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There’s nothing quite like a holiday to recharge the batteries and feel renewed. Whether on a busy city break, an exciting rural escape, or exploring an island adventure, Scotland offers something for those seeking wellness and well-being. Check out some exciting options for a feel-good break in Scotland, this summer and into the autumn, whatever the type of holiday.
NEW FOR 2023 Wild Hebridean Swimming Adventures on the Isles of Mull & Iona
Three- and five-night cold water dipping; Guided swim treks; and beginner open water development retreats, Achaban House, Fionnphort; Full and half day swim excursions; 121 and group technique coaching; Safety courses in cold water dipping & swimming. With a passion for outdoor swimming year-round for all its health and wellbeing benefits, Emma MacDonald and her team take guests to enjoy dips at sunrise and sunset and adventure swims off the beaten track in some of the world’s most idyllic beaches with crystal-clear waters.
Forthcoming retreats at Achaban House, Fionnphort in 2023: 5-night Dip and Chill Retreat 27 June - 2 July; 5-night Guided Swim Trek 17 - 23 July; 3-night Open Water Development Retreat 29 Sept - 2 October.
Year-round by appointment: 121 and group coaching (min. 2 people); Cold water introductions, Tobermory. Prices: Retreats start at £795pp. Prices include transfers, all meals, yoga, massage, pilates and all stroke technique and skills coaching. 121 and group coaching start at £40 pp per hour. For more information, please go to: www.swimdynamics.co.uk/adventures or call Emma on 07770 483 063.
NEW FOR 2023 New spa for the Schloss Roxburghe
Following an extensive expansion, SCHLOSS Roxburghe, in the beautiful Scottish Borders, celebrates the opening of the new Estate House, hosting an additional 58 rooms and a purpose-built banqueting suite, extensive spa facilities and several cottages across the grounds.
A new 1100sqm spa facility is part of the expansion, including a heated outdoor infinity edge pool complete with LED lighting and underwater speaker sound system, both indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, an additional plunge pool and a fitness suite. There are three treatment rooms and an embedded Finnish dry sauna. The sauna sits half-sunken into the ground bringing it to ground level from the outside and is complete with a Larch exterior finish and large landscape windows to enjoy the views. There is also an aromatic sauna with the option to release a personal aromatic fragrance for a truly individual experience. The spa’s holistic approach goes beyond simply treating the body and focuses on general wellbeing, mindfulness and rejuvenation. The spa is open for both guests and local members to enjoy. Prices for treatments vary. For more information and to book go to schlosshotel-roxburghe.com
An escape in the city
WanderWomen outdoor experiences, Edinburgh
Established in 2018 and located in Edinburgh, WanderWomen Scotland facilitates award-nominated, outstanding outdoor experiences for women (or mixed groups) in a unique mix of mindfulness and adventure in and around Edinburgh. Ideal for an escape from the daily grind, upcoming experiences include:
Wednesday, 21 June 2023 – Summer Solstice Wander, 1900 - 2200 (price: £40 pp; concession £34) Thursday, 6 July – Forest Bath & River Swim, 1000 – 1400 (price: £60; concession £48) Friday, 28 July – Hammock Hang Out, 1000- 1130 (price: £30; concession £24) For more information and to book, visit: https://wander-women.co.uk/
Float Room, Urban Wellness Float, Bridge of Don near Aberdeen
Urban Wellness Float offers a unique Floatation experience in a purpose-built Float Room, the first of its kind in Scotland. Floating gives the body the ultimate chance to relax, reset and restore. By creating a weightless environment (think zero gravity), the body can release tension and find its own optimal alignment. The Float Room is light-proof and sound-proof which gives guests stress-free down time and space to unwind, so whether a regular or one time floater, research shows that floating will benefit the health in both a proactive and reactive way.
Price: A one hour float costs £52 per person. Book online at www.urbanwellnessfloat.co.uk
The Gin Spa, Merchant City, Glasgow
The first ever gin-inspired botanical day spa. The Gin Spa combines a detailed understanding of botanical ingredients with superb customer experiences and indulgent, bespoke spa treatments; A rich, unique experience unlike any other. Price: These start from £60 for a Back, Neck and Shoulder massage; to £120 for the Gin Spa Signature Treatment. For more information and to book online go to: https://ginspa.co.uk/
NEW FOR 2023 Unleashed, Kingseat near Dunfermline
Popular with city dog owners looking for an enclosed space to walk, Unleashed Dog Parks (founded in 2020) has a brand-new site near Dunfermline. This site has a quiet rural setting with stunning views out to Loch Fitty yet still close to Dunfermline and nearby M90 for access, perfect for some escape time with four-legged friends. Price: £15 per session for 50 mins for up to three dogs (additional dogs at an additional charge). Bookings can be made in advance online at https://unleasheddogparks.co.uk
Rural rest & recovery
NEW FROM SEPTEMBER 2023 Sheepy Sleepovers - Wellness Weekends combining Mindfulness and Sheep, Gartmore, Stirling
Everyone knows that counting sheep is supposed to help with sleep; but what about meditating with sheep? De-stress with gorgeous pet Herdwick sheep, enter their secret world with mindful calming interaction, including sound healing, yoga and forest bathing. Discover hidden gems of Scotland and “coorie” in with a woodburner, sunsets and stars. Refresh, meditate and recharge among a herd of fluffy friends and wild mountain beauty of Scotland. Stay includes: three-nights board; Castle or Cruiser tickets; Yoga, Sound Healing; and Meditations, Confidence Techniques. Availability from 15 September 2023. Price: £796 per night for up to three people (book entire property). For more information, go to www.teawithnaughtysheep.com/stays
Volunteering at the Scottish Crannog Centre, Perthshire
With more people looking to spend some of their holiday time to giving something back to the local community, Scotland offers plenty of options for voluntourists* to give back to the local area whilst enjoying their break. For example, the Scottish Crannog Centre – which is in the process of rebuilding since experiencing a fire that destroyed the replica Iron Age house – actively encourages locals and visitors to get involved, including helping to build the new Iron Age village at Dalerb (preparing to reopen in 2024). By volunteering at the Scottish Crannog Centre, visitors will help to present and preserve Scotland’s heritage, giving them the opportunity to understand and appreciate what life was like in Iron Age Scotland. The Centre is already an internationally known destination for people interested in the beautiful country and heritage and it is still possible to currently visit for a guided tour of the museum and artefacts as well as interactive demonstrations of ancient crafts and technologies.
For more information, go to https://crannog.co.uk/volunteer-2/
Learn a new craft, feel inspired – Sea Drift Pottery, Argyll
Letting creativity run free and making things is a sure way to take minds off day-to-day concerns. Visitors can get their hands muddy at a pottery wheel taster session with Sea Drift Pottery, in Argyll. A fun activity for families or curious travellers who want to get their creativity flowing, inspired by the nearby Cowal peninsula.
From 10 to 18 September, the North East Open Studios (NEOS) event allows visitors to meet a diverse range of creatives exhibiting their work (wood, ceramic, glass, painting, sculpture…). It is a unique opportunity to meet and chat with artists, see their inspirations and working methods, and discover the wealth of talent we have in the northeast of Scotland**.
Also check out the views from Scott’s View in Melrose; Explore the Birks of Aberfeldy and spend an afternoon at the Hermitage in Perthshire; visit Aberdeenshire’s Dunnottar Castle; explore the St Magnus Way in Orkney by foot or on two wheels
Feel good with food & drink
NEW FOR 2023 Wild Pizza Nights, Fodder + Farm, Gartur Stitch Farm, Stirling
For foodie visitors looking for that grounding experience, why not attend one of the Wild Pizza Nights at Gartur Stitch Farm? Try sourdough pizzas made with ingredients foraged and grown on the farm or learn the basics of foraging by taking one of their seasonal walks in the Scottish countryside.
Gartur Stitch Farm has been running for the past nine years by Kat and Kevin, an education-led smallholding that specialises in craft and food. They have hosted thousands of visitors to the farm, through cuddling baby goats, learning about natural dye or enjoying a sourdough pizza. From June 2023, they are partnering with Lucy Pattinson of The Fodderation to create Fodder + Farm. Lucy is a private chef who specialises in open-fire and game cooking and a passionate advocate for local food and sustainability.
For a wholesome experience at the farm, sign up for one of their farm tours for the opportunity to spend a morning on the small croft, looking after the goats, meeting the pigs, collecting eggs from the chickens, ducks and geese, have a closer look at the beehive and a wander around the vegetable garden… all to finish with a cup of tea or coffee and some home-baked goods.**
For more information on a holiday in Scotland go to: www.visitscotland.com