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Rockcliffe near Dalbeattie

Holidays

Wellness Breaks in Scotland

Escape the stresses of modern-day life and nurture your mind, body and spirit in Scotland. There are plenty of relaxing experiences and activities on offer across the country.

What is a wellness holiday?

A wellness holiday is one which makes your physical and mental health the number one priority. It might come in the shape of a spa break or a yoga or mindfulness retreat. Or, maybe you'll find your bliss with a calming escape by the water or an outdoorsy walking holiday? Remember, you can add in a selection of wellness elements to a shorter break or day out too. Whatever you choose, Scotland is a great place to replenish, reset and recharge.

Here are some ideas we think you'll love.

Escape your busy everyday routine with a peaceful retreat to the Highlands, a mellow wander around a museum or gallery, or why not spend a night or two in a delightful spa? There are plenty of attractions and locations across the country that will help relax your mind and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Relaxing retreats

Head off on a relaxing retreat where you can disconnect from your phone and busy life and feel your stresses melt away. In Dumfries & Galloway, the Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Temple is a hidden gem in the south that offers guided tours, an inviting Tibetan tearoom, a gift shop, as well as courses in meditation, mindfulness and more. Revitalise your mind with some Tai Chi, yoga and meditation at the Holy Isle - Mindfulness Retreat on the Isle of Arran. On this peaceful Buddhist island, you can book a week to relax, master your yoga moves, learn how to calm your mind with meditation and more. In Beauly, near Inverness, join in a workshop or stay for a holiday at Wild Rose Escapes who offer craft courses, relaxation retreats and more in the serene 100 acres of woodland on the edge of Glen Affric.

Museums and Galleries

Scotland's museums and galleries are gems in themselves, and often very peaceful and quiet places where you can admire centuries old art, modern creations, and wander at your own pace through years of creativity and expression. Across Scotland you can visit hundreds of museums and galleries in many nooks and crannies you wouldn't expect, from tiny heritage museums in traditional crofts, to modern buildings big enough to house the Concorde. Kirkcudbright Galleries in Dumfries & Galloway, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Shetland Museum & Archives, and the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore are just a few of the places you can uncover fascinating facts about Scotland's history and heritage.

Spas and relaxation

Book yourself in for a luxury spa day at one of the many spa hotels, resorts and getaways located across the country. Head to a prestigious castle, relax amongst towering Scottish mountains, indulge in four-star hotels, or pamper yourself on a city break - the opportunities are endless. On Loch Tay, why not spoil yourself at the Taymouth Marina? This lochside hot box sauna is a new addition to the shores of Loch Tay and is surrounded by a fire pit, panoramic windows, and gorgeous woodland views wherever you turn. Other places that won't disappoint is the Fairmont St Andrews, Ardoe House Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen, and the Isle of Eriska Spa in Argyll, to name a few.

Ever fancied a relaxing retreat amidst the swooping valleys and towering mountains of the Highlands? The Body Toolkit Retreat teaches you the key tools and techniques to combat stress and negative thoughts, all whilst relaxing in tranquil surroundings of the Scottish Highlands. These retreats are guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and nourished, with the skills and mindset to achieve your goals.

Why not relax your body with a soothing massage? A deep tissue or Swedish massage is great for putting your muscles at ease and getting rid of all the knots and sore spots. Stobo Castle in the Scottish Borders offers a range of body treatments among the stunning southern landscapes.

Stretch your legs, explore a tranquil forest, breathe in the crisp seaside air, or enjoy a range of watersports. Head out into the countryside and explore some of Scotland's most peaceful spots, or why not challenge yourself to climb a Munro, or chill out on a steady stroll around a picturesque loch.

Explore the great outdoors

Sometimes there is nothing more relaxing than going for a good old walk. Getting out of the house, breathing in the fresh air and taking in surrounding scenic views are all good for the soul. Head out on a gentle lochside or woodland stroll, venture up a Munro, conquer a Corbett, or simply wander through the beautiful Scottish landscapes - fresh air can do the body a world of good.

Or if you'd rather take your sea legs for a stroll, why not try out some watersports? Enjoy a scenic sailing trip on Loch Lomond, try out kayaking or canoeing on Loch Morlich, or why not get the adrenaline going with some white water rafting or gorge walking? Scotland's beaches are out of this world! Imagine long golden stretches of sand, pristine blue waters, rockpools to explore and clifftop features to admire. Perfect for a seaside stroll, you can uncover endless nooks and crannies in Scotland's beaches and bays.

Yoga retreats

If you've discovered yoga recently or are an advanced yogi, consider swapping your studio or bedroom floor with a Scottish landscape. In South Scotland, yoga days and retreats are available from Roulotte Retreat, near Melrose, and Galloway Holistic Retreats in Auchencairn in Dumfries & Galloway.

In Perthshire, keep an eye out for regular yoga retreats at Pitlochry's Saorsa 1875, a hotel famed for its vegan menu and ethical philosophy. Why not awaken your senses with a Scottish riverside yoga retreat? At EcoYoga, you can perfect your poses in the peaceful, beautiful landscapes of Argyll. Explore more relaxing sessions or try out your first yoga class with Yoga Scotland.

Walking Routes

If there's one thing that Scotland can boast in all corners of the country, it's walking routes. There are hundreds you can uncover, but there are a special few that have a spiritual element to them. The Way of St Andrews has been revived as one of the greatest pilgrimages of the world. Choose from ten routes that cover central, south and the east coast of Scotland, all of which range from 6 - 279 km and vary in elevation and terrain so there will be something for everyone. New for summer 2019, the Fife Pilgrim Way is set to cover 64 miles of medieval landmarks, industrial landscapes, and picturesque villages, alongside stunning views and coastal gems, as it weaves its way to St Andrews.

In the Scottish Borders, why not head off along the Borders Abbeys Way? Joining up the magnificent abbeys of Kelso, Melrose, Jedburgh and Dryburgh, this 64.5-mile circular route is one for the explorers, taking in the magical landscapes of the south of Scotland that will leave you in awe. For something different, why not take a fluffy alpaca for a walk? Head to Kelso in the Scottish Borders where you can meet or trek with the friendly residents of Beirhope Alpacas amongst the stunning backdrop of the Cheviot Hills - a therapeutic afternoon with a cuddly companion.

Explore the magical and otherworldly spots across the country that will leave you in awe and itching to uncover more. From some of the most iconic locations in Scotland, and ancient standing stones from 5,000 years ago, to peaceful forests ideal for self-reflection and the opportunity to camp in an ancient church, there are plenty of spiritual things to see and see across Scotland.

Historic Attractions

The spirit of Scotland is a magical one. Head to the Isle of Skye for enchanting scenery and mesmerising mountains, alongside the iconic Kilt Rock sea cliff in north east Trotternish. This mystical attraction is a beauty to experience, and features the stunning Mealt Waterfall nearby which elegantly freefalls off the cliff for 60 m into the Sound of Raasay below. On the Isle of Lewis, the ancient Calanais Standing Stones are a real sight to see. These world-famous stones have marked the landscape for over 5,000 years and boast a true enigmatic and magical quality when you see them in person. There are many other spiritual and sacred attractions across Scotland that you can explore, including the Ring of Brodgar on Orkney, Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders, and Iona Abbey on the Isle of Iona, to name a few.

Forest bathing

Did you know, forest bathing reduces stress and promotes your wellbeing? Originating from Japan, it involves immersing yourself in the peaceful sights, sounds and sensations of the woods to relax and re-centre your mind and body. Cardrona in the Tweed Valley Forest Park, Faskallay in the Tay Forest Park and Glentrool in the Galloway Forest Park are great spots to enjoy forest bathing.

Unique escapes

Scotland has its fair share of unusual attractions, locations and historic spots that make for a fascinating adventure. Join in with experiential workshops, conferences and events with The Findhorn Foundation to learn about the inner voice of spirit, the intelligence of nature, and how we can connect more with ourselves and the people around us. The foundation has two centres, Cluny Hill and the Isle of Iona, which are both nestled amidst stunning landscapes, tranquil scenery and the perfect spots to reconnect with yourself.

Have you ever had a sleepover in a church? Why not try out Champing? This unique idea allows you to appreciate these ancient masterpieces, whilst helping to preserve them for the future as all proceeds go towards the upkeep and maintenance of the churches. Speaking of ancient buildings, the Isle of Iona is home to the well-known Iona Abbey which is the oldest and most sacred religious place in western Europe. Come along and marvel at this incredible spiritual location for yourself.

In Perthshire, one of the most popular events to grace the calendar is the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry. This magical event brings together stunning light installations, mesmerising music, and a truly unique atmosphere as you wander through Faskally Woods.

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