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Online Program

Adventures Online: A Look at Ancient & Modern Edinburgh

Program No. 24232RJ
Whether you’d like to explore the Royal Mile or be immersed in a vivid arts scene, there’s no better way to explore Edinburgh than on this online learning adventure, live from Scotland!

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5 days
Holyrood Abbey, Kings & Queens, Modern Monarchy
From the comfort of your own home.
Edinburgh Festival, Political Briefing
From the comfort of your own home.
The 18th Century, Surgeon’s Hall
From the comfort of your own home.
Edinburgh & The Arts, Artisans & Craftspeople
From the comfort of your own home.
View Full Itinerary

At a Glance

Experience the history and culture of Scotland’s capital city during this online learning adventure, live from Edinburgh! With our experts, immerse yourself in stories of Roman occupation, fascinating monarchs and modern politics and culture. Embark on virtual field trips that enable you to “walk” along the Royal Mile and explore Edinburgh Castle, and “roam” historic cemeteries like Greyfriars Kirkyard. Delight in presentations led by Giles Ramsay as he offers a behind-the-scenes look into the world-famous Edinburgh Festival and chats with theater critic and journalist Joyce McMillan. Along the way, get to know your fellow Road Scholars as you learn about the Enlightenment Period, get insight into the city’s active art scene and enjoy a look into the craftsmanship of kilts, bagpipes, whisky and more.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover the best of Edinburgh during virtual walking field trips along the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriar’s Cemetery, and learn why the city’s Old and New Towns are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Go behind the scenes of the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival with theater expert Giles Ramsay, and delight in a conversation with journalist and theater critic Joyce McMillan from The Scotsman.
  • Trace the history of Edinburgh from Roman times to present day during insightful lectures and presentations on the Enlightenment, Mary Queen of Scots, as well as modern day politics and the city’s cutting-edge arts scene.

General Notes

You’ll enjoy 2-3 hours of daily instruction, discussion and/or field trips, which includes sufficient breaks throughout the program. This online program is through Zoom, an easy-to-use web video service that includes closed captioning. All you need is an Internet connection and your computer. We’ll provide a how-to guide to make sure you’ll have a hassle-free experience. This session is offered live only and will not be available on demand. Please review the daily itinerary for start and end times to ensure you won’t miss a minute of this live experience. All times are listed in the EASTERN time zone. If you live in a different time zone, please adjust your schedule accordingly.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
On Glasgow and Edinburgh
by Robert Crawford
A history and guide, Crawford's lively account, drawing on a wealth of historical and literary sources, affirms what people from Glasgow and Edinburgh have long doubted -- that it is possible to love both cities.
How the Scots Invented the Modern World
by Arthur Herman
Although the title sounds whimsical, this is a serious treatment of the cultural, philosophical and material gifts of the small and frequently troubled nation of Scotland.
Auld Reekie: An Edinburgh Anthology
by Ralph Lownie (compiler), Alexander McCall Smith (introduction)
An absorbing anthology, drawing on speeches, memoirs, letters, poetry, novels, journals, lectures and guides, spanning five hundred years of the city's history, from the Municipal Proclamation after the Battle of Flodden to the novels of Ian Rankin.
The Highland Clans
by Alistair Moffat
This excellent compact history of the Scottish Highland clans brings to life their leaders, traditions, families and heroic deeds with color illustrations, photos, a clan map and an alphabetical family list.
Lonely Planet Pocket Edinburgh
by Neil Wilson
This lively shirt pocket guide to the city, jammed with personal recommendations and photographs, also includes a pull-out map.
Book Lovers' Edinburgh: A Guide and Companion
by Allan Foster
Part guidebook, part readers' companion, Book Lovers' Edinburgh is an exploration of a great city that has been celebrated for its literature since ancient times.
Scotland in Photographs
by by Brian Cox (Foreword), Shahbaz Majeed
An award-winning photographer from Dundee, Majeed captures the spirit of the rugged and wondrous Scottish landscape in this gift book. The stunning images of lochs and storm-battered cliffs, misty glens and majestic mountains celebrate Scotland's enduring appeal.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
by Muriel Spark
A terribly witty novel from the pen of Dame Muriel. Miss Jean Brodie is an unorthodox teacher at an Edinburgh girls' boarding school who wins the hearts and minds of her students, only to discover that girls from the provinces are ill-prepared for progressive thought.
Lonely Planet Edinburgh City Map
by Lonely Planet Publications
Lonely Planet's attractive map of Edinburgh is scaled so that one inch equals 0.1 miles and features sights and a helpful inset of the transit system. Printed on durable, waterproof Tyvek, the map also slips into a protective jacket.
Secret Edinburgh
by Elizabeth Hannah Robinson
Leading travelers away from crowds, the Secret Guide series favors the underground, the funky, the unusual and the highly memorable. In this Edinburgh edition, the editors recommend hidden gardens, traces of the Great Exhibition, a tiny frog sculpture and plenty of other local curiosities.
Eyewitness Guide Scotland
by Eyewitness Guides
This compact, illustrated travel guide features color photography, excellent maps and a region-by-region synopsis of Scotland's attractions.
Edinburgh, A Cultural History
by Donald Campbell
A literary, cultural guide to the art, architecture, traditions and history of Edinburgh. Campbell reveals the many dimensions to this fascinating meeting place between Protestantism and bohemianism.
Scotland, A Literary Guide for Travellers
by Garry Mackenzie
From local authors to classic writers like Keats, Coleridge and Wordsworth, this literary survey reveals Scotland's multifaceted, historical personality through literature.
The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
by Barry W. Cunliffe
A concise, revealing social history of the Celts by a reigning authority and popular writer.
The Marches, A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland
by Rory Stewart
A travelogue by a British Parliamentarian that profiles standing stones, monks, flooded fields, striking mountains and, of course, Hadrian’s Wall. Stewart mingles his observations with the history of one of the world's most fought-over borders.
Culture Smart! Scotland
by John Scotney
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture, equally of interest to the traveler and business person.
Scotland, A Very Short Introduction
by Rab Houston
Covering everything from the Jacobites to the modern economy, this brisk account ranges over 1,000 years of society, culture, politics and religion.
Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland
by Neal Ascherson
Ascherson writes with verve and insight on the centuries-old impulse toward nationhood in Scotland in this absorbing portrait.
Edinburgh, Mapping the City
by Christopher Fleet
This collection of 80 visually stunning maps displays 500 years of Edinburghian and Scottish history. Christopher Fleet, from the National Library of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, selected each for its political, social and geographic importance.
The Edinburgh Literary Companion
by Andrew Lownie
The Edinburgh Literary Companion takes the reader on a journey through the city, from the numerous wynds and closes of the Old Town to the elegant and spacious New Torn, the University Quarter and Edinburgh's villages. Linking the city's literary past and present, the book is a fascinating portrait of a vibrant, cultural capital as seen and recorded by writers through the centuries.
A Traveller's History of Scotland
by Andrew Fisher
This brief history of Scotland through the 1990s is wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology, a list of monarchs and a historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.

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