Residential Excursion Programme

Lochaber, April 21 - April 24 and May 5 - May 8 2017

Leader: Jim Blair, Lochaber Geoconservation

Field days: Friday/Saturday/Sunday/Monday

We hope to be based in the Ardgour area where we would have access to Morvern and Ardgour.  We could meet at the Tourist Info Centre (beside the Ballachulish Slate Quarry) perhaps, at 11.30 am/12 noon, with road stops to see Strontian granite, Moine rocks, perhaps the Ballachulish Slide & the Lochaline working silica mine (has to be a weekday after 4.30 pm, wellington boots, hard hats, high vis jackets required).  Over the weekend we also hope to see lavas from the Mull volcano in Morvern, Tennyson's waterfall (off the lavas), Jurassic fossil beds at Lochaline, a possible P/T Boundary, an unconformity between Moine/Devonian and another between Moine and Permo/Trias, hopefully an old lead mine and other things!

Travel will be by shared private cars – less expensive and better than a coach on single track roads.

The logistics of this excursion require the number in the party to be limited to 20. As more than 20 people have expressed an interest in the excursion, it has been decided to run it on two separate weekends. The first weekend, April 21 to April 24, is fully booked, but places are still available on the second weekend, May 5 to May 8. If you are interested in joining this second excursion, please contact as soon as possible.


The Causeway Coast and Glens, September 8 - September 11 2017

Leader: Dr Fiona Meade

Field days: Friday (afternoon)/Saturday/Sunday/Monday (morning)

Beginning around lunchtime on Friday, we plan to explore over 600 million years of geological history exposed on the northeast Irish coast of County Antrim, from Portrush to the Giant’s Causeway and Ballintoy Bay.  The rocks are superb, with ages ranging through the Precambrian (basement), Dalradian Supergroup, Devonian (puddingstone conglomerate), Carboniferous, Triassic, Jurassic (ammonites, belemnites and bivalves), Cretaceous (chalk and metamorphosed chalk) and Tertiary, including, of course, the spectacular North Atlantic Igneous Province (Palaeogene) with its lavas, sills and volcanic plugs.  We should finish around lunchtime on Monday.

Logistics/accessibility: Exposures are easily accessible using beaches and coastal paths, with some longer, flat, walks. Access to the visitor centre at the Giant’s Causeway is free to National Trust and NTS members. (Bring your card if you are a member.)

Accommodation will be in B & B and travel in shared cars.

The itinerary for the excursion can be found here.

If you are interested in joining this excursion, please contact the Residential Excursion Secretary, Maggie Donnelly (


Raasay, Inner Hebrides, April 27 – April 30 2018

Leader: Dr Brian Bell

Field days: Friday (afternoon)/Saturday/Sunday/Monday (morning)

The island of Raasay comprises a wide range of well-exposed rocks within the Hebridean Terrane, ranging from Archaean gneisses of the Lewisian Complex and the unconformably overlying Proterozoic clastic sedimentary rocks of the so-called Torridonian Supergroup, through to glacial deposits of the Pleistocene Epoch. Mesozoic strata include various continental clastic sedimentary rocks, overlain by marine and estuarine deposits of the Lower and Middle Jurassic Period, including the Raasay Ironstone Formation. Palaeogene igneous activity resulted in both intrusive and extrusive units – lavas and granite. Pleistocene glacial activity produced diamictites and erratics, and striae on the harder rocks, while active landslips occur in the south-east of the island. This excursion aims to examine the entire range of rocks, and the industrial archaeology of the Raasay ironstone mine will also be addressed.

More details of the excursion can be found here.

N.B. Accommodation in Raasay is very scarce. Apart from a couple of B&Bs, there is only Raasay House which can accommodate a group of 20 of us in twin rooms, dinner, B&B, at a rate which is a bit more expensive than average. There are no other eating places on the island. Raasay House gets fully booked very rapidly, even a year in advance, and for this reason our provisional booking needs to be confirmed in the very near future. Therefore, if you are at all interested in this special trip, please let the Residential Excursion Secretary, Maggie Donnelly ( know as soon as possible, and preferably by 28 February 2017, to let us establish whether the trip is indeed viable. Of course, no deposit is required at this stage. Also, please note that the 2017 prices are being held for us.