1. Edinburgh: half day on Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags. Plus half day choose from (a) Blackford Hill in south Edinburgh - andesite lava flow; glacial erosion and post-glacial gorge. Also a famous place in history, where Louis Agassiz first identified glacial striations in Scotland. or (b) Pentland Hills - these are the range of hills to the south of Edinburgh, and the rocks are basalt and andesite from Devonian Period (older than Arthur's Seat). It is easy to get to the Pentland Hills by public bus, and the views of Edinburgh are very good. This would involve more walking as the sites of geological interest are not so close to each other, but in 3 or 4 hours we would see a range of volcanic rocks.
2. North Berwick, East Lothian: Carboniferous volcanoes, vents and intrusions. This is a beautiful stretch of coast, there are many different rocks exposed and good views and sea birds. It would be possible to arrange a boat trip to visit the Bass Rock, a wonderful volcanic plug covered in birds. You can get a leaflet for this site at http://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/r_download.html.
3. Barns Ness, East Lothian: best place near Edinburgh to find Carboniferous fossils - corals and shells. Also cyclothem sequences of limestone, sandstone, mudstone, coal. Located about 4 km from Dunbar - it is easy to get to Dunbar by public transport but then we would need to walk along the shore. This is a good walk, lots of interest but it will take most of one day to visit this site. You can get a leaflet for this site at http://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/r_download.html.
4. Siccar Point, near Cockburnspath, Scottish Borders. A bit further from Edinburgh, and accessible by bus with a bit of walking. This is the most famous geological site in Scotland - unconformity between Silurian greywacke sandstone and the Old Red Sandstone. Further details at http://www.james-hutton.org.uk/
5. Kinghorn - Kirkcaldy, Fife. A short walk along the coast with a good range of geology representative of the Midland Valley, including lava flows, intrusions, limestone, mudstone. There are train stations at both towns so it is no problem to get to. Need to make sure that the tide is out, though.
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Earth Science Laboratory
Department of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Knowledge Engineering
Tokyo City University