General information about the Excursions Programme, including how to book, transport and the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines.

If you have any other queries, please contact the Excursions Secretary. Please read and observe the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines.

How to Book Excursions

You must book in advance for all excursions, as numbers are limited for safety reasons. Bookings are taken by the Excursions Booking Secretary, David Graham. You can use the online form on this page, or email Please give your address and phone number, and a contact in case of an emergency (name, relationship and phone number). This information will only be used in connection with this year’s excursion bookings. You must notify the Excursions Booking Secretary if you have booked an excursion and are not able to attend, to avoid disappointing others who may be on a waiting list.

Day Excursions

These are usually by private coach or minibus, departing from Waterloo Place at 9.00 am prompt. There is another Pick-up point on the outskirts of Edinburgh at about 9.15 am (standard locations are listed below, but check the details for each excursion on its information page) or you can arrange to meet at the start of the excursion. Return time to Edinburgh is variable, depending on distance and whether high tea is planned, etc – the details for each excursion give an estimated time. You should bring a packed lunch.

There is a standard charge, subsidised by the Society, for coach and minibus excursions: adults £12; juniors and under 18s £6. EGS members are given priority over guests and non-members, although the latter are welcome. Participants who attend day excursions in their own vehicles are asked to make a contribution of £5 towards costs. For day excursions where no transport is provided, all participants are asked to make a contribution of £5 towards costs.

Standard pickup locations for coach/minibus excursions departing from Waterloo Place. Coach company is usually Charlie Irons Coaches. (click for google map showing locations):

1. WATERLOO PLACE (east from the junction of Princes Street and North Bridge): Pick-up point is on Waterloo Place. Can be either side of the road: close to the Apex Hotel, 23 Waterloo Place or the entrance to the Old Calton Burial Ground.

Coaches going west on the A8:
west of the Drumbrae roundabout near PC World. The pick-up point is on the south side of the road at the bus stop near the Shell petrol station about 50 m from the roundabout [NT 192 729].

Coaches going north on the M90:
3. BLACKHALL Pick-up point at the bus stop on the south side of A90 Hillhouse Road, opposite shops 100m east of junction with Strachan Road/Telford Road [NT 216 748].
4. BARNTON Pick-up point at the bus stop on the south side of A90 Queensferry Road, 150 m west of the junction with Whitehouse Road [NT 183 750].
5. FERRY TOLL PARK AND RIDE Park and ride is just off the M90, south of Inverkeithing. Pick-up point is at the bus stop on turning circle, beside the waiting room [NT 124 819].

Coaches going east on the A1:
6. MILTON ROAD Pick-up point near Portobello High School, north side of Milton Road ( A1 Duddingston Crescent). Bus stop is 70 m west of the school entrance and 170 m east of Park Avenue [NT 306 729].

Coaches going south:
7. FAIRMILEHEAD Pick-up point at the bus stop on the east side of Comiston Road (A702) 250 m north of the Fairmilehead traffic lights (junction with Oxgangs Road B701) [NT 684 248].

Evening Excursions

For evening excursions, you make your own way to the meeting point indicated – no transport is provided. Evening excursions usually start at 7 pm and should finish by about 9.30 pm. Please book in advance, to help with planning and so that we can notify you of any changes to arrangements.


Members are welcome to bring guests, if space allows; regular visitors should consider the benefits of joining the Society. Dogs may only be brought on excursions where this is explicitly stated in the excursion details, and they must be kept under control at all times. Unless stated otherwise, excursions are not wheelchair accessible.

Personal Safety Equipment

Hard hats and hi-viz vests are required for some excursions (see excursion details). Please read and observe the notes on Safety on Excursions.

Excursion Guides

Some of the following excursion guides and booklets will be used for the excursions.  See Publications for more details.

  • Landscape Fashioned by Geology booklets cover most of Scotland, and are available as free PDF downloads from
    The series includes Fife & Tayside, Edinburgh & West Lothian and East Lothian & the Borders.
  • Lothian Geology – an Excursion Guide
    McAdam & Clarkson, 1996
  • Building Stones of Edinburgh
    McMillan, 2000
  • A Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling & Perth Area
    Browne and Gillen, 2015
  • Scottish Borders Geology – an Excursion Guide
    McAdam, Clarkson & Stone, 1992
  • Fife & Angus Geology – an Excursion Guide
    MacGregor, 1996
  • Geological Excursions around Glasgow and Girvan
    Lawson & Weedon, 1992

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Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines

It is important to realise that Excursions involve a level of personal risk, but that awareness of hazards, use of common sense and thought for others can greatly reduce this risk. Every participant on an Excursion has a duty of care and attention to all other participants and any member of the public.

Code of Conduct for Participants. You should:

  1. Be aware of potential hazards that may be encountered during the Excursion, and familiarise yourself with the information about hazards and control measures circulated at the start. For your own and others’ safety, you should exercise a duty of care and attention at all times.
  2. Take all reasonable precautions to maintain your own safety and not endanger other members of the group, as directed by the Excursion Leader and/or Excursion Coordinator and in line with the Risk Assessment.
  3. Wear clothing and footwear suitable for the Excursion. Where Risk Assessment (R.A.) identifies PPE (hard hats and high-viz vests) is required, this will be noted on the Excursion Planning Form and participants reminded of this in advance of the Excursion. They will be expected to have their own PPE and must wear it when visiting locations identified in the R.A. e.g. working quarries, quarry faces, close to the base of cliffs or road cuttings. Anyone without the relevant PPE will not be allowed to visit the specific location but can take part in the rest of the Excursion and view those sites from a safe distance.
  4. Consider your level of physical fitness in relation to the itinerary described. The Excursion Leader or Excursion Coordinator have the right to refuse to allow you to participate in, or to continue in, the Excursion if your health or fitness, clothing or equipment gives rise to concern.
  5. Listen to the Safety Briefing at the start of the Excursion and follow the instructions of the Excursion Leader and the Excursion Coordinator at all times. It is important to stay with the Leader during all of the Excursion. Racing ahead or lagging behind causes problems of safety as well as making the Leader’s job more difficult.
  6. At the start of each Excursion, sign the form provided to say that you have received and accept guidance and information relating to hazards and control measures and this Code of Conduct.
  7. Notify any problems immediately to the Excursion Leader or the Excursion Coordinator. You should notify them if you wish to leave the Excursion early; it is strongly recommended that you do not do this alone, particularly in remote or rugged terrain.
  8. Take particular care in the use of geological hammers. The use of safety goggles is recommended and strongly encouraged. Do not hammer close to other people. Hammering should in any case be kept to a minimum in the interests of both safety and conservation. The guiding principle should be ‘Take Photographs – Leave Footprints’.
  9. Follow the Country Code e.g. close gates, leave no litter, and do not disturb wildlife or plants.
  10. If you smoke, have consideration for others.
  11. If you are responsible for children or dogs, keep them under control.
  12. If you have a medical condition such as asthma, angina, diabetes, allergy etc, please inform the Excursion Leader or Coordinator at the start of the Excursion.


During Excursions there may be the possibility of collecting, rock, fossil or mineral specimens. However, some locations such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are vulnerable to sampling and specimen collecting, particularly through the use of hammers and chisels. Consequently, restrictions may apply concerning rock, fossil and mineral specimen collecting on some Excursions. If the Excursion Leader permits collecting, the following guidance should be adhered to:

  1. It is best if collecting is restricted to loose material.
  2. Hammers and chisels may only be used at the discretion of the Excursion Leader.
  3. The number of specimens collected should be kept to a minimum.
  4. If you find a fossil, mineral or other feature that looks of particular significance, either loose or in situ, do not attempt to sample or collect it, instead bring it to the attention of the Excursion Leader.
  5. Never sample or collect samples from walls or buildings.
  6. Collected samples should be dealt with in accordance to the best practice guidance outlined in the Scottish Fossil Code.

Health and Safety at Work & Mines and Quarries Acts

Working quarries, mines, opencast and other industrial sites, whether working or idle on the day of the visit, are subject to the above legislation.  These acts require anyone entering such premises should wear hard hats, boots and protective clothing as required.  Failure to observe these rules could result in you being prosecuted under these acts. Children under 16 are not usually allowed into working quarries.