IONA: MACLEOD CENTRE
We are delighted to invite our long-standing Partners to come and stay in the Mac in 2023. It’s basic, but cosy and welcoming in the warmer months. (Please note 2023 bookings are currently for our invited partners and are not open to the public for booking just yet – sorry).
The ‘Mac’ was built on land owned by the Iona Community as a families and youth centre in the 1980s. Before the Mac was built, this piece of land housed the Youth Camp, home to hundreds of youth groups over the decades, living in community, experimenting with worship, crafting daft concerts, exploring deep themes, ceilidh-ing the nights away. In turn, our Youth Camp was built on the experience of hosting hundreds of young people in tented youth camps at the North End of Iona, and in the village.
We are dedicated to continuing this journey of working with young people to explore faith, reflection, and action in the context of the historic and glorious island of Iona.
The Mac is soon to undergo a major refurbishment. It will be relaunched, retrofitted to as close to Passivhaus standards as possible, as a youth and eco/earth centre.
We are working with some of our countries top retrofit/Passivhaus architects, with our partners on the islands of Iona and Mull, with our Unlocked and Higher Education partners, and with our Members to ensure that the refurbished Mac sings out of its past towards a future that is just, true and good for all, including Earth.
In the meantime, we are delighted to invite our long-standing Partners to come and stay in the Mac in 2023. It’s basic, but cosy and welcoming in the warmer months.
For 2023 we are welcoming medium and large groups from our Partner Organisations to use the Mac for a reduced nightly fee. In return we are asking for your honest and heart-felt feedback about our vision for the future of the Mac. We will send you a set of questions! If you have not been contacted by us already, but would like your group to be considered for 2023, please contact our bookings team at IonaAbbeyBookings@iona.org.uk
When you arrive, our staff will help you settle in to the Mac. You’ll be shown around the accommodation, the shared bathrooms, the self-catering kitchen, and the other facilities of the Mac, including the Craft Room.
While you’ll be left to your own devices during your stay, you will be more than welcome to join with our Resident Community and Iona Abbey guests for
- Morning and evening worship in Iona Abbey
- Explore the gifts and resources, including a large selection of our books from Wild Goose Publications at our Island Shop.
- It may be possible for us to offer you a short workshop about the life of the Iona Community. If that would interest you, please enquire on booking.
Booking and costs for partner organisations and small pilgrim groups.
For 2023 we are taking group bookings from Partner Organisations and small groups of pilgrims. If you are a Partner Organisation you will already have been invited to make a booking. If you are leading a small (6 or more) Pilgrim Group to Iona and are looking for accommodation, we may be able to offer you help. This will be on a case by case basis.
We hope the information below will help you.
Number of nights
Adult rate per person
/per night (aged over 16)
Child rate per person
/per night (aged 16 and under)
1 to 4
5 to 7
- For all Mac bookings, please enquire through our Bookings Administrator, Suzanne Miller, at IonaAbbeyBookings@iona.org.uk.
- A 50% non-refundable deposit is required on booking.
- Confirmed numbers and final payment is due 12 weeks in advance of arrival
- Bookings made within 12 weeks require to be paid in full and are non-refundable
- Guests are strongly advised to purchase travel insurance to cover the eventuality of cancellations.
- Deposit payments are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- If you find you have to alter or cancel your stay at the Mac, transfers may be possible.
- If we are able to offer alternative dates but these do not suit you or you have to cancel the alternative dates, then the non-refundable and non-transferable policy would apply in full.
Frequently asked questions
What catering facilities are there?
We will provide basic kitchen facilities with pots and pans, cutlery and crockery. There are three induction hob rings. There is no oven. There are kettles, toasters and a fridge.
Is food provided?
This is a self-catering offer, so you’ll need to bring all your own food. There is a small grocery shop on Iona, and another in Fionnphort. There are supermarkets in Oban easily accessible on the way to the ferry. Fresh fish and vegetables can also be purchased on the island, seasonally dependent.
A Scottish island? What will the weather be like? What clothes should I pack?
The weather on Iona is notoriously changeable. It is not uncommon to experience hail, rain, and sunshine on the same day! Iona’s maritime climate means it is rarely very hot or very cold. It is, however, often windy, and the windchill factor can make it feel really cold. We recommend lots of comfortable layers that you can easily put on and off, along with waterproof jacket and trousers if you have them. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are highly recommended.
What is the accommodation like?
We have 24 single bunk beds available shared across 6 rooms. Each bed will have a pillow and a layer sheet. Please bring your own pillow case and sleeping bag. Please also bring your own towels. There are bathrooms, toilets and showers to share. You will be sharing the building with some of our staff.
Is there space for group work and craft?
Our Community Room is a large, open space with plenty of room for groups of 24 to sit, and to eat. You will also have access to our Craft Room with some basic art materials and magnificent views of the north end of the island! Occasionally our guests in the Abbey will be making use of the Craft Room too. Some of our staff live in designated parts of the building which we would ask you to respect.
How accessible is the Mac?
The Mac is partially accessible with doors wide enough for wheelchairs. If there is anything we can do to ease your stay, please ask: IonaAbbeyBookings@iona.org.uk
What do you mean by ‘small’ group? And what’s the largest size of group you can accommodate?
We can accommodate groups of between 6 (minimum) and 24 (maximum) people. Larger or smaller groups may be considered. Please enquire via IonaAbbeyBookings@iona.org.uk
Is there wi-fi at the Mac?
There’s intermittent 4G on Iona, but there is no dedicated wi-fi for guest access.
How long can we stay?
We require bookings for a minimum of 2 nights.
Can you point me to some useful travel information?
For information about how to travel to Iona, visit here