Many school groups on a CELTS English language week in Scotland will fly in to Edinburgh and the students will stay their whole week in host families. They may well take a coach day trip out of Edinburgh to see more of the country. However, what the group will see on their day trip is necessarily limited by having to strike a balance between time spent on the coach travelling places and the actual amount of time spent off the coach, visiting places. A solution to this, that I want to explore in this blog post, is to stay overnight, for one or two nights, close to the Highlands. Let me explain how this works in some group’s favour.
At Edinburgh airport, the group will make their way to the coach park and be met by a driver / guide. The coach will then head north, out of Edinburgh, stopping at a couple of places (depending on the group’s arrival time), before ending up at a large, private country house on the edge of the Highlands.
The students will share rooms, usually two students in one room, occasionally three or four to a room. Dinner and breakfast are provided. Everyone sits down together for meals and, as the country house is owned and run by an Italians, dinner is pasta and breakfast will be a “continental” style. Naturally, special dietary requirements can be catered for, if required.
Typically, your school group will be the only guests staying in the country house. The Manager is very relaxed and your students will be free to enjoy themselves, explore the house and its secluded grounds and, generally, have fun together on their first night in Scotland.
We have found that students love this way of arriving in Scotland, as it provides them with a gradual introduction to being in an English-speaking country. Their guide on the coach will be speaking clear English and providing insights into Scottish culture and life. However, and importantly, he or she will not be speaking all the time, so your students are not feeling overloaded with English on their first day or two. They will get more than enough English later in their week!
For yourselves, as teachers, you too can relax upon arrival in Scotland, knowing that your students are having fun and being looked after.
If you were to choose to stay one night in the country house, then your coach trip the next day will allow your group more time to visit places and spend time off the coach, before finishing the day in Edinburgh, when your students will then go to their host families.
If you were to stay two nights in the country house, then already being close to the Highlands will allow you and your group the opportunity to travel further afield than on a typical day trip out of Edinburgh and, thus, to see more of Scotland on an extended coach tour. Alternatively, of course, it would simply allow everyone to spend more time off the coach in the places you do decide to visit.
Yes, it’s a more expensive option than having your students go directly to host families in Edinburgh. However – and this is backed up by feedback from both students and teachers – what an experience! Your students will never forget it.
If this is of interest, then please contact us directly at CoolScot Tours or enquire with your Language Travel Agent about this option. Either way, we look forward to being of assistance and helping you to Discover Scotland’s Warmth!