Field Guide to the Geology of Gigha & Cara

J.G. MacDonald

2nd edition (2021)
80 pages, with over 70 photographs and figures, mostly in full colour
Sponsored by the Geological Society of Glasgow

ISBN:  978-1-3999-0458-2
Retail price: £10.00; members’ price: £8.00


About the author
Jim MacDonald, formerly Director of Lifelong Learning in the Faculty of Education at the University of Glasgow, has many years’ experience in the teaching of geology and has carried out geological field work in many parts of Europe and in the Atlantic Islands.

Dr MacDonald first visited Gigha briefly in 1973 to give an extra-mural talk on the geology of the Hebrides. It was not until 1999, when he returned for a holiday, that he realised that the island had much of its own to offer in the way of geological interest. A search for published work revealed that little appeared to have been done since the 1920s, when a paper by W.J. McCallien was published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; so here was a chance to take a fresh look at the island.

The guide contains the most up-to-date information available about the geology of Gigha, and is intended to introduce visitors to the fascinating geology of an often overlooked corner of the Hebrides. The first part of the book provides an extended introduction to the geological history of Gigha and Cara; explanations of the specialist terminology are given in the text and also in a short appendix. The second part consists of seven descriptive itineraries covering selected areas of the more accessible parts of Gigha, mainly around the coastline, and one on the neighbouring island of Cara. The guide is profusely illustrated by colour photographs (taken by the author), locality maps and line diagrams. There is also a brief glossary explaining the meanings of the Gaelic words used in place names in Gigha.

The second edition of the guide includes some minor additions and corrections to the original text and improvements to the quality of the illustrations.

The Geological Society of Glasgow is proud to have sponsored the publication of this book, which is an indispensable guide for anyone visiting Gigha and wishing to explore the geology of the island. It can be purchased by emailing the society at: