We publish handy, pocket sized excursion guides and books covering some of the most popular areas of Scottish geology.


Until our lecture programme returns to the Grant Institute, EGS members in the UK get FREE postage on all orders. The 20% reduction to list price on most publications also continues to apply for purchases by all EGS members.

These Geological Excursion Guides and Books are suitable for both amateur and professional geologists and are for sale at a significant discount to members of the Society.

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EGS Publications

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Earthwise is the digital publication channel of the British Geological Survey, and it is designed to allow free access to geological publications and promote free exchange of information by the wider geological community. Much of the content of EGS publications is available for free on Earthwise. This means that you can access some of the Edinburgh Geological Society excursion guides for free, and preview the content of a book you are interested in. In time, it will also mean that previous published material can be updated and augmented.

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Payment is by Paypal, or cheque payable to the Edinburgh Geological Society. Please note that while we try to supply orders as soon as possible, the Society is run entirely by volunteers and there may sometimes be a delay in processing your order (particularly during April to October). If you need a publication urgently, please email first to check delivery times: contact the Publications Sales Officer.

  • The Deep History of Scotland’s West Highlands

    This well-illustrated 24-page booklet is published by the Lochaber Geopark. It describes the geological events and processes that have led to the formation of the rocks and landscapes of Lochaber and the wonderful scenery we can see today.

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  • The Geology of Eigg (2nd Edition, 2016)

    The Geology of EiggAuthors: John D Hudson, Angus D Miller and Ann Allwright
    ISBN: 978 0 904440 16 4

    Eigg is a small island, but it displays a remarkable variety of geology in a beautiful setting, in a way that is readily appreciated by those without any special knowledge of geology. There is an inspiring precedent in the visit of that self-taught polymath, Hugh Miller, in the 1840s. This book includes a comprehensive introduction to the geology of the island, and sets Eigg in its regional context. It describes the sedimentary layers, with varied and interesting Mesozoic fossils, found around the northern coast, the over-lying basaltic lava flows, and the impressive Sgurr ridge with its rich and once-controversial geological story.

    There are seven excursions that explore just about every corner of the island and cover all aspects of Eigg’s geology. These include straightforward beach and coastal excursions suitable for all, and more strenuous and remote explorations that will appeal to those with an interest in the geology of the Hebrides.


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  • A Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling & Perth Area (2015)

    A Geological Excursion Guide to Stirling and Perth AreaEditors: M.A.E Browne & C. Gillen
    ISBN: 978 1 905267 88 0

    The Stirling and Perth area comprises some wonderfully varied geology, from the Dalradian metamorphic rocks in the southern Highlands to a range of sedimentary and igneous rocks within the Midland Valley. The eighteen excursions in this book guide the reader to the best geology that this region has to offer, from complex metamorphic rocks around Dunkeld, through the terrestrial old red sandstone around Perth, to the younger and more varied Carboniferous sedimentary rocks south of Stirling. The igneous rocks of the Ochil and Campsie hills are also included, and there are building stone excursions in Perth and Stirling.

    Errata: our apologies, the wrong image was used for Plate 12.2 on page 163. You can download the correct image from this link (jpg image, 392 kB).

    Readership: geology students, professional geologists, and informed amateurs.


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  • Assynt - The Geologists’ Mecca (2nd Edition, 2014)

    Assynt - The Geologists MeccaAuthors: P M Dryburgh, S M Ross and C L Thompson
    ISBN: 978-0-904440-14-0

    The Assynt district of Sutherland has long been recognised as a jewel in the crown of Scottish geology; and in October 2004 the North-west Highlands, of which Assynt forms an integral part, was accorded Geopark status by the European Geopark Network.

    The 2nd edition of Assynt — The geologists’ Mecca is an account of the illustrious history of research in the district which formed the foundations of our modern understanding of Assynt’s geology. The book describes the British Association’s famous excursion to Assynt in September 1912, led by Drs Ben Peach and John Horne of the Geological Survey of Great Britain (now the British Geological Survey). It was attended by thirty geologists, including many of the foremost international authorities of the day on mountain-building processes. Brief biographies of these notable geologists are included in the book.

    This book is also available as a free pdf download: Assynt – The geologists’ Mecca, pdf file (2.3 MB).


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  • A Geological Excursion Guide to the North-west Highlands of Scotland (2011)

    A Geological Excursion Guide to the North-west Highlands of ScotlandEditors: Kathryn Goodenough and Maarten Krabbendam
    ISBN: 978-1-905267-53-8

    This excursion guide covers the classic geology of the North-west Highlands between Ullapool and Durness, including the Moine Thrust Zone, the Lewisian gneisses, and the Torridonian and Cambro-Ordovician sedimentary successions. This guide represents a greatly expanded and updated version of the original Guide to the Assynt District, the last edition of which was published in 1979.

    This full-colour guide incorporates an overview of the geology of the area, followed by 16 excursions to such classic localities as Knockan Crag, Loch Assynt shore, Achmelvich and Durness. The excursions are illustrated by full-colour maps based on the latest BGS mapping and colour photographs. Each individual excursion represents a full day: some excursions involve long walks in remote mountain country, whilst others are more accessible. This book will be of interest to anyone fascinated by the geology of the North-west Highlands.

    Readership: geology students, professional geologists, and informed amateurs.


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  • An Excursion Guide to the Moine Geology of the Northern Highlands of Scotland (2010, reprinted 2018)

    A Geological Excursion Guide to the North-west Highlands of ScotlandAuthors: Rob Strachan, Ian Alsop, Clark Friend & Suzanne Miller
    ISBN: 978-1-905267-33-0 (joint publication with National Museums Scotland and Geological Society of Glasgow)

    Effectively an excursion guide to a large part of mainland Scotland NW of the Great Glen Fault, this 304-page guide (A5 size with Flexislip cover) to the Moine Supergroup is an extensively rewritten update of the previous edition with seven completely new excursions.

    Following a concise summary of Moine geology, the 14 excursions (some multi-day, and all colour coded for ease of reference), contributed by 19 authors, are arranged geographically from the Ross of Mull in the SW to unique Moine occurrences near Durness in the NE; a total of 123 individually numbered locality descriptions and four transects are enhanced by 91 colour figures (mostly combined geology and locality maps or photographic structural close-ups). Six widely separated excursions visit localities within and adjacent to the Moine Thrust Zone, and four similarly far-flung excursions illustrate the Sgurr Beag Thrust and adjacent rocks. The less well known thrusts of North Sutherland (e.g. Naver, Torrisdale and Swordly thrusts) are also covered, together with the West Highland Granitic Gneiss and later Caledonian granites (e.g. the Cluanie and Vagastie Bridge granites) and a finale along the Great Glen Fault. To visit every locality in this guide using the recommended timings would take nearly 4 weeks of solid excursion time!

    Readership: Undergraduate and postgraduate students, professional geologists and informed amateurs.


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  • A Geological Excursion Guide to Rum (2008)

    A Geological Excursion Guide to RumAuthors: C. H. Emeleus & V. R. Troll
    ISBN: 978-1-905267-22-4 (joint publication with National Museums Scotland)

    Rum is justly renowned for the ultrabasic cumulate magmas of its Eastern and Western Layered Intrusions of Paleocene age. Less well-known are the equally spectacular sidewall and roof contacts of the magma chamber, together with examples, rare in the geological column, of sequences through the caldera floor of the Rum volcano and the overlying volcano-sedimentary infill (with ignimbrites).

    The nine excursions in this A5-sized guide, each colour coded for easy reference, highlight all of the above and also illustrate the complex contacts of the Lewisian and thick Torridonian successions with Paleocene rocks, a feather-edge Triassic succession and Jurassic fault slivers, as well as a plant-bearing Paleocene sequence of lavas and conglomerates that demonstrates very rapid intra-Paleocene unroofing of the Rum Igneous Complex.

    A comprehensive summary of Rum geology and an extensive reference list complement the 77 photographs, diagrams and integrated location and geological maps, all in colour.

    Readership: Professional geologists, informed amateur geologists, undergraduate students, visitors to Rum.


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  • Discovering Edinburgh’s Volcano - A geological guide to Holyrood Park (2000)

    Discovering Edinburgh's VolcanoAuthors: D. H. Land & R. F. Cheeney ISBN: 0-904440-12-5

    The 29 localities, each illustrated by a coloured photograph, depicted in this very colourful broadsheet (folded to a third of A4) constitute a 4 km circular tour around Holyrood Park and describe the geology of the 350 million-year-old (Early Carboniferous) volcano of Arthur’s Seat together with its earlier sedimentary foundation and the later intrusive sill of Salisbury Craigs. Glacial features are also discussed and the text is complemented by 1:10,000 maps of the ‘solid and drift’ geology and topography, and by a geological panorama of the park. One of several side panels is devoted to James Hutton and his hugely influential 1785 book, The theory of the Earth.

    Readership: Tourists, professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students.


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  • Building Stones of Edinburgh (1999)

    Building Stones of EdinburghAuthors: A. A. McMillan, R. J. Gillanders & J. A. Fairhurst
    ISBN: 0-904440-10-9

    Edinburgh, ‘Grey Athens of the North’, owes much of its splendour to the quality of the sandstone from which most of its finest buildings are constructed. The Building Stones of Edinburgh focuses on the geological characteristics of these sandstones which were extracted from local quarries and includes within its pages examples of many of the fine buildings which have made Edinburgh famous.

    Readership: Professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students, architects, civil engineers.


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  • Lothian Geology - An Excursion Guide (1996 Edition)

    Lothian Geology - An Excursion GuideAuthors: A. D. McAdam & E. N. K. Clarkson
    ISBN: 0-904440-06-0

    This Hutton Bicentenary (1996) edition of Lothian Geology describes the geological origins of some of the most famous landmarks in Central Scotland. These include the remnants of the c. 350 million year old volcano which forms the distinctive hill and crags of Arthur’s Seat which dominates the Edinburgh skyline. The 20 excursions also visit a wide range of sedimentary and volcanic igneous rocks exposed in incised valleys, along the coast and highland areas of the Lothian district.

    Readership: Professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students, teachers.


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  • Ardnamurchan - A Guide to Geological Excursions (Reprinted 1996)

    Ardnamurchan - A Guide to Geological ExcursionsEditor: C. D. Gribble
    ISBN: 0-904440-07-9

    This pocket sized geological field guide provides an introduction to the Tertiary igneous rocks of the spectacular Ardnamurchan peninsula of Scotland. The introductory chapters describe the various intrusive igneous rocks which are encountered, their age relationships and petrogenesis. Seven excursion itineraries cover the three main centres of igneous activity which are well exposed on the peninsula, as well as their metasedimentary country rocks and younger Mesozoic cover sequence.

    Readership: Professional geologists, informed amateur geologists, undergraduate students.


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  • Ballachulish Igneous Complex and Aureole - A Field Guide (2000)

    Ballachulish Igneous Complex and Aureole - A FIeld GuideAuthors: D. R. M. Pattison & B. Harte
    ISBN: 0-904440-11-7

    Describes the geology of probably one of the world’s most comprehensively studied igneous intrusions. The Ballachulish (pronounced Ba-la-HOO-lish) Igneous Complex is a relatively simple granitic intrusion which was emplaced into the Dalradian metasedimentary rocks approximately 400 to 430 million years ago. Illustrated with clear location maps, photographs, figures and a full colour geological map this excellent guide is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the geology of igneous intrusions and their metamorphic aureoles.

    Readership: Professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students.


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  • Geology in South-west Scotland - An Excursion Guide (1996)

    Geology in Southwest Scotland - An Excursion GuideEditor: P. Stone
    ISBN: 0-85272-261-3

    This excursion guide is the first to detail the varied geology of south-west Scotland and is dedicated to the memory of Dr Byron Lintern (British Geological Survey). It contains an introduction to the geology of the Southern Uplands of Scotland, which records the presence and eventual closure of a long vanished ocean known as Iapetus. The 18 excursion itineraries describe examples of the geological features and structures developed within this Ordovician to Silurian sedimentary sequence as well as the later Criffle-Dalbeattie and Cairnsmore of Fleet granite intrusions.

    Readership: Professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students.


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  • Assynt District of Sutherland - Geological Excursion Guide (1979, Reprinted 2000)

    Assynt District of Sutherland - Geological Excursion GuideAuthors: M. R. W. Johnson & I. Parsons
    ISBN: 0-904440-03-6 

    This updated version of Macgregor and Phemister’s original guide describes one of the classic areas of Scottish Geology. The most outstanding features of the geology of the Assynt area include the clear evidence of large-scale horizontal dislocations or thrusts which transported large sheets or nappes of rock towards the west, and the unconformable relationships between the Cambrian and Torridonian sedimentary rocks and the underlying Lewisian gneisses. The guide includes a brief summary of the geology of the region, written with special reference to the various localities visited during the 8 planned excursions, as well as a road log which covers the roadside exposures between Ullapool and Lochinver.

    Readership: Professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students.


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  • Conversations in Stone – celebrating the life and legacy of Hugh Miller (2019)

    Editors: Larissa Reid & Elsa Panciroli
    ISBN: 9781912804719

    The writer, self-taught geologist and stonemason Hugh Miller (1802-1856) was one of Scotland’s finest nature writers. Born in Cromarty, his works made him a household name, and to this day his lyrical style transports readers to stand beside him at the rock-face. Celebrating his legacy, this anthology brings together prose and poetry inspired by Miller and his life, and his unwavering love of stone, landscape and palaeontology.

    Readership: anyone with an interest in Scottish geology, history and literature.


  • Paraffin Young and Friends (2012)

    Paraffin Young and FriendsAuthor: Mary Leitch
    ISBN: 978-0-9548764-3-2

    James ‘Paraffin’ Young was largely a self-educated man who became a remarkable entrepreneur, pioneering the development of fossils fuel from oil shales in West Lothian. But more than that, he was the friend of many scientists and great men of his time, including William Miller, Thomas Graham, Michael Faraday and David Livingstone.

    This detailed and fascinating insight into Young’s life is written by Mary Leitch, the great great granddaughter of James Young, and is published by Alan Fyfe.

    Sorry, we no longer have stock of this publication, please contact Mary Leitch direct for information – email.

  • Minerals of Scotland - Past and Present (2002)

    Minerals of Scotland - Past and PresentAuthor: Alec Livingstone
    ISBN: 1-901663-46-9

    A lavishly illustrated and definitive account (212 pp) by Alec Livingstone of Scotland’s minerals that also includes 60 brief biographies of the people  who discovered, collated and examined them. The core of the book comprises a glossary of all 552 species known from Scotland together with more detailed descriptions, history and occurrence of 61 minerals native to Scotland. Published by the National Museums of Scotland (NMS), a limited number of copies are available from the Society at the discounted price below.

    Readership: Mineralogists, amateur and professional geologists, gemmologists.

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  • Western Highlands of Scotland

    Excursion guide to the Western Highlands of Scotland, in the Classic Geology in Europe series. Covers the superb and varied geology on Scotland’s west coast from Cape Wrath to Loch Lomond. This is a clear and concise book that provides a great introduction to an amazing area of geology. The guide covers some of the oldest rocks in Europe, a landscape formed more than a billion years ago that has been buried and then exhumed, the metamophic rocks of the Moine and Dalradian and Caledonian intrusions and surface volcanic activity. Very well illustrated with many excellent photographs and maps. Published by Dunedin.

    Readership: Professional geologists, amateur geologists, undergraduate students, teachers.


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  • Deep Time Cards

    Deep Time CardsA set of 58 beautifully illustrated cards, giving 4.6 billion years of Earth history in a tactile, easy to use format. Each card provides a 100-million-year summary of the key transitions that have occurred across Earth’s deep history, with associated reference data and inspiring quotes.


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