Siccar Point

EarthCache weekend, 6-8 October 2017

EarthCache weekend – Explore Edinburgh’s geology

The dramatic and beautiful city of Edinburgh is draped over an impressive topography that reflects a variety of bedrock formed by different processes and a long story of erosion, particularly during the Ice Age of the last 2 million years. In the city and in the surrounding countryside, this geology and topography has been used by people over thousands of years, in many different ways: for habitation and defence, farming and fuel and as inspiration for a rich culture. It has inspired great geological thinkers too, especially the father of modern geology, James Hutton, who spent most of his life in Edinburgh and discovered one of the world’s most significant geological sites at Siccar Point.

EarthCaches in Edinburgh

This remarkable story of geology and people has resulted in many EarthCaches being established in the city and the surrounding area. An EarthCache is a specific location that people can visit to learn about geology. EarthCaches are part of geocaching (an adventure game based around the use of GPS to find caches of small hidden treasures) but an EarthCache doesn’t involve a physical cache, rather it involves visiting a specific location and learning about our planet.

Existing EarthCaches in Edinburgh explore the geology of important sites such as Siccar Point, Holyrood Park and the Pentland Hills, and the human story of geological investigation and the use of materials. To celebrate this, Edinburgh Geological Society is hosting a weekend of events focussed on EarthCaches.

Further details will follow, in the meantime if you have any questions please contact Angus Miller, EGS Promotion Secretary,


Friday 6 October, 8pm: welcome and introduction

The Society will welcome visitors to the city with an informal lecture that explores the geological story of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. Experts will be on hand to chat and answer questions, and help plan your EarthCache explorations.

Saturday 7 October, 11am-3pm: EarthCache Event, Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat contain some spectacular geology in the heart of the city. There are more than 10 EarthCaches in the immediate area for you to explore. If you are new to EarthCaching, volunteers will be on hand to tell you more and point you in the right direction.

Event information on

Sunday 8 October, 10am-5pm: EarthCache coach tour, East Lothian and the Borders

To the east of Edinburgh there is some beautiful countryside and coast with some fantastic varied geology and many EarthCaches. This coach tour from the city centre will visit several EarthCache sites, including an EarthCache Event at Barns Ness, East Lothian and the world-famous unconformity at Siccar Point.

Siccar Point

Explore Arran’s geology this summer …

Glen Sannox, Arran. Photo: Angus Miller

Come and explore some of the best geology in Scotland …. the Lochranza Centre on Arran are organising two public events this summer:

Geology Course 29 July – 1 August 2017
Come and join us to learn more about our amazing landscape and the processes that formed it. The Centre  will instruct and guide you over  a four day period. Participants can either join us on a daily basis for £50 per day or a residential basis at £75 per day inclusive of tuition and transport.

This course is aimed at anyone interested in learning more about the Geology of Arran.  Note most walks will involve a few miles of walking over mostly flat, but uneven terrain. If you are interested sign up soon as you can as we have limited availability!

To make a booking please either telephone or e-mail the Centre on 01770830637 or contact Stuart at

Geofest 16-17 September 2017
In conjunction with the National Trust for Scotland and the Arran Hertiage Museum we are proud to be able to offer the second Arran Geofest. This will run over the weekend of the 16 and 17th September and will take the form of several guided walks to different island venues of geological interest followed by an evening talk at various venues around the island. Further details will follow.

Summer excursions programme now underway

Castle Rock from Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

The Society’s summer excursion programme is now underway, with a range of excellent excursions exploring the geology of central and southern Scotland. The programme includes Wednesday evening excursions close to Edinburgh, and a range of Saturday day excursions. Please book in advance, since numbers are sometimes limited. It is easy to book, just follow the instructions here.

Wednesday 19 April, 7pm Dalmeny Railway Cutting
The disused railway line between Dalmeny and South Queensferry has cuttings that present good exposures of some of the local geology. The volcanic and sedimentary rocks of this area formed early in the Carboniferous Period. We will view some of these layers and explore their relationships.

Tuesday 2 May, 10am–3pm
National Museums Scotland: Visit to the National Museums Collection Centre at Granton and afternoon excursion to Wardie Shore
The National Museums Collection Centre at Granton houses a huge collection of important mineral and fossil samples. This visit will allow small groups to explore in detail elements of the Palaeobiology and Earth Systems collections. The afternoon excursion will visit Wardie Shore, an important historical location for Carboniferous fossil fish.

Wednesday 3 May, 7pm Crichton Kirk, Castle and quarries
Crichton Castle and Kirk are built of local sandstone, which can still be seen in nearby disused quarries. The sandstone was deposited by rivers in the Carboniferous Period, and contains good examples of cross-bedding. Nearby, on the west bank of the River Tyne, the North
Greens Limestone was quarried and burnt in nearby limekilns