Sample Excursions

ACTIVE SCOTLAND

 

Highlands Activity Weekend

Available to: Semester Programs

One of our most popular events, Firbush Outdoor Centre hosts an activity-filled weekend in the southern Highlands in a spectacular location on the shores of Loch Tay. Run by the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Sport and Exercise staff, there are a wide range of activities on offer, dependent on weather conditions. For those looking for adventure, the centre offers hill-walking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing and orienteering. For those looking to relax, go on a historical tour of the area or take a leisurely cycle to the local highland village of Killin for afternoon tea. There will also be a traditional Burns supper and ceilidh dance on one of the evenings.

Rugby Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland

Available to: Semester Programs

The sport of rugby, invented in the town of Rugby, England in 1823, is a popular sport throughout the United Kingdom. It is a game of speed and finesse, allowing for a healthy amount of contact, and can best be described as a cross between American football and soccer. Scotland have the chance to avenge their defeat to Ireland in the 2016 Six Nations Championship one year on in the 2017 Championship when they play the opening match at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.

Luss Highland Games & The Hill House

Available to: Summer Programs

The Hill House, high on a hill in Helensburgh overlooking the River Clyde, will be our first stop on the excursion. The Hill House is universally regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest domestic creation with a visually arresting mix of Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Scottish Baronial and Japonisme architecture and design. Mackintosh designed nearly everything inside the Hill House, along with his wife, Margaret Macdonald, who designed and made many of the textiles as well as a beautiful fireplace panel. Much of the house has been restored so it looks almost exactly as it did in 1904 when its first residents, Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie and his family, moved in.

In the afternoon the coach will drive to Luss, a village situated on the western shore of Loch Lomond, to watch the Luss Highland Games. The games began in 1967 to promote tourism by a group of local businessmen in the Balloch area. Today the games are known to be one of the top three Highland Games in all of Scotland and even includes over £15,000 in prize money. The traditional events include Running, Cycling, Wrestling, Tug o War, Tossing the Caber, Weight over the Bar, Throwing the Hammer, Ball and Weight and the Highland Dancing.

World Gymnastics Championships

Available to: Semester Programs

Scotland has a long tradition of sporting excellence. A quarter of the British team that won medals in the last Olympics were Scots. The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships are taking place in Glasgow this year with gymnasts competing to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The finals will be held at the SSE Hydro, a unique entertainment venue that recently opened in 2013 and sits on the banks of the River Clyde. The excursion will be watching the final of the Men’s Artistic Gymnastic Team, the team will be dependent on the results. The type of gymnastics that the gymnasts will be performing include: all-around, floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar.

The Golf Open Championship

Available to: Summer Programs

The Open was founded by pioneering golfers who had one guiding principle - to crown the Champion Golfer of the Year. Since 1860, The Open has been played over some of the world’s most cherished links courses and has produced a remarkable legacy of great champions. It is the oldest and most international championship in professional golf and the Claret Jug - first presented in 1873 - is one of the most iconic trophies in all of sport.

From earlier greats such as Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton and Walter Hagen through modern legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros to exceptional talents of today, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, the greatest players in the world have faced the unrelenting challenge of The Open for more than 150 years.

This year, the open will be taking place at Royal Troon, founded in 1878 and is renowned as one of the greatest links courses. This year hosts some fantastic players including; Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnston, Ben Curtis, Phil Mickelson and many more. We will be heading to Royal Troon on the very last day of the Open Championship, therefore witnessing the finale and hand over of the trophy.

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CREATING & IMAGINING SCOTLAND

 

 

Luss Highland Games & The Hill House

Available to: Summer Programs

The Hill House, high on a hill in Helensburgh overlooking the River Clyde, will be our first stop on the excursion. The Hill House is universally regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest domestic creation with a visually arresting mix of Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Scottish Baronial and Japonisme architecture and design. Mackintosh designed nearly everything inside the Hill House, along with his wife, Margaret Macdonald, who designed and made many of the textiles as well as a beautiful fireplace panel. Much of the house has been restored so it looks almost exactly as it did in 1904 when its first residents, Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie and his family, moved in.

In the afternoon the coach will drive to Luss, a village situated on the western shore of Loch Lomond, to watch the Luss Highland Games. The games began in 1967 to promote tourism by a group of local businessmen in the Balloch area. Today the games are known to be one of the top three Highland Games in all of Scotland and even includes over £15,000 in prize money. The traditional events include Running, Cycling, Wrestling, Tug o War, Tossing the Caber, Weight over the Bar, Throwing the Hammer, Ball and Weight and the Highland Dancing.

Ceilidh

Available to: Semester Programs

Ceilidh is the Gaelic word for a visit or gathering and involves Scottish country dancing to traditional Scottish folk music. Ceilidhs have played a vital role in Scotland’s cultural and social life for many years. The ceilidh is a fun opportunity for all Arcadia students to come together to celebrate Scottish culture. The Scottish dance will take place in Stirling, a beautiful historic city in the heart of Scotland’s central belt.

Mackintosh Meander – Architecture and Cultural Tour

Availble to: Semester Programs

Glasgow has tried to revive its image over recent decades in order to lose its inner city decay and industrial past. Its revival came in 1990 and 1999 when Glasgow was voted European City of Culture, and UK City of Architecture respectively. Urban regeneration has restored Victorian buildings, tobacco warehouses have been transformed into a modern day Merchant City of designer boutiques, art galleries, bars and bistros. Amongst all this, the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh can be found in beloved buildings and works of art across the city. Mackintosh is praised as a leader in the UK’s Art Nouveau movement as well as a designer in the Post-Impressionist movement. This tour exposes the fullest array of art, architecture, culture and people Glasgow has to offer.

The Play That Goes Wrong

AVAILABLE TO: Semester Programs

After sell-out smash hit of the Edinburgh Festival, the Mischief Theatre Company brings The Play That Goes Wrong to Glasgow’s Theatre Royal. Following the antics of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, the actors and crew try their very best to stage a production of a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong... does! The accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences. 2015 Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy, 2015 Broadway World UK Winner for Best New Play and 2014 What’s On Stage? Award Winner for Best New Comedy.

Brave New World at The King’s Theatre

Available to: Semester Programs

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley’s ground-breaking novel bursts into life on stage in a first ever stage adaptation by award-winning playwright Dawn King. Brave New World is a dystopian, satire novel set in a futuristic world, touching on the dangers of technology, genetic engineering and consumerism. The theatre performance ties in with the Life of the Mind theme –Protest. Some argue that Huxley’s Brave New World was a protest against Fordism –mass production, homogeneity, predictability and consumption of disposable consumer goods. Huxley gives Fordism a status beyond industrialism –that of a new religion in its ability to answer all social questions. The obsession with materialism is explicit in the depiction of under-consumption as a crime against society. Find out more about the book or purchase one.

Celtic Connections Music Concert

Available to: Spring Programs (Not open to Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Students)

Celtic Connections is Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, celebrating Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe. The festival attracts 2,100 musicians from all over the world who take part in concerts, ceilidhs, talks, exhibitions and workshops.

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ORIGINS

 

Craigmillar Castle

Availble to: Summer Programs

Craigmillar Castle is a 15th Century medieval stronghold located on the edge of Edinburgh. Originally built around an L’plan tower, the castle expanded over the 16th century to include private rooms and a great hall. The castle, gardens and pastureland was used as a home for over 250 years. It played an important part in the life of Mary Queen of Scots. It was here at Craigmillar Castle the plot to kill her husband, Lord Darnley, developed after she fled to the castle following Rizzio’s murder. In the beautiful grounds you will also find two historic Yew trees situated at the entrance that are believed to have been used to make bow and arrows. Spectacular views of East Lothian from the high ramparts of Edinburgh’s other castle.

Pitlochry

Availble to: Summer Programs

Our trip will begin with a visit to the Blair Athol Distillery which stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry. ‘Usquebaugh’ is Scots Gaelic for the water of life and we currently know this as whisky. After the distillery you will have free time for lunch and to explore Pitlochry. In the afternoon we will visit Blair Castle. Unique amongst Scottish castles, essential to the history of Mary Queen of Scots, the Civil War and the Jacobite cause. The visit will reveal how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home, and explore how Queen Victoria's stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. The castle was built in 1269. Its unique style has changed from medieval beginnings –holding a strategic position during political struggles –to becoming a fine Georgian mansion and finally a Victorian castle in the baronial style.

Rosslyn Chapel & the Scottish Borders

Availble to: Semester Programs

The Scottish Borders is full of beauty with sweeping valleys, forests and heather-clad moorlands. The day excursion to the Scottish Borders will begin with a visit to the Rosslyn Chapel which was founded in 1446 using ornate stonework and mysterious symbolism. Traquair House is an important part of the enthralling history of the Scottish Borders as the longest continually inhabited house in Scotland and will also be included in the day excursion. There will be photo opportunities at Scott’s View and free time to explore Melrose village and the ruins of Melrose Abbey, which was founded in 1136 for the Cistercian Order and largely destroyed by Richard II’s English army in 1385.

Highlands Weekend

Availble to: Semester Programs

No trip to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to a whisky distillery -which is why our first stop will be Blair Athol Distillery in the foothills of the town of Pitlochry. We will have a guided tour of the distillery and see how one of Scotland’s most important products is made. From here we will head into the town of Pitlochry where you are free to explore and have lunch. After lunch we will visit Leault Farm in the town of Kincraig. We will have the opportunity to watch a sheepdog demonstration, an experience that will give us the chance to enjoy and participate in the traditional working day of a Highland shepherd. Our next stop is the Battlefield of Culloden. This was the scene of the last major battle fought on mainland Britain. The battle that took place here in 1746 effectively ended Jacobite hopes of restoring the exiled Stuart dynasty. On the site there is a visitor centre with exhibitions and we will have a guided tour of the battlefield. We will spend the night in Inverness. Sunday morning we will take a cruise on the deep water of Loch Ness, disembarking at Urquhart Castle. Now a magnificent ruin, Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress. After the castle we will travel to Fort William, here we will have time for lunch and take a ride on Britain’s only mountain gondola. The gondola ride allows travellers to experience breath-taking, scenic views and absorb some fresh mountain air. From here we will drive to our last stop – Glencoe Visitor Centre. With towering mountains sweeping down on both sides, Glencoe is at once spectacularly beautiful and strangely forbidding – a legacy of the massacre that took place here in 1692.

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Discovery & Invention in Scotland

 

Pitlochry

Availble to: Summer Programs

Our trip will begin with a visit to the Blair Athol Distillery which stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry. ‘Usquebaugh’ is Scots Gaelic for the water of life and we currently know this as whisky. After the distillery you will have free time for lunch and to explore Pitlochry. In the afternoon we will visit Blair Castle. Unique amongst Scottish castles, essential to the history of Mary Queen of Scots, the Civil War and the Jacobite cause. The visit will reveal how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home, and explore how Queen Victoria's stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. The castle was built in 1269. Its unique style has changed from medieval beginnings –holding a strategic position during political struggles –to becoming a fine Georgian mansion and finally a Victorian castle in the baronial style.

Voice of Scotland – Day in Glasgow

Availble to: Semester Programs

Vibrant and energetic, Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city with a population of nearly 600,000 with a background of protest to explore the Life of the Mind theme. We will visit the Glasgow Central Station. On the behind-the-scenes tour we will explore many different parts of the station learning about Glasgow’s 19th century history as part of the global industrial revolution. Next, we will have lunch at the Willow Tea Rooms designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in collaboration with his wife, Margaret MacDonald. Their designs were an aesthetic protest during this period and were considered the first examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Britain. The Mackintoshs were commissioned by Kate Cranston –a leading figure in the development of tea rooms –which allowed women in the 19th century to socialise alone and protest against male dominated society. We will also visit the Riverside Museum and the People’s Palace to investigate Mary Barbour’s role in the Rent Strikes of 1915. She mobilised the poor to stand up against their landlords in a successful struggle for affordable housing. We’ll drive along the river Clyde famous for shipbuilding, industry, protest and the rise of the Labour movement in the United Kingdom to improve working conditions for employees.

Virtual Realities Workshop

AVAILBLE TO: Semester PROGRAMS

In conjunction with our bookclub novel, The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod, set within a simulated environment, we have arranged a cutting-edge digital technology workshop with the University of Edinburgh. Fiona Hale, lecturer and Virtual Worlds development adviser, will present an interactive workshop exploring the software and technologies being used to create virtual reality environments found within popular games including World of Warcraft, Second Life and Minecraft.

 

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Scotlands

 

Pitlochry

Availble to: Specific Programs Only

Our trip will begin with a visit to the Blair Athol Distillery which stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in the picturesque town of Pitlochry. ‘Usquebaugh’ is Scots Gaelic for the water of life and we currently know this as whisky. After the distillery you will have free time for lunch and to explore Pitlochry. In the afternoon we will visit Blair Castle. Unique amongst Scottish castles, essential to the history of Mary Queen of Scots, the Civil War and the Jacobite cause. The visit will reveal how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home, and explore how Queen Victoria's stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army, the Atholl Highlanders. The castle was built in 1269. Its unique style has changed from medieval beginnings –holding a strategic position during political struggles –to becoming a fine Georgian mansion and finally a Victorian castle in the baronial style.

Rosslyn Chapel & the Scottish Borders

Availble to: Semester Programs

The Scottish Borders is well-known for its rolling countryside, winding rivers, sheep, sleepy villages, abbeys and stately homes. Rosslyn Chapel is famous worldwide for the beauty of its carvings and for the mystery that surrounds it. Built in 1446 by William St Clair, the last Prince of Orkney, the interior is full of carvings, including the famous Apprentice Pillar with its own story of murder and mystery. From Rosslyn we will visit Abbotsford House, the former residence of novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. Abbotsford sits at the heart of the landscape that inspired the poetry and novels of Scott. This is a house that the writer himself designed and as such uniquely embodies a physical representation of the Romantic Movement he helped to create. Our next stop will be Melrose, which lies at the foot of the Eildon Hills in the valley of the River Tweed. You will be free to wander the village, have lunch and explore the ruins of Melrose Abbey. The abbey was founded in 1136, burned down by the English army in the 1300s and rebuilt in the 1400s. Now a magnificent ruin, the abbey is thought to be the burial place of the heart of Robert the Bruce, the greatest Scottish king that won independence for Scotland in 1314.

Highlands Weekend

Availble to: Semester Programs

No trip to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to a whisky distillery -which is why our first stop will be Blair Athol Distillery in the foothills of the town of Pitlochry. We will have a guided tour of the distillery and see how one of Scotland’s most important products is made. From here we will head into the town of Pitlochry where you are free to explore and have lunch. After lunch we will visit Leault Farm in the town of Kincraig. We will have the opportunity to watch a sheepdog demonstration, an experience that will give us the chance to enjoy and participate in the traditional working day of a Highland shepherd. Our next stop is the Battlefield of Culloden. This was the scene of the last major battle fought on mainland Britain. The battle that took place here in 1746 effectively ended Jacobite hopes of restoring the exiled Stuart dynasty. On the site there is a visitor centre with exhibitions and we will have a guided tour of the battlefield. We will spend the night in Inverness. Sunday morning we will take a cruise on the deep water of Loch Ness, disembarking at Urquhart Castle. Now a magnificent ruin, Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress. After the castle we will travel to Fort William, here we will have time for lunch and take a ride on Britain’s only mountain gondola. The gondola ride allows travellers to experience breath-taking, scenic views and absorb some fresh mountain air. From here we will drive to our last stop – Glencoe Visitor Centre. With towering mountains sweeping down on both sides, Glencoe is at once spectacularly beautiful and strangely forbidding – a legacy of the massacre that took place here in 1692.

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Miscellaneous

 

Book Club / Life of the Mind

Availble to: Semester Programs

We invite an author as part of our webcast lecture series and link either an afternoon, or sometimes a weekend event to the theme of the book or the Life of the Mind theme. Previous events have included a weekend trip to the Isle of Arran, the Isle of Skye, Lewis and to Oban as well as to Dunkeld, Perth and Pitlochry to a music concert. Sometimes the book club event will be an afternoon event. Previous authors have included contemporary Scottish authors such as Alan Warner, James Robertson and Ian Rankin.

 

Caledonian Connections: Talks

Availble to: Semester Programs

A series of live webcast lectures from members of the Scottish community from authors to politicians. Students are invited to be part of the webcast audience and afterwards a reception at the Edinburgh Center to hear speakers discuss various aspects of Scottish life. Previous speakers have included Scottish Members of Parliament, bid chairperson of the Commonwealth Games, senior brand manager of IRN BRU, and leading contemporary Scottish authors.

Ken MacLeod - The Restoration Game

AVAILBLE TO: SEMESTER PROGRAMS

As a part of our Book Club, author Ken MacLeod will join us in the Edinburgh Center to talk about his novel, ‘The Restoration Game’. Described as techno-thriller, the book follows the brewing revolution in Krassnia, a tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union. Its organizers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy Stone, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: its original inspiration came from The Krassniad - an epic tale, based on Krassnian folklore, concocted by Lucy’s mother who studied there in the 1980s.

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