Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Geology of East Lothian

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Explore the geological history of East Lothian, discovering the processes that have created today's beautiful coastal landscape and offshore islands. Intense volcanic activity 350 million years ago formed tough igneous rocks, but softer sedimentary rocks are also present and contain clues to past environments.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous knowledge of the subject is assumed. Some off-road walking along beaches and rough paths. Participants need to be used to walking on rough ground, but the distances are short (total 4 miles over the course of the day). Participants should wear good walking footwear and warm, waterproof clothing.

Content of Course

Day 1 : Meet in North Berwick for a classroom introduction to the rocks and landscapes of East Lothian, followed by a walking excursion in along the shore at North Berwick.

Day 2: Minibus excursion (departing from Edinburgh or North Berwick) to St Baldred's Cradle and Barns Ness, near Dunbar. Return to Edinburgh.

Teaching method(s)

Lecture-based indoor introduction with map observation. Outdoor learning focussed on what students can directly observe and experience.

Learning outcomes

  • Appreciate how the modern landscape of East Lothian has been formed;
  • Recognise the main rock types found in the area, and appreciate their links to the landscape and their use by people;
  • Appreciate that the long, slow story of change that has created this area continues with modern processes.


Core Readings

D McAdam & P Stone, 1997. ‘Landscape fashioned by geology’ - East Lothian and the Borders. SNH – available online at

Web Sources

Class Handouts

A4 pdf leaflets for North Berwick & Dunbar:


Class handouts will be provided.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.