Geowalks Holidays 2018-19

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 flowers and to explore the human stories of the places we are visiting.

I really 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."

I've been organising these holidays for almost 20 years, with more than 75 trips to 17 different locations including the islands of Arran, Cumbrae and Bute, the Cairngorms, Northwest Highlands, Fife Coast, Torridon, Orkney, Shetland and the islands of Eigg and Rum.

To book, get in touch with Angus to see if there are places available, and then send a £50 deposit to secure your place (cheques payable to 'Geowalks' or ask for bank transfer details).

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. Some holidays are organised with partners including Williams Geoadventures and Selkie Explorers, get in touch with them to book. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Rockwatch trip to the Isle of Eigg 23-27 July 2018

This amazing trip to Eigg for families is being organised by Rockwatch - the UK's Nationwide Geology Club for Children. A great opportunity to explore a fascinating variety of geology in a small area, with interesting sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Most of the rocks of Eigg were formed during volcanic eruptions as North America and Europe split apart and the north Atlantic Ocean was formed. Beneath the volcanic rocks are older sedimentary rocks from the Jurassic Period, and we will find plenty of fossils including shells and plant remains. This is the first place in Scotland where plesiosaur bones were discovered, by a famous geologist called Hugh Miller in 1844, and if you go to the right place (it is quite a trek) it is still possible to find bits of plesiosaur today. Even more excitingly, an Edinburgh University geologist found the first dinosaur bone on Eigg just last year, similar to other recent discoveries in recent years on the nearby island of Skye.

The volcanic rocks are amazing too, lots of basalt, forming crumbling cliffs. The high point of the island, An Sgrr, is made of a tough slab of pitchstone. This is an unusual glassy volcanic rock and probably formed as the result of a big, dramatic volcanic explosion which knocked over pine trees and buried the landscape in very hot volcanic ash.

The trip will be flexible and informal, so there will be time to explore all of the island, spend time on beautiful sandy beaches and climb An Sgrr (it looks really impressive but actually isn't too hard to climb).

For further information and to book, contact the friendly people at the Rockwatch office.

Isle of Arran Thursday 4 to Sunday 7 October 2018

Welcome to the best geology in Scotland! Arran's rocks tell a story stretching over almost one billion years. There are igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, representing periods of mountain building, tropical seas, hot deserts, volcanoes and underground cauldrons of magma its all here, and Arran is justly famous as an ideal introduction to the study of rocks, and a place to appreciate the link between the rocks and the shape of the land at different scales. Well visit the ancient Highland rocks in the north of Arran, the site of James Huttons unconformity near Lochranza, and the desert sandstones of the south. There will be time to explore all aspects of the island and appreciate the scenery, wildlife and a peaceful atmosphere. We will take a series of short walks to explore places of interest. Holiday Information Sheet (pdf file)

Winter Georetreat: Crail, Fife 15-18 November 2018

A new venture for 2018! The plan: a big comfy house in a geologically interesting place, with warm fires, good food and sparkling company. A geological library, maps and microscope slides. Short talks, perhaps an invited speaker or two. And whenever the weather suits, short excursions to local sites of interest. Out for an hour or most of the day, then back to base for geological discussion at your level: this is a great opportunity for a general introduction to geology or to get into more detail of any subject that interests you.

This four-day Georetreat will be based at Caiplie House in Crail, a large Victorian House with plenty of space. Close by are the fossils of Crail Harbour, interesting sedimentary layers at Kingsbarns and superb coastal walks south of St Andrews and at St Monans and Elie.

Outline cost around £260 for accommodation, food and geology. Get in touch for further information.

Geosailing with Selkie Explorers 12-17 May and 2-6 September 2019

Reaching the places that normal geology trips don't reach ... travelling with the wind, seeing the Hebrides from a different perspective, taking our time to soak up the atmosphere, get in close to the coast to view the geology of inaccessible places and if conditions allow, land occasionally for a wild walk. We can't plan the detailed itinerary in advance, but there are myriad possibilities setting out from Mallaig with a range of geology ahead of us (rocks dating from 3000 million to just 55 million years old). Possibilities include the Outer Hebrides, Skye, Soay, Col and Tiree, or sail north to the Summer Isles or south to Treshnish, Mull, Iona.

I'm delighted to be working with Celia Bull of Selkie Explorers, based on the island of Eigg and her amazing high-latitude yacht, aluminium hulled with a lifting keel. I've sailed with Celia a couple of times now, she is a fine skipper: very experienced, knowledgeable and with a fascinating life story that has taken her all over the world. So, these are unforgettable experiences for a small group.

We will set out from Mallaig and aim to return to anchor off Eigg for the last evening, with options of time ashore the next day before departing Mallaig or Arisaig. Book direct with Selkie Explorers - further information

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