Winter School 2018

Winter School 2018 will take place 18th - 23rd February, in the Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry.

  • Teachers: Mervyn Short, Helen Russell, Lindsey Ibbotson and Paul Plummer.
  • Musicians: Ian Muir, Judith Muir, Muriel Johnstone and Judith Smith.
Please check our new class selector before booking; click here to open the document.

Click here to access the social dance programmes, and here for the cribs

We look forward to welcoming you to Winter School 2018, in the luxurious Atholl Palace Hotel, in beautiful Pitlochry.  

The following will be issued on your arrival at The Atholl Palace Hotel: 

· Ball ticket

· Timetables for the classes

. Local map

· Sign-ups for afternoon activities

· A list of attendees

· Name badge

· Hard copy dance programmes and crib booklet


Accommodation is based in the Atholl Place Hotel, Pitlochry, PH16 5LY-tel: 01796 472400.  Facilities can be viewed on the hotel’s website:

Your hotel room will be available from 3.00pm on the day of registration and the hotel staff will allocate room keys. Please register at the hotel reception desk on arrival then register at the RSCDS Winter School table. The hotel has asked their guests to leave their room key at reception when not in their room.

In the event of an emergency which causes a delay in arrival, please contact the hotel reception. Leave a message for Mervyn Short, Winter School Co-ordinator, along with your contact telephone number. If you know in advance that your travel arrangements will cause you to arrive after 6.00pm, please let RSCDS Headquarters know. 


The hotel will provide breakfast and evening meals as part of the package. If you have special dietary requirements, please contact RSCDS Headquarters with your request. Lunch is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, if required, or snack lunches may be had in cafes and restaurants in Pitlochry

Meal times are as follows:

Breakfast: 8.00am - 9.00am

Lunch: 1.00pm - 2.00pm

Evening Meal: 6.00pm prompt  

There will be a wine reception in The Bow Lounge at 5.15 on the first Evening 

There are tea and coffee making facilities in the hotel bedrooms 


Classes will take place from 9.30am—10.45 am and 11.15am—12.30pm.

You are required to attend all your morning classes 

Coffee/Tea will be served at the various class venues.                            


Teachers this year will be Mervyn Short, Paul Plummer, Helen Russell and Lindsey Ibbotson. Music will be provided by Muriel Johnstone, Judith & Ian Muir and Judith Smith. 


There will be Social dancing on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings in the Atholl Suite starting at 8.15pm, followed by a Soiree. All the dances will be re-capped. Please note that instead of the usual "ceilidh turns", there will be a concert, followed by ceilidh dancing on Tuesday evening.

BLAIR CASTLE BALL – Thursday 22nd  February

The Ball in Blair Castle will begin at 8.15pm and finish at approximately 11.00pm. Buses to take you to Blair Castle will depart from Atholl Palace at 7.15pm and return at the end of the dance. Please remember to bring your ticket with you for entrance to the Castle.

There will be a wine reception at the ball, and soft drinks and water will be available throughout. All dances will be re-capped.

Some of the music will be provided by the Course Musicians.  

There will be parking available in front of Blair Castle for those not wishing to travel by bus.

NOTICE BOARD: Please check this daily.

RSCDS Shop will be open 2.00pm—4.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday within the hotel. Because of space constraints the shop stock will be limited. We shall only be able to fill branch orders if the order is received at RSCDS Headquarters before Monday 5th February, at the latest. Other Branch orders will be forwarded to RSCDS Headquarters for completion. 

Sale of Non RSCDS items are welcome in the RSCDS shop. For conditions contact RSCDS Headquarters

St Andrews Shoemakers will have a shop within the hotel on Monday 19th February, 1300—1600

Thistle Shoes will have a shop within the hotel on Tuesday 20th February, 1300—1600 

Janet Washington will have a shop outside the Bow Lounge on Thursday 22nd February, 1300 - 1600


There are a wide variety of things to see and do in and around Pitlochry, so please visit the website for more information: 

How to get to Atholl Palace Hotel. Pitlochry PH16 5 LY 

By Car

Approaching Pitlochry from the South, take the A924 (signposted for Pitlochry) off the A9. After passing the Blair Athol distillery, on your right, continue under a railway bridge and turn right into the Atholl Palace entrance. 

From the north , take the A924 (signposted for Pitlochry) off the A9. The A924 is the main street through Pitlochry. Continue right through the town and turn sharp left, just before the railway bridge, into the Atholl Palace entrance. 

By Train 

Pitlochry Station is on the main railline between London, Edinburgh and Inverness. Regular trains, and one overnight sleeper train, run through Pitlochry from London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.  

Getting to Scotland by Air 

The closest major airport is Edinburgh, at just over 1 hour away by car. It has services by over 50 airlines, including over 180 flights to London daily, and regular direct services to Europe and New York. Dundee also has a small airport, about ¾ hours drive. Glasgow international is 1½ hours away and Prestwick 2 hours.


Hamlyns Of Scotland Sponsors Winter School

We are proud to announce that Hamlyns of Scotland is once again sponsoring the RSCDS Winter School!

Hamlyns was in Pitlochry with us last year with a stand so all the hungry attendees could grab a bit of porridge for a quick energy boost. Needless to say, there was hardly any left, everyone loved it so much!

The RSCDS is thrilled to have Hamlyns sponsor the 2018 Winter School and we encourage all of you to visit their website to learn more about their incredible range of products.

To read a wee message from Hamlyns of Scotland please click here.


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