What Does a Small Town Language Holiday Have to Offer?

When it comes to choosing a language holiday, people still flock to big cities.

Cities suit those on a budget: being packed into classrooms keeps costs down.

Cities also suit a younger demographic – especially those wanting to pub crawl every evening.

However, there’s a point in life that this way of travelling stops feeling like freedom, and feels restrictive – even hellish.

Fortunately, there are increasingly more options for taking a language immersion holiday.

In this blog, I’m unapologetically biased. I share 7 benefits of a small-town destination for language learning.

If you want a more objective analysis of whether to choose rural or urban on your English immersion holiday, see the sister blog (link at the bottom of page).

While small town language learning is not right for everyone, could it be perfect for you?


language holiday in Crieff Burns night

1. Conversations with Locals

A dense population does not mean more people to talk to. It’s the opposite.

Many positive micro conversations with strangers will build your confidence in English, but they are so much harder to initiate inside cities when everyone feels under pressure.

You are likely to have more conversations with locals in a friendly small town.

Crieff is not only in a beautiful part of the Scottish landscape, it is the friendliest place I have ever lived.

It is easy to chat with people at bus stops and supermarket queues (in fact, don’t bother trying to get your shopping done in a hurry!)

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Loch Freuchie / Glen Quaich - Scottish hillside for blog learn English in Perthshire.

2. Access to Landscape

We believe being around landscapes and nature is good for the soul, which in turn is good for English learning.
People travel to Scotland to experience its spectacular landscape, and Perthshire, where our language school is based, is called ‘Big Tree Country.’

All across Perthshire are ways to relax and unwind with nature, and we collaborate with local eco-businesses to bring our English guests on various immersion English excursions. 

You can try Canoeing the River Tay, cycling in Aberfeldy – or taking the Sir Walter Scott paddle steamer on glorious Loch Katrine.

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English Language School Crieff Highland Gathering - immersion English activities in Scotland

3. Feelings of Community

As a second language speaker, you can feel a bit lost in a big city.
Getting to know a small town well gives you a tangible sense of belonging.

Don’t just ‘see Scotland,’ become part of the story of our community.

Every single language guest leaves lasting ripples in our community.

This is a valuable part of building your identity as an English language speaker.

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Gallery visit in Glasgow with Blue Noun English Language School activities

4. Day Trips to Cities

We often pop into Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Dundee to see a show or art exhibition.

Cities are not ruled out of rural breaks, they are an excursion.

Scotland is small enough that they are all quite accessible as day trips you can enjoy either on time off – or as a part of an immersion visit.

During our English immersion weeks, we frequently visit the amazing art that only cities have to offer. This includes the V&A in Dundee, DCA in Dundee, Perth’s Yard Market and Glasgow’s Burrell Collection.

Which Scottish city would you most like to explore on your English immersion holiday?


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Great big art exhibition
language holiday in Crieff cairn o mohr

5. Visit Where Food & Drinks are Produced

It is well known that food & drink can link us to land, language and culture.

This is especially true when you see the food in production – growing in the fields or being turned into produce by artisans and makers.

Perthshire is ‘Scotlands Larder.’

With our holidays, you can enjoy visiting a range of environmentally friendly agritourism businesses and chatting with makers and producers.


We frequently visit distilleries, farms, market gardens, and farmers’ markets.
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immersion english excursion to Stirling Castle - the actors

6. History & Heritage

Of course, you get history in cities too. It’s just we share places without long queues to get in.
Understanding the history of a place can also be part of the difference between a superficial visit and getting to know it deeply.
Our English immersion holidays are far from a history lecture, but we do share cool places we love: places which are important to the story of Scotland.
And don’t expect an uncritical, patriotic version of Scotland.
We share our interest in the relics left by changes sweeping our nation with curiosity – without natioanlism.
Historical English immersion excursions include Tibbermore Church, Huntingtower Castle, Innerpeffray Library, and Glen Quaich.
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image for free Facebook English Group - red kites Agarty

7. Wildlife Experiences

Scotland is famous for its wildlife, and Perthshire is particularly blessed with an abundance of nature.

Every walk is an opportunity to discover what is growing and living around us.

We partner with guest experts who can take our English guests on wildlife experiences.

Discover life inside hedgerows with herbalist Claire Mullan. Find beavers with Perth Tours. Watch the Red Kite Feed at Argaty.

We practice sustainable tourism – and only partner with people or businesses who share Scottish wildlife in unobtrusive, no-impact ways.

Fortunately for us, Perthshire is full of such eco-business, hoping to bring nature and people together for the experience of a lifetime.

Return home from an immersion English holiday full of stories about the culture

(and be able to tell them in English).

Just 7 Reasons to Choose a Rural Language Holiday?

This blog gives you 7 reasons to choose a small-town language holiday, but there are so many more!

Would you enjoy

  •  a campfire on the shore of a loch?
  • the view from the top of the mountain Dumyat?
  • a cup of tea in an artist’s studio (and learning about their work).

With our immersion English holidays, we have at least 1 excursion every day. Don’t just see one city. See Scotland!

Above all: Don’t get trapped in a classroom to learn English.

Escape, explore – and get talking!

Don’t just see one city,
see Scotland!

What to Expect from an Immersion Language Holiday

Aim to return home from an immersion English holiday full of stories about the culture you’ve been discovering (and better able to tell them in English).

Choose a language holiday provider which makes you feel like an individual,  who offers training around the type of English skills you need to learn, and who can bring the language alive with experiences.

We recommend a Zoom call before booking with us. It’s to check that your needs and expectations align with the holidays we offer.

However, if that’s too big a first step, why not find me on Linkedin and say hello in my messages?

It would be nice to chat with you. 

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Further Information

Rural Versus Urban Immersion holidays

You can read the companion blog: Language Holiday in the UK – Go Rural or Go Urban?

See an example of the conversations which are possible in a small-town language school, When Blue Noun Met Creiff in Leaf.