A couple of weeks ago I spent a wonderful weekend in a Victorian hunting lodge in the Scottish countryside, on a weekend wellness retreat, with a lovely group of ladies.
Now I must admit this is the first retreat I’ve been on and there was a little uncertainty sitting in my stomach as to whether it was really for me and if I’d
#1 feel comfortable
#2 enjoy it and
#3 get anything out of it.
The answer to all three of those questions has turned out to be a resounding yes.
I arrived in the quintessential Scottish village of Kinloch Rannoch by bus on Friday afternoon, it was a little early to head to the retreat venue but I spotted an attractive looking café so figured this was as good a place as any to wait it out. Turned out it was the best place to wait it out, their apple crumble, too tempting to pass up, was the best I’ve ever had. Cooked fresh as it’s ordered the crumble was crunchy and tasty and the apple perfectly cooked.
Then it was a 15 minute walk along a country lane to Bunrannoch House and the official start of the weekend. The retreat is run by Cat & Lindsey and includes a mixture of walking, coaching and yoga throughout the weekend along with an abundance of great food and an atmosphere in which to totally relax.
Cat, from Reach the Peak, is a qualified life coach and NLP practitioner as well as being passionate about the mountains. She’s a qualified summer and winter mountain guide and very knowledgeable about all things to do with the environment, I learned all about the different types of moss and mountain plants during our walks throughout the weekend. She also leads groups in Scotland and in Nepal and has a trek to Everest Base Camp scheduled for later in the year.
Lindsay, from YogaNuU, is also a qualified NLP practitioner as well as an experienced yoga teacher and reiki master. She’s also passionate about yoga being for everyone and teaches curvy yoga.
An absolutely perfect place for a retreat.
Bunrannoch House is a former Victorian hunting lodge only 15 minutes walk from Kinloch Rannoch in the beautiful Scottish countryside. We were able to watch out of the sash windows of the lounge as squirrels scurried about in the gardens, pheasants strutted their stuff and one evening stags even came into the garden for a wander. In the distance herds of deer either grazed or ran as one down the hillside while retired race horses roamed freely in the field across the road.
It’s a simply idyllic spot.
The house covers four floors and can accommodate 16 people in 7 bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms. My room was huge with windows on two sides and views to die for, a king size bed, large wardrobe and heaps of space to wander around in. During the retreat we met up in the ample sized lounge, had meals in a huge dining room and there was also a small contemplation room if anyone needed some space to themselves.
Abundant and yummy!
Three meals a day plus snacks, fruit, numerous different teas and coffees and scrumptious cupcakes were all provided and we certainly didn’t go hungry. The meals were different every day and I was even brave enough to try haggis – and found out I quite liked it.
Bread was baked fresh every morning and the smell was enough to make even the most determined of us give in to a slice or two slathered with butter.
Dietary requirements are catered for and the girls make sure that there is something for everyone.
All of the activities on the weekend are optional, if you feel the need to hang out and read or sleep or simply sit and think then that’s okay, although it’s encouraged there is absolutely no pressure to take part in any or all that’s on offer.
We had a walk both days of the weekend. On Saturday the walk took us approximately 9km through the Rannoch Forest, at times we were walking alongside the tumbling river, at others we were wandering under the canopy of towering trees. As part of the walk we had some coaching, some general chatting and some walking alone with our own thoughts if that’s what we wanted.
Sunday afternoon we had the opportunity to climb to the summit of the Giant, a significant hill behind our accommodation, such fun with amazing views of the loch and surrounding countryside waiting for us at the top.
Lindsey is a very thoughtful and engaging facilitator
There was a yoga session scheduled twice a day – before breakfast and then again in the late afternoon/evening. The weather was so lovely that we even got to do yoga outdoors on Saturday evening, a wonderful experience surrounded by the sights and sounds of the countryside.
Again, if you’re not into yoga or fancy a lie in one morning there’s absolutely no pressure to take part.
Throughout the weekend there’s also the opportunity (as an added extra) to have an Indian head massage or a Reiki massage from Lindsey.
Both girls are qualified NLP practitioners although Cat takes the lead with the coaching activities. Again, participation in any coaching exercise is optional although I would highly recommend that you make the most of the opportunity.
There are group coaching activities, one on one and partnered activities and it’s often surprising what comes out of the sessions. My time there, taking part in the coaching offered and chatting with the other ladies, certainly clarified a few things for me and I left with a sense of purpose and a renewed energy surrounding my future in both personal and business spheres.
So I think you’ve probably got the message that I had a very enjoyable and worthwhile weekend; Some serious stuff mixed in with the fun, a lot of laughs and memorable moments and I’ve made some really lovely friends. Thank you ladies x
If you get the chance it’s one not to miss, for more info check out Reach the Peak or you can find both both Cat (Reach the Peak) and Lindsey (yoga-nu-u) on Facebook.