Celtic Roots and Global Appalachia: Highlands and the Orkneys

The 2021 Global Appalachia Celtic Roots program will bring travelers an understanding of Celtic traditions and storytelling associated with the Scottish Highlands and Orkney Islands, in addition to Cumberland’s English Lakes and the Yorkshire Moors—all featured in the stories of Robert Burns, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Emily Bronte, William Shakespeare, James Boswell and Dr. Johnson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Virginia Woolf, Scottish classics like Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song, and Appalachian writers Ron Rash and Denise Giardina. Travelers will visit World Heritage Sites throughout Britain, with highlights of the travel adventure including Grasmere, Ayr, Edinburgh, Inverness, Orkney Islands, Haworth, Whitby, and London.


  • 07/25/2021 to 08/06/2021


  • $3,281 - based on a minimum of 20 participants; international airfare TBD

Trip ID



  • International Air
  • Ground Transportation
  • Intra-program Train
  • 11 Nights Hotel Accommodations
  • Daily Breakfasts
  • 2 Dinners
  • Guides
  • Public Transportation Passes
  • Gratuities
  • Cultural Tour Admission Fees
  • Country Guidebook & Pre-travel Documents
  • Embedded Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support

Info Session


Meet the Faculty

Sylvia Shurbutt

Professor of English, Director of Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities
Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt is Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities at Shepherd University. She is managing editor of The Anthology of Appalachian Writers (ISSN 1946-3103), an annual anthology of Appalachian, poets, fiction writers, essayists, and photographic artists; and she is Director of the NEH Summer Institute Voices from the Misty Mountains and the Power of Telling Storytelling (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018) and the WV BRIDGE Institute (2020). Shurbutt’s writing has appeared in The Journal of Appalachian Studies, The Journal of Kentucky Studies, North Carolina Review, Women's Studies, Women and Language, Essays in Literature, Destinations and Discoveries: A Short Collection of Literary Travel Essays, and she has presented at the International Wordsworth Conference in Grasmere, UK. Her volume on Silas House, The Shimmering Knot Before Him, is scheduled for publication in late 2020 by UK Press. Shurbutt was 2006 West Virginia Professor of the Year, 2015 President of National Appalachian Studies Association (ASA), 2016 ASA Conference Chair, and received the Stephen Fisher Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2020. The global Appalachia Celtic Roots travel program has taken student and community travelers across the world for the past twenty years.

What to Expect


Explore first hand the history and storytelling of Celtic roots in the United Kingdom by visiting cultural sites located throughout the historic cities of Grasmere, Ayr, Edinburgh, Inverness, Orkney Islands, Hawthorne, Whitby, and London.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

WorldStrides is committed to making international travel accessible for students. To find out how to apply for $500 in need-based assistance or our merit-based $3,000 Higher Education Traveler Scholarship, click here.

For Parents

Thank you for considering this global opportunity for your students, and for trusting me with the important responsibility of educating them. In addition to building their resume and their network, I believe a program like this builds essential perspective that will set them on a path to becoming more global citizens!

I have chosen WorldStrides as an educational travel partner because of their reputation for excellence in logistics, educational content, and most importantly, safety and security. Read more about WorldStrides.


Questions? Click here to see answers to commonly asked questions about WorldStrides educational travel programs for university students.