London, England
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Tours and Field Studies for London, England

Summer Optional Edinburgh Tour

Students may participate in an optional 5-day tour of Edinburgh, Scotland before the start of the summer session. The tour typically includes a visit to the underground vaults of Mary King Close to see a historically accurate interpretation of life in Edinburgh in the sixteenth century, a guided walking tour of the Royal Mile, and a visit to the new Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Castle, and the Royal Residence. You will also visit Glencoe, the Scottish Highlands, and legendary Loch Ness. This tour is a wonderful way to experience Scotland’s capital city and the ideal way to come get to know other students before the program starts. USAC encourages every student to participate in this tour; however, it is optional and has an additional fee. You will sign up for the tour on your Course and Tour Registration Form.

Below is a sample itinerary of the tour; it is subject to adjustment or change at the discretion of the Resident Director.

Day One
Those of you who are arriving in Edinburgh by the group flight will be met at airport by Ellie Yannas, the Resident Director of the London Summer Program. We will provide directions for all students arriving on other flights to meet up with the group.

Day Two
In the morning, we will take the Edinburgh City Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and then visit the Mary King Close to see an historically accurate interpretation of life in Edinburgh from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. We will spend the night in Edinburgh at our hostel in the heart of the Royal Mile. Students will be on their own for dinner that evening as there are lots of cafés and restaurants near the hostel.

Day Three
We’ll visit Edinburgh Castle and learn about its 900 years' history. We will then explore the Royal Mile on our Guided Royal Mile Tour; culminating in the New Scottish Parliament and the Royal Residence, the Palace of Holyrood House (provided the Queen is not visiting Scotland that week…).You will have a free evening exploring the lively centre of the city.

Day Four
We’ll be collected from our hostel by our guide and depart for our coach tour of the Scottish Highlands. Our route will take us over the Forth Bridge, heading north to the historic town of Dunkfeld, passing through 'Monarch of the Glen' country and Loch Laggan, onto the village of Fort Augustus at the shores of Loch Ness. Once there, we will take a boat trip on Loch Ness, and enjoy a packed lunch while looking for the famous monster, Nessie. On our return we will go past the spectacular Ben Nevis mountain onto dramatic Glencoe. We will then head back to Edinburgh, passing the imposing remnants of Stirling Castle. We will have a farewell USAC dinner together at our hostel that evening.

Day Five
We will take our return train to London around midday and reach our program site accommodation by late afternoon. Your Resident Director will escort you to your accommodations.