Once again the UNH Cambridge Summer Program offers students the chance to visit Edinburgh, Scotland, for an exciting four-day Bonus Weekend that has been a highlight of many summers. Careful rearrangement of classes allows us to have two days and three nights in the beautiful Scottish capital on the first weekend in August.
The ride is a scenic one winding through the north of England for approximately nine hours with breaks for meals and sightseeing along the way. We stay at the University of Edinburgh, one of the world’s oldest universities, and within walking distance of the heart of the city at the foot of the hill upon which Edinburgh Castle is built. Edinburgh is one of the world’s greatest centers for the arts, with many fine theatres and art galleries. Its famous Royal Mile is lined with museums, shops, restaurants and pubs. In addition, our accommodations place us next to Arthur’s Seat, a scalable mountain that provides a wonderful view of the city and is a dramatic site of Scotland’s mythic imaginings.
You will encounter traditional Scottish bagpipers and other sights and sounds from Scotland’s colorful past and present as you walk about the city or travel in the surrounding countryside. Plans include visits to historical Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, with plenty of time in between for exploring on your own. A stroll through town could include stops at the home of John Knox, founder of Presbyterianism in Scotland; the Writer’s Museum, a treasure house of memorabilia from three of Scotland’s most famous authors- Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns; Deacon Brodie’s Pub, whose owner was the model for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; the City Art Centre and other galleries; Princes Street Gardens or the Royal Botanic Garden, called the Botanics by those in the know; and, for those who love to shop, a visit to Jenners, the oldest independent department store in the world, as well as numerous stores displaying traditional tartans and woolen knitwear. At Ocean Terminal the royal yacht, the Britannia, is available for viewing on all five decks. Prince Charles used it for honeymoon travel.
Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival begins early in August, and sneak preview events will be on when we are there. Events include comedy, contemporary music, theatre, and dance. Quality can range from poor to outstanding- Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, and Craig Ferguson all began their careers with Fringe performances.
The cost of the 2013 Bonus Weekend was $525. A limited number of places are available on a first come/first serve basis determined by order of payment. The price includes travel, entry to literary and historical sites, accommodation, and breakfasts. The fee is due March 15. The fee will be refunded to students who are not invited to join the program. For those who are offered a place, the fee is non-refundable.