The St. James Research Centre provides training for diverse and energetic cohorts of students and professionals each year out of our training centre in Falkirk. The centre is located a short walking distance away from shopping, groceries, gyms, a movie theatre, and a train station with easy access to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
St. James Research Centre is conveniently located in the central belt of Scotland, less than a 30 minute train ride to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. Falkirk itself is full of character, local restaurants, well known attractions and tourist sites in Scotland. With Edinburgh being a UNESCO world heritage site and Glasgow a major hub for shopping and restaurants in the UK, what's not to love?
History of Falkirk
Originating from the Gaelic for “speckled church”, which was then translated into the Scots “Fawkirk”, Falkirk’s history stretches back to Roman times. The Antonine Wall, which marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire and stretches westwards to Old Kilpatrick, passes through the town. Falkirk’s strategic importance is highlighted by the two battles that were fought there, 450 years apart. William Wallace was defeated in 1298 by Edward I at the Battle of Falkirk, while in 1746, the Battle of Falkirk Muir saw the Jacobites, under Bonnie Prince Charlie, get the better of government troops.
Things to Do
Falkirk’s pedestrianised town centre has attractive streets and wynds, and some handsome buildings. Just off the High Street is the Faw church (or Trinity, as is now known), built upon the site of the ancient place of worship that gave the town its name. The oldest parts of the building date back to the twelfth century. Notable tombstones in the graveyard include Sir John de Graeme, killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298. South east of the town centre, Callendar Park and house is a must-visit attraction that merits a whole day of your attention. Covering more than 170 acres, and complete with its own wee loch, there are a multitude of beautiful trails and walks amid the grounds, which boast beautiful ornamental gardens and an Arboretum. There’s also a section of the Antonine Wall, which dates back to the 140s AD.
To the west of the town, you’ll also need at least a day to explore the aforementioned Falkirk Wheel. Opened in 2002, this engineering and architectural wonder links the Forth and Clyde, and Union canals, with a giant boat lift. While you’re there be sure to enjoy a boat ride on the wheel which run hourly.
You’ll also need time to take in the scale and achievement of Falkirk’s other man-made wonder, the two 30m tall horse head sculptures known as The Kelpies. Created by sculptor Andy Scott, they look magnificent day or night. The Helix park in which they sit offers great walking, cycling, boating and kids’ play too plus a cafe. The Kelpies come from an old Celtic legend of mythical water-spirit creatures that could shape-shift that inhabited the lochs and pools of Scotland, they most often appears as horses.
Our mission is to equip future leaders and to offer them the experience, beyond the classroom. Scotland offers a perfect setting for just that. Not only rich in history and culture, Scotland’s wide landscape and friendly attitude, allows for students and tourists alike to find new opportunities that bring lasting memories. Enjoy a semester that has a lasting impact beyond a few months.
A visit to Scotland would not be complete without bagging at least one Munro! The Highlands offer world class hiking and walking trails. The awe inspiring peaks and lochs have long been a source of inspiration for authors and other including J.R.R Tolkien who based ‘Middle Earth’ on the scenery of Scotland. Make sure you are prepared before beginning your adventure though so you are not caught out by rain or a chill as the temperatures will drop the further you climb. Here’s a list of what to bring on your hike. Walk Highlands is one of the best websites to use for finding trails. There are also apps like ViewRanger.
St. James Research Centre is built out of a transformed church built in the late 1,800s to be a space for learning and collaboration. We offer on-campus accommodation and our centre is located a 10 minute walk to a major rail station going east, west and north for easy access to the rest of Scotland.
When it comes to exploring Scotland, it's as much about the journey as the destination. You'll find that travelling to the main tourist spots is a piece of cake and, with a little careful planning, more remote areas are readily accessible too.
You are able to rent a car on a daily basis from Enterprise, they have a garage here in Falkirk. Keeping in mind that there may be a minimum age requirement! If you do decide to drive while in Scotland please also remember we drive on the left. Click here for a guide and videos on driving in this country. Scotland has its own ‘Route 66’, we call ours the North Coast 500 and it travels across some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer. For more information on this icon road trip you can find it here.
There are some limitations for renting a car. First, you must be at least 23 years old and have held a valid driver’s license in your home country for at least 12 months. If you are 23 or 24, you may be restricted to renting certain cars and may incur a small surcharge, depending on the agency you choose. A driver’s license is the other requirement. You do not need an international driver’s license. You must also have a valid passport.
St. James Research Centre is located within easy access to free parking places. There is on-street on the street adjacent to St. James Research Centre as well as a large number of parking spaces at Central Retail Park which is within 5-10 minutes walk. For Directions to Central Retail Park use the SAT NAV Postcode: FK1 1LW. Directions for walking from the car park can be found here.
The closest train station to St James Research Centre is Falkirk Grahamston. It’s around a 10-15 walk away click here for directions. Falkirk Grahamston has links to a number of different places to visit and enjoy during your time in Scotland. Trainline and/or ScotRail websites is where you can view train timetables and buy tickets. They also have an app to download. Otherwise there are ticket machines at most stations in Scotland.
If you are coming to Scotland to work, and you live in Scotland lawfully, you can get healthcare from the NHS while you are here. If you need care, you may be asked to show:
Your workers permit
A recent letter from your employer, work contract or current payslip if you are employed
Invoices or work receipts if you are self-employed
A letter from the organisation you work for that says what type of voluntary work you do.
Healthcare for overseas workers and their families is free for the most part. There are, however, some treatments that may incur a cost. The Citizens Advice Bureau provides advice regarding NHS charges for people from abroad. The Scottish Government provide information about health costs and entitlement in the following publications:
In order to receive care, you will need to register with a GP as soon as you arrive in Scotland. If you need an interpreter, ask the GP surgery to arrange this for you. When you make an appointment, tell them what language you prefer to use. How to register with a GP. The closest medical practice to St James Research Centre is Wallace Medical Centre.
If you are registered as an NHS patient your partner and children might also qualify for healthcare. If you have children they must be aged under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education. Staff at the GP surgery will ask you to fill in a form to register your family. You may need to show your marriage or civil partnership certificate, and birth certificates for your children to complete the registration process.
If you or a member of your family are unwell and your GP surgery and pharmacist are closed, phone the NHS 24 111 service. People across Scotland can access the service, on landlines and mobile phones free of charge, using a number that is short and easy to remember. Just call 111. If you are in need of emergency care and require hospital treatment there are a few nearby hospitals, including Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Falkirk Community Hospital.