-catering, more suited to island life, which we might nickname self-ish-catering. Not that our guests approach their food in a selfish way, but that we can provide, if requested, a selection of delicious frozen home-made meals which you can easily prepare and serve during your stay. We can even arrange for your groceries and drinks to be ordered in for you. Then all you need to bring with you, as foot passengers from Fionnphort, is your standard luggage.

Cancelled ferry crossings are a feature that occurs all year round. In the winter, there is a slightly higher cancellation rate. So if you are interested in booking for the low season, it would be a good idea to come for a week, and to ‘budget’ for a couple of days either side in case you need to come earlier, or stay later! We are building links with quality low-season accommodation providers on Mull, to enable you to have a comfortable and memorable night even if you don’t make it onto the island when you expect to.

The low season tariff (7 November to 20 February) is also excellent value for money. Come and stay for just £30 per person per night (excl. meals). Or if you really want to push the boat out, you can hire exclusive use of the House for only £400 per night (in 2017 and 2018).

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Prices

Please choose the year in which you wish to visit us to download the current tariffs (PDFs include both individual and group prices):
2017 »

2018 »

Please click here to download our booking information pack if you would like further information about coming to stay at Bishop's House.

For further information on whole house self-catering in the winter months, please click here.