Explore Edinburgh’s landscape and the human connections
Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh is an ideal outdoor classroom. I offer excursions for school and university groups, exploring a range of themes. I’ve also written self-guided resources.
Excursions for School and University Groups
I’ve got wide experience in leading excursions for Primary to University level , exploring themes including volcanoes, plate tectonics, and the forces that have shaped the landscape. A walk through Holyrood Park is an excellent accompaniment to a visit to Dynamic Earth, a chance to explore the local landscape and discover many connections between past events, landscape and society.
“Both P7 classes benefited greatly from their work up Arthur’s Seat and did excellent followon activities as a result. I would like to thank you most sincerely for making this such a successful trip.” P7 Teacher
What’s on offer?
The key is flexibility, to fit in to the time you have and the themes you’d like to explore, and the weather conditions on the day. The tours below give you an idea of what can be done, but please get in touch if you’d like something different.
Tour 1: Edinburgh’s Landscape
A short walk past the Scottish Parliament and into Holyrood Park. What kinds of rock is Scotland made of? Why has Edinburgh got so many hills, and how have they helped and hindered the development of the city? Explore some of Scotland’s rocks outside Dynamic Earth and the Scottish Parliament; look at local maps and explore the shape of the landscape in central Edinburgh; hands-on experiment to discover the different properties of the local rocks and view these rocks (from a safe distance) in the cliffs of Salisbury Crags; use observations and inference to work out what eroded the rocks and what direction the ice sheet was moving in.
Suitability: P4-7, S1-2
Suggested duration: 1-1.5 hours.
Tour 2: The Volcanoes that Shaped Scotland
A low-level walk in Holyrood Park to discover ancient lava flows and discover how volcanic eruptions have helped to create the landscape of central Scotland. Stand on a lava flow and get up close to igneous rocks to discover their strong crystalline structure which has made them tough enough to survive millions of years of erosion. Walk through the park to find samples from the central crater of the Arthur’s Seat volcano and think about what it would have been like to be here when the volcano erupted. Map and Cross Section used during this excursion.
Suggested duration: 1.5 hours.
Tour 3: Into the Crater
An exploration of the Arthur’s Seat volcano.
Tailored tours that explore the details of the volcanic eruptions that created Arthur’s Seat and offer an opportunity to explore different parts of the volcano and Salisbury Crags. Discover the key role that volcanoes and underground magma intrusions have played in forming the scenery of Edinburgh and in the development of scientific ideas.
Suitability: S3 and upwards
Suggested duration: at least 2 hours
There are many options for short and long tours, and different themes. Safety is important, and needs to be considered as part of planning any trip. The safety of the group remains the responsibility of the teacher in charge and this individual is responsible for ensuring that all local authority or school regulations and guidelines are complied with. I can offer advice on safety precautions and risk assessments, and I’m a qualified Mountain Leader with a current Emergency Aid certificate. Further notes on Safety & outline Risk Assessment.