“Thin places–physical places with spiritual significance.”

Thin Place Travel emphasizes trips that combine mind, body, and spirit. Its name comes from the Celtic understanding that in some places the line separating this world from the transcendent world is very thin, encouraging easy crossings. Our trips are designed for reflective people on their own pilgrimages through life who are interested in others who have gone before.

These tours are not academic, but they are for people who like books and ideas. Readings are suggested for preparing for each trip, and there are frequent talks, guided tours, and times for discussion. No tests or papers, but lots of good conversation.

Daniel Taylor and his wife, Jayne, have led many student and adult trips to places around the world, ranging from Britain, Western and Eastern Europe and Australia to Cuba, Guatemala, and Brazil. They continue to lead trips annually and invite those interested in coming along to contact them using the Contact page.




Sept 26-Oct 8, 2018

One way of exploring the culture and history of a country is through its political, religious, and private buildings. This tour takes us from Canterbury to the Scottish Highlands and points in-between.

We start in Canterbury, the official birthplace of Christianity in England, exploring its cathedral (home to the Archbishop who heads the Anglican church), the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, and T.S. Eliot’s play based on that pivotal event. Also visit nearby Dover castle overlooking the English Channel.

We then move up the east coast of England to Lincoln, with a mid-day stop in Cambridge to visit the beautiful King’s College chapel and this world famous university town. After a Sunday morning service at Lincoln cathedral the next day, participants are free to explore the city.

The day following, we head to Chatsworth House, perhaps the grandest estate in all of the United Kingdom. Jane Austen has Elizabeth Bennet visit here in Pride and Prejudice, and in the 2005 film version of the novel, Chatsworth is used to represent Darcy’s Pemberley estate. It also appears in the current TV series, The Crown, and is famous for majestic rooms, art collection, gardens, and waterfall.

After Chatsworth, we coach to York, historically the most important city in northern England. There we visit the York cathedral, considered one of world’s finest, and walk the walls and explore the city.

From York we coach to Lindisfarne (Holy Island) via Durham cathedral and Alnwick castle. Durham cathedral feels different from the others, being Norman-Romanesque rather than Gothic. It was the site of one of the most important shrines in medieval Europe–to Saint Cuthbert–and also holds the remains of the great medieval church historian, the Venerable Bede. Alnwick castle is a castle’s castle and a film location for both Harry Potter and Downton Abbey episodes. Lindisfarne is a tidal island that was the site of the spread of Christianity by Celtic missionaries (Aidan) from Iona in Scotland to northern England. Cuthbert is the patron Saint.

After a full day and second night on Lindisfarne, we go the Scottish Highlands (in or near Cairngorms National Park) with a stop at Blair Castle. Blair Castle is a late—and Scottish—version of a castle (more a home), with fine gardens. We spend two nights in the Highlands, with a priority on walks, hikes, scenery, rest and a small, picturesque town.

Our tour ends in Edinburgh, with time to explore the castle, the Princes Street gardens, and the Royal Mile (with a stop at John Knox’s house). Return flights to the US are available both from Edinburgh and nearby Glasgow.

(Those wishing to include London can arrive early and those wishing to see more of Scotland–or elsewhere–can extend their stay.)

Questions: Contact Daniel Taylor through the Contact page.


C.S. LEWIS, TOLKIEN AND FRIENDS: A LIGHTLY LITERARY TOUR OF IRELAND AND ENGLAND (May 25-June 4, 2017). A tour of the United Kingdom of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings—that famous gathering of Christian writers who are among the most influential authors of our time.

20TH C. FRANCE: ARTISTS, WRITERS AND WAR (June 21-July 1, 2016). An exploration of the modernist writers and artists of early 20th-century Paris, along with the two world wars that bracketed the period.

A LIGHTLY LITERARY NEW ENGLAND LEAF TOUR  (Oct. 10-19, 2014). A 10 day tour of New England with an emphasis on great American Writers (Dickinson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville) and great fall colors.

A two-week tour of Celtic Christian sites in Ireland, Scotland, and northern England. Begins in Dublin and ends in Edinburgh. This tour was repeated in October of 2015.

For those who have participated in any Bethel University England Term semester or Interim “Travel Writing” course since 1979. A thirteen-day tour (with a departure point at 11 days) that will include some of the familiar places from past tours, plus something new.

C.S. LEWIS, TOLKIEN AND INKLINGS TOUR (September 5-12, 2012)
A seven-day tour of Oxford, the Cotswolds, Stratford, and Wales, with an emphasis on the lives and works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.