The River Thames outside DLD College London

The Great Scottish Tour

8th April 24

During the first few days of the Easter break, a group of our boarders embarked on ‘The Great Scottish Tour’, organised by one of our Houseparents; Jan, who is indeed Scottish herself! Starting at Edinburgh and heading north to Inverness, students got to experience lots of what Scotland has to offer with its beautiful scenery and historic cities.

Despite expecting it to be rather cold, we were blessed with weather that may have actually been better than down in London. With the good weather came a great level of enthusiasm for the students (and staff) who went! We were fortunate that our trip leader Jan had a wealth of knowledge about her homeland to share with students as a trip that included bus tours, late night ghost walks, searching for Nessie and climbing through forests became a trip where a lot was learnt!

Starting in Edinburgh, students were able to explore the city in and amongst activities and quickly found an array of food vendors, restaurants and shops to keep them busy. First up on the itinerary was a ghost tour, giving students their first glimpse of the city and its spooky past at night.

After a full day exploring Edinburgh, we were onto Inverness where a multitude of beautiful landscapes warranted hundreds of lay-by stops to take pictures, and marvel at the incredible backdrop that the Highlands provided. As someone who had never been there before, I was in awe (and probably took more pictures than anyone else!). Students got to relish in the countryside and take in the fresh air during a Highland hike and also a trip to the coast.

And a trip to Scotland is not complete without a visit to the infamous Loch Ness. The newly refurbished Loch Ness Centre provided a really interesting afternoon for us all, learning about the stories of the great Loch Ness monster. The centre shared the story of how the tales of Nessie came to be, debunking some theories on the way but leaving just enough room for speculation and imagination. The gift shop was also a highlight of the trip with students thoroughly enjoying trying on a range of Nessie merchandise for our amusement.

Finally, we were up at 04:00am to catch our flight back to London, and the Scottish air clearly instilled a proactive attitude in the students as each and every one was downstairs ready to depart BEFORE the time we had planned. Friendships were made, laughs were had, and though we didn’t find Nessie in Loch Ness, I am almost certain that given the opportunity, everyone would love to go back to Scotland and keep searching. Maybe next year!…

Tom Hoskins, Houseparent (Piccadilly)