Field Trips for St Andrews, Scotland
Semester students have one day excursion and one overnight field trip included in their USAC program fees; year students have one day trip per semester and one overnight trip in either the fall or spring included in their program fees. Possible destinations are listed below, but destinations and the details of the itineraries are subject to change due to availability or other unforeseen circumstances. There is a refundable deposit for both trips which will be returned to you if you attend the field trips.
Scottish Borders: Melrose Abbey and Rosslyn Chapel
This visit to the heart of the Scottish Borders will give you a chance to uncover the myths and legends around the Da Vinci code, the Knights Templar and Melrose Abbey. We’ll start at Rosslyn Chapel, made famous in Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code and then proceed to Melrose Abbey, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful ruins in Europe. This magnificent ruin is decorated by unusual sculptures, including hobgoblins, cooks with ladles, and a bagpipe-playing pig. The abbey is also thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds.
Stirling Castle and Wallace Monument
Stirling Castle is one of the largest castles in Scotland. Located on top of Castle Hill and surrounded by steep cliffs, its strategic location added to its defense tactics. The castle towers over the important battlefields of Scotland’s past. You’ll be able to walk around Stirling Castle to see its ancient interior and impressive architecture. Next stop is the Wallace Monument, and once you reach the top the view will take your breath away. The top of the Wallace monument offers views of Ben Lomond and The Trossachs to the West, and through Forth Vall and The Ochil Hill to the East. Sir William Wallace is considered the Guardian of Scotland, and your tour guide will tell you the story of Scotland’s Braveheart.
Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands
This overnight field trip will give you a chance to explore the beauty and history of the Scottish Highlands, including time spent in the beautiful Trossachs and the stunning Glencoe mountains, at the Glenfinnan Viaduct (better known to many as the Harry Potter bridge), and Eilean Donan Castle, possibly one of the most iconic Scottish castles, set on a loch in majestic scenery where three great sea lochs meet. Visit Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness, Culloden—one of the most important historical battlefield locations in Scotland where Bonny Prince Charlie and the Jacobite troops were defeated by the Government’s men, and the Caingrom Mountains. Yearlong USAC students will choose to attend in either fall or spring.