Iona Abbey

Take the foot ferry to Iona and step off onto one of Scotland’s most sacred sites.

About this church

This tiny island by Mull has been a vibrant centre of Christian worship ever since St Columba arrived in AD 563.

Columba’s monastery survived until the end of the 12th century, despite repeated Viking raids. Around 1200, the sons of Somerled – ‘King of the Isles’ – founded a Benedictine abbey here. Pilgrimage to St Columba’s Shrine continued to thrive, though monastic life on Iona ended with the Protestant Reformation of 1560.

It’s thought that the world famous Book of Kells was made here, along with other great works of art. Iona’s Abbey Museum houses Scotland’s finest collection of early medieval carved stones and crosses.

The Iona Community, formed in 1938, has revived the abbey’s long tradition of work, worship and teaching.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike
  • Church shop or souvenirs

Other nearby churches

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Oronsay Priory

When the tide is favourable you can easily cross The Strand to Oronsay and walk the two and a half miles to the farm and Priory.

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Oban Cathedral

The 20th century Cathedral, a blend of Gothic and Romanesque, stands in a prominent position on the north east side of Oban Bay and its imposing tower looms over the Corran Esplanade.

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