Walking Holidays 2017

Geowalks holidays give you the opportunity to visit Scotland's finest rocks and landscapes, exploring an area in a series of day walks with a small group. A relaxed pace, lots of flexibility and we frequently pause to enjoy the views, the wildlife and the flowers and to explore the human stories of the places we are visiting.

Check out the Holiday blog for reports and pictures from previous holidays. I greatly enjoy leading these trips, and they are highly regarded - a recent participant said "Many thanks for this year's geology trips. I enjoyed them all. You do a great job in the organisation, the accommodation, the weather, the people and the geology but most of all it is the courteous and friendly way you treat us that makes a geowalk special. Thank you."

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. To book, first check to see if there are places available, and then send a £50 deposit to secure your place (cheques payable to 'Geowalks' or ask if you'd like to make an online bank transfer). The final information about each holiday is sent out 6 weeks in advance, but please ask if you need details to make travel arrangements, etc.

Luing & the Argyll Islands, 18-22 April 2017
The beautiful and varied Atlantic islands of Luing, Kerrera, Seil, Easdale, Scarba and the Garvellachs have a rich geological history, with fantastic coastal exposures of some of the best of the Dalradian metamorphic rocks and overlying conglomerate and sandstone. The metamorphic rocks contain plenty of clues to the ocean-floor sedimentary conditions where the original rocks formed. We'll see slate, limestone and internationally-famous tillite layers within the Dalradian rocks. The structural trend of the rocks creates the grain of the coastline and islands, and the whole lot is shot through by a set of much younger dykes from later volcanic activity on Mull. These islands also have a rich human history, which intersects with the geology in the many abandoned and flooded slate quarries. Based on Luing, we will experience geology's influence on the tides, anchorages and the narrow passageways such as the Corrievrekan. Holiday information sheet (pdf file).

Edinburgh U3A Geology Group Mull and Iona, 8-12 May or 10-15 September 2017
The islands of Mull and Iona have a rich geological heritage. The scenery and beauty of the area derives mainly from incredible volcanic activity about 60 million years ago, which produced a thick blanket of basalt lava flows that form much of Mull and include the world-famous rocks of Staffa. Within the lava flows there are lots of interesting features, including basalt columns, a famous fossilised tree and in-filled gas bubbles. However, it is not just basalt that we find here, in many places the lava has been eroded away, exposing a diverse collection of rocks below; including Iona's marble, the Ross of Mull granite and sedimentary rocks. In one small geographical area you find some of the oldest and youngest rocks of Scotland, and some important ones from in between! Sorry, this trip is only open to members of the Edinburgh U3A.

Isle of Rum, 22-26 May 2017
The wild Isle of Rum is world famous, as an eroded volcano and nature reserve. This was the site of a major volcanic activity around 60 million years ago; the rocks now visible at the surface were mostly formed underground, and are an interesting and confusing hodgepodge of different types of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, giving a glimpse of the power and complexity of the volcanic activity. Holiday information sheet (pdf file).

Scotland Rocks! 2-14 June 2017 - organised in conjunction with Williams Geoadventures
Travel through Northern and Central Scotland studying fundamental geological concepts and exploring the landscapes and geology of the Scottish Highlands in this unique 12-day field trip. Scotland boasts spectacular scenery and the most varied geological landscapes of any country of its size in the world. Day trips will study fundamental concepts that were important in the development of geology as a science. Four days will be spent exploring the area around Edinburgh and will include Edinburgh's volcanoes, the area around Dunbar, St. Andrews, and Siccar Point, the location of Hutton's Unconformity. The next eight days will explore the Scottish Highlands, including a three-night stay on the enchanting Isle of Skye, whisky-tasting, castles and more! Trips to the north and northwest will study geological processes, structural geology, and landscape development, expanding on the tools learned in Edinburgh. Further details.

Shetland Islands, 21-27 June 2017 (ferry travel Aberdeen or Orkney to Shetland overnight Tuesday 20 June, returning overnight Tuesday 27 June; flying to Shetland is also possible).
The wild and remote Shetland archipelago is renowned for its scenery, wildlife, archaeology and rocks, a must-visit for anyone who loves Scottish islands. The geology is extremely varied across the island group: dominated by a wide range of different metamorphic rocks, linked to the Lewisian, Dalradian and Moine of the Scottish highlands, but compressed and juxtaposed in narrow slices and accompanied by granite, sandstone and volcanic rocks from the Devonian period, and in Unst in the far north, a unique assemblage from the Iapetus Ocean floor. A huge variety of rocks that is reflected in the different character of every island and every view. These rocks and scenery would be enough to entertain and delight on their own, but are accompanied by many other features of interest, including rich archaeology and culture, and world-famous bird life. Holiday information sheet (pdf file).

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