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Plan Your Visit

This is where you’ll find the answers to all of our frequently asked questions


Whether you’ve decided to experience what it’s really like to be an archaeologist and will be joining us in the trenches, or simply want to come and have a look at what we’re doing, this page contains all of the information we think you’ll need to know before the dig. If you’re joining us on site, please make sure you read it carefully, and if you have any questions please do feel free to get in touch with us before you arrive.

You can also click What’s On to see which events are on, and when.

Where is it?

Dig HQ:

If you are joining us for the dig, or for a day in the Finds Room, you will need to arrive at the Dig HQ for an orientation meeting at 9am. We will then walk up to the dig site as a group.


Village Hall,
Scottish Borders,
TD14 5NL


How to get here:

Rail: There is no train station in Coldingham itself. The nearest train station is Berwick-upon-Tweed, from which you will need to get a taxi or bus to Coldingham.

Bus: The 235 service from Castlegate in Berwick-Upon-Tweed to St. Abbs stops in Coldingham. It is a short walk from the bus stop to Coldingham Priory and the Village Hall.

Road: Coldingham village about 8 miles off the A1. The village itself sits on the A1107. Coming from the north along the A1, take the exit for Coldingham A1107 (Berwickshire Coastal Route). From the south follow the A1, taking the exit for Coldingham/St. Abbs B6438

Excavation site:
Glebe field near Coldingham Priory

What time does it start?

We will kick off at 09.00am every day. Please be at our Dig HQ on time, so that we can plan the day ahead and make sure everyone has filled out health and safety forms and has gone through the risk assessments.

We understand that sometimes things delay us that are beyond our control, so if you are running late or can no longer make it, please let us know by calling or sending us a text if it’s safe for you to do so.

What do I need to bring if I'm digging with you?

We will provide all the tools you need including: a trowel, buckets, shovels and sieves. You are welcome to bring your own trowel if you want to, but it’s important you have the right kind. You can find a 4-inch pointing trowel suitable for archaeological fieldwork on the Past Horizons online store (

It might be handy for you to bring a notepad if you are with us for the whole week so that you can keep a dig diary. This will help you keep track of what you’ve done, and we can make sure that you have a go at all the different aspects of archaeological fieldwork.

Packing list – what you’ll need to bring!
 – Weather appropriate clothing: layers are vital and should include waterproofs and a warm fleece or jumper, sun cream and a sun hat or warm hat, and bug spray

– A sturdy pair of boots

– Any dietary staples

– Any medication you require (we cannot dispense anything, including paracetamol)

– Insect repellent

– A packed lunch

– A bottle of water

– A notepad

– Your trowel (if you have one of your own)

I'm not part of the dig - can I still visit?

Absolutely! If you happen to be in the area during the excavation you are welcome to visit the site, we’d love to show you around. You could also come along to one of the public events we’re running alongside the excavation, more about those here.

If you want to be kept in the loop with everything we find, and what we do with it next, the best way to do this is to become a Digital Digger. You can find out how to do that here.

How can I contact you if I have a problem?

If you need to get in touch with us, please feel free to do so.

You can phone us:

Before the dig: 0333 011 3990
During the dig: 07515 016 296

You can email us:

You can find us on social media:

Tweeting us is a great way to get our attention immediately @thedigventurers

What will the daily schedule be like?

Time | Activity

09:00  Meeting and Orientation

09:30  Work Begins

11:00  Elevensies

12:00  Lunch

15:30  Tea and Biscuits

17:00  End of work day

What will I be doing?

At DigVentures, we aim to give you an authentic experience of what it’s like to be an archaeologist.

There will, of course, be digging, as well as recording, photogrammetry and finds processing. We cater to as many levels of ability as we possibly can, and if there’s something in particular you would really like to have a go at, then just let us know.

In terms of physical activity, archaeological excavation is a lot like gardening, there’s sometimes heavy lifting and a lot of time spent on your hands and knees! We understand that not everyone is up to this, and there are many other activities for differently-abled people, so please get in touch if you feel that digging might not be appropriate for you.

Are there local amenities?

Coldingham is a small village, but does have a local shop, pubs, and transport links. Our headquarters for the dig will be at the Village Hall, in walking distance from the site, where you will find toilets.

Eyemouth is the nearest larger town, where you can find cafes, pubs, shops etc.

Can I post about the dig on social media?

Yes! One of the most important parts of any DigVentures project is sharing what we’re doing with the rest of the world. We have followers all around the globe who love to see where we’re doing archaeology and who we’re working with. We will be broadcasting every day with blogs, tweets and on pretty much all other forms of social media. We encourage all of you who are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. to join us in providing a stream of information right from the trenches, but please remember that you are representing DigVentures in your posts.

We will do our absolute best to ensure that each of you has a fantastic time on site, but if you have any questions or concerns while you’re with us, please do speak to a member of staff before you post anything in the public domain.

Here are our simple and considerate rules for social media:

  • Respect confidentiality if it’s requested – VERY IMPORTANT
  • No profanity at any time
  • No insulting or abusive language about fellow diggers, the public or DigVentures staff
  • Be polite and show respect for your colleagues and readers
  • Ask a DV staffer to review your post before you hit ‘post’ if you have any questions or you’re unsure if it’s appropriate.
What do I say if people ask me questions?

Coldingham is a popular village, and the field where we will be working is well used by dog walkers. We encourage people to visit our sites even if they’re not digging with us, so it’s likely that you will come into contact with people who are curious during the dig.

We will do our best to help you feel empowered and knowledgable enough to answer any questions people have for you, both on site and off site. We strongly encourage you to speak to people asking questions, after all, this is your archaeology, if you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to, just call over a member of DV staff and we’ll help you!

With that in mind, everyone who is part of the DigVentures project must be conscientious, polite and responsible in our communication with the public and use of buildings and shared spaces. Group clean-ups will be a regular activity, and we ask that everyone pitches in to make sure that we are clean and tidy.

I've heard you talking about Digital Dig Team - what is it?

Digital Dig Team is DigVenture’s HLF-funded digital archaeological recording system. It is a customised digital recording system: think of it as an online version of the traditional paper context sheets used by archaeologists.

Our team (including you) will be standing over the trenches with iPads, recording vital information including photos, plans and information about who did the digging. We’re putting our excavation online. This will allow us to report our primary data from the trenches every day in real time, and all of our experts, specialists and Venturers will have access to it through the internet. No need to wait a year for the site report: you can see the information as it happens!

This new system is going to help archaeologists to do our jobs better, and also enable us to involve the public even more in our work. Digital Dig Team is the future of fieldwork – and we’ll be using it on all of our sites, as well as partner projects

How will DigVentures ensure I'm safe and happy on site?

Our priority is to maintain a safe and friendly environment for our staff and participants. We love what we do, and we make a huge effort to welcome all participants to the world of archaeology with as much positivity and enthusiasm as possible. Our team hopes that everyone brings the same approach to our sites as we do, but we recognise that on very rare occasions things can go awry.

With that in mind, DigVentures operates a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for aggressive, harassing or threatening behaviour, and takes matters of interpersonal communications very seriously. This applies to members of the public, volunteers and staff. Support and advice is available for staff and participants experiencing or witnessing bullying, harassment or discrimination; should you have an issue, please approach a member of DigVentures staff for assistance.

For physical injuries we always have a trained first-aider on site, and we will go through a risk assessment when you join us, as in our experience, when people are aware of safety issues accidents are mostly avoided. You cannot dig with us unless you’ve had the health and safety briefing, so please make sure you are on time on your first day so we can go through this with you.

Archaeology / In Your Hands