Excursions

API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API Stirling programs. All excursions are subject to change.

Spring

EDINBURGH

Edinburgh, nicknamed ‘Auld Reekie’ for its lack of plumbing in the 19 th century, is Scotland’s capital city. The city sits around the Royal Mile, an ancient cobble street with the famous Edinburgh Castle sitting at the top of the street and the Palace of Holyrood House – the Queen’s official residence in Scotland – at the bottom. Nearby is Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcanic which you can climb for stunning panoramas of the city. Edinburgh is home to fine cuisine, culture (boasting seven annual festivals) and stunning architecture. Its Old and New Towns were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And on top of all that, the city is the birthplace of Harry Potter – you can even visit the café where J.K. Rowling created the famous boy wizard!

ISLE OF SKYE AND LOCH NESS

Steeped in history and legend, the Highlands of Scotland are one of the last pristine regions of Europe. This is a land of high mountains, breathtaking islands, spectacular glens and deep, mysterious lochs. There is nature and wildlife to enjoy, imposing castles to explore and tales of folklore, heroes and legends to savor. You will find beautiful sites such as Glencoe with its Three Sisters, a trio of iconic stunning mountains. Also there is Glenfinnan, home to the Glenfinnan Viaduct – most famous for its appearance in Harry Potter as the bridge that the Hogwarts Express crosses. And of course, last but not least, Loch Ness – home to the Loch Ness monster. People have claimed to have spotted the infamous monster for hundreds of years but you can make up your own mind!

Sitting off Scotland’s west coast is the Isle of Skye. With a fairtyle-like atmosphere, the imposing Cuilins (pronounced koo-lin) dominate the southern end of the island with the Fairy Pools, which are said to give eternal beauty to whoever bathes in them, sitting at their foot. The Fairy Glen is like many of Scotland’s great geographical features in miniature and is said to be the entrance to the ancient fairy kingdom. There are small fishing towns and stunning geographical features and formations to discover on this island. We challenge you to not be amazed!

LOCH LOMOND AND THE TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK

Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater lake in the UK and Scotland’s second most famous loch after Loch Ness. You may be familiar with the loch from the song “Loch Lomond”. The loch certainly lives up to the description it is given in the song – that is as having “bonnie, bonnie banks” (bonnie is a Scottish word for pretty!). At the south end the landscape surrounding the loch is fairly flat but as it reaches the north banks the landscape becomes more mountainous and imposing, meeting with Scotland’s Highlands. There are various viewing points and charming little villages surrounding the loch. Part of the West Highland Way, a 96 mile walk undertaken by many visitors to Scotland, which goes from just outside Glasgow up to Fort William runs by the banks of the river.

SAINT ANDREWS

Saint Andrews is a stunning medieval city and home to the oldest university in Scotland where Prince William and Kate Middleton studied and met. It is also of course the home of golf. There are several golf courses in the town including the world famous Old Course and the town also has its own Golf Museum – great for those of us maybe not keen to play but who want to find out more about this famous sport! On top of all this is a stunning medieval cathedral and a beautiful ruined castle, which both played an important part in the reformation here in Scotland, surrounded by beautiful blue flag beaches!

Fall

EDINBURGH

Edinburgh, nicknamed ‘Auld Reekie’ for its lack of plumbing in the 19 th century, is Scotland’s capital city. The city sits around the Royal Mile, an ancient cobble street with the famous Edinburgh Castle sitting at the top of the street and the Palace of Holyrood House – the Queen’s official residence in Scotland – at the bottom. Nearby is Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcanic which you can climb for stunning panoramas of the city. Edinburgh is home to fine cuisine, culture (boasting seven annual festivals) and stunning architecture. Its Old and New Towns were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And on top of all that, the city is the birthplace of Harry Potter – you can even visit the café where J.K. Rowling created the famous boy wizard!

GLASGOW

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is home to an outstanding variety of museums, galleries and performance venues. Once the 2nd city of the British Empire and a major centre of trade with the USA, Glasgow now wears its Victorian splendor with pride. Everything from impressionistic paintings to medieval armr is on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Other attractions are the Gallery of Modern Art, the social history museum Peoples Palace, Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis, the bustling Merchant City and the Provands Lordship.

ISLES OF MULL AND IONA

Although perhaps not as famous as some of Scotland’s other Western Isles, Mull is certainly not to be missed. The largest settlement on the island is Tobermory, the location used for the filming of the BBC Children’s television programme Balamory. Many brightly colour painted houses sit around the harbour and the town boasts a famous single malt whisky distillery. The rest of the island is a mix of landscapes, with the island’s largest hill Ben More, the beautiful Calgary Bay and impressive geological features such as the Carsaig Arches. And of course what would a Scottish island be without a few castles thrown in for good measure as well?

Iona lies to the southwest of the Isle of Mull. Although having only a population of less than 200, the island is of great historical importance as it is home to Iona Abbey which has history dating back to the 8th century. The island is surrounded by crystal blue water and covered in lush green grass. It is an ideal peaceful and tranquil getaway from the hustle and bustle of Scotland’s mainland.

THE SCOTTISH BORDERS

Covering about eighteen hundred square miles, the valleys and forests of the Scottish Borders stretch from the rolling hills and moorland in the west, through gentler valleys to the high agricultural plains of the east, and on to the rocky Berwickshire coastline with its secluded coves and picturesque fishing villages. The visit will include plenty of amazing scenery and castles, abbeys and stately homes, as well as entrances into some sites such as Melrose Abbey (the resting place of Robert the Bruce’s heart) and / or Abbottsford House, the former home of Sir Walter Scott.

France Paris Eiffel Tower Looking Up
Costa Rica Butterfly
Italy Florence Boat Under Bridge
Italy Florence Duomo From Tower
France Paris Eiffel Tower With Blue Sky
Costa Rica Sea Turtle
Spain Salamanca Plaza Mejor At Night
Italy Florence Painting On Sidewalk
Italy Florence At Night
Italy Florence Duomo From Side
Ireland Coast At Sunset