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Appalachian studies program to host summer 2021 trip to Scotland

ISSUED: 8 December 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Celtic Roots Global Appalachia Program at Shepherd University is planning to travel with students and community members to the Scottish Highlands and Orkney Islands July 25-August 6, 2021, to explore a range of World Heritage Sites. The places visited will have a connection to the spring 2021 Celtic Roots and Global Appalachia undergraduate and graduate classes, which will be taught as a hybrid class Monday and Wednesday afternoons during the spring semester.

The study tour through the educational travel group WorldStrides will be led by Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, who teaches the Celtic Roots course. The ground cost of the tour is $3,281, which is based on a 20-traveler limit and double occupancy and includes all entrance fees, private coach travel, all breakfasts, and some dinners. Air fare ranges from $600-$900.

The $600 deposit deadline is April 16, 2021. The first 10 travelers will receive a discount. WorldStrides no-fault trip cancellation is possible up to 90 days before the trip, after which all participants should purchase WorldStrides Trip Insurance, which will be available in spring 2021. A COVID-19 vaccination will be required prior to the July 25 departure date.

The tour will take students to Grasmere and Kiswick in the English Lakes, to Ayr and Edinburgh, as well as to Inverness and the Orkney Islands in the far north. The journey south to London will stop at Abbotsford, Whitby, Scarborough, and the Yorkshire Moors, before bringing travelers back to London’s Kennsington district for several days.

Historic and World Heritage sites included are Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall, Stromness, and St. Magnus Cathedral on the Orkneys, where travelers will see remains of pre-Celtic people who date before Stonehenge. Particularly cogent to the history of Scotland will be Inverness Castle and Drummossie Muir, which tell the story of Scotland’s past and relationship with England. Travelers will also explore the deepest loch in the region, Loch Ness.

The Celtic Roots course will explore the history and culture of the Scots, as well as a number of writers and works with Celtic connections, including Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” Walter Scott’s “Rob Roy,” poetry and songs by Robert Burns, the poetry of Emily Brontë and William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and works of contemporary Appalachian writers Ron Rash and Denise Giardina, which have a connection to the summer tour.

Shepherd students can register for the Celtic Roots Highlands course and travel practicum now. Community members who wish to travel with the university must register for the graduate course as a certificate student, or as a lifelong learner though continuing education by contacting Karen Rice at krice@shepherd .edu.

For information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt at  For trip registration, visit

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