Day Excursions 2019

We have a varied set of excursions for this summer and hope that you will find something that interests you. Booking instructions can be found in the February newsletter (newsletter 161/3). Please email the day excursion secretary at for an electronic version of the application form and the address to which the completed form and cheque should be sent. As usual, the number of places available on the excursions is limited by the size of the bus, so please return your booking form as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You may also note that the deposit is higher than previous years. This is due to workplace pensions and the national living wage pushing up the bus company costs. If numbers permit, some refunds may be possible.

Saturday 1st June. Mining museums

In an excursion purposely designed to be less physically demanding than our usual excursions, we will visit the Scottish Shale Oil Museum at Almond Valley, then have a look at the local mining bings, and finally, go to the Scottish National Mining Museum at Newton Grange Colliery. Multiple opportunities for coffee and cake if required!

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 16:00, travelling by coach

Leader: Dr Iain Allison

Saturday 22nd June. Blairskaith Quarry

Joint excursion with the Edinburgh Geological Society

Blairskaith Quarry is set into the southfacing slopes of Blairskaith Muir between Torrance and Milngavie. A brick-clay pit abandoned since the late 1970s, it is significant for both its abundant extinct fossils and habitats supporting a variety of plant and animal life, with large shallow pools of water that last throughout the year and some well-drained lime-rich soils. The quarry is a Local Nature Conservation Site.

Following our time at the quarry we will head to the Torrance Inn for an evening meal.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 19:00, travelling by coach

Leader: Dr Neil Clark

Saturday 6th July. St Abb’s Head

St Abb’s Head is a rocky promontory by the village of St Abbs in Berwickshire, and a national nature reserve administered by the National Trust of Scotland. The layered sedimentary rocks of greywacke and siltstone which lie to the north and south of the Head were laid down at the bottom of the sea between 460 and 410 million years ago. The Head itself is made from hard volcanic rock which formed as lava flowed from volcanoes around 400 million years ago. The different types of rock account for the contrast in colour between the rocks of the Head and those of mainland cliffs. The softer sedimentary rocks have eroded over time, leaving behind the high headland made from the harder rock.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 19:00, travelling by coach

Leader: Dr Con Gillen

Saturday 27th July. Ballantrae Complex

The Ballantrae region is of international importance because of the presence there of the Ballantrae Complex, an association of serpentenite, chert and pillow lavas that represents an ophiolite. There are many interesting geological localities in this area. Con is currently assessing which sites to visit on our excursion bearing in mind accessibility to a coach party and time limitations.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 18:00, travelling by coach

Leader: Dr Con Gillen

Saturday 17th August. Northern Lake District

As an experiment, I am trying a slightly longer trip this year in the hope that fewer of our members have already seen the geology. I am assuming around 3 hours on the bus each way. The trip is a walk of about 2.5 km up the Glenderaterra valley from the car park at the Blencathra Field Centre with 4-6 stops along the path, returning the same way, so a total of 5 km of easy going. The main theme is contact metamorphism and mineralisation in the Skiddaw Slate around the Skiddaw Granite. There are pubs in Threlkeld and the intention is to head there for an evening meal around 5 pm before heading back up the road.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 21:00, travelling by coach

Leader: Dr Simon Cuthbert

Saturday 7th September. Dalry and Saltcoats

I surveyed some members asking if they had any requests for places to visit this summer. Several members stated that back in 2002 they had thoroughly enjoyed an excursion to Dalry and Saltcoats and asked if we could go there again. We are therefore recreating this visit with the same leader and hopefully the same glorious weather that accompanied the original trip. Trilobite-bearing limestone, exotic sills, dykes and fossilised trees are all on the menu.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 18:00, travelling by coach

Leader: Dr Colin MacFadyen