As international wellness retreats remain limited, stay closer to home this Autumn as Gleneagles launches Wild Wellness – a mindful and restorative nature-based wellness programme, set in the wild surrounds of the hotel. Guided by the principle that exposure to nature has significant physical and mental health benefits, the two-day retreat invites guests to reconnect with the natural rhythm of the dramatic Scottish landscape, to nurture mind, body and soul.
Focusing on harnessing nature’s healing powers while combining learnings from both Shinto and western practices, the retreat has been designed to focus on organic mindfulness, with self-connection to nature as the guiding factor – setting it apart from the traditional guided mediation approach. Here, the Wild Wellness guide will master the skilful balance of providing information and insight, whilst encouraging moments of quiet and contemplation, to enable guests to forge an authentic connection with nature.
Day 1 – BREATHING IN THE WILDERNESS
Once settled at the hotel, the Wild Wellness journey will commence with an introduction to pranayama breathing, known for its power to soothe and revitalise a tired body, in a scenic spot on the Glorious Playground. Led by resident a yoga instructor, guests will learn the basics of primal breath control and its effect on energy, allowing for more opening and presence throughout the retreat. Guests will then be encouraged to adopt this practice throughout the duration of the programme, in different locations and at their own pace, facilitated rather than led by the guide.
An immersive Nature Walk on the estate will follow, incorporating the natural sounds and rhythms of the landscape, with guests given the chance to track and observe local wildlife along the way. For those looking to push their boundaries, the walk culminates with the ancient Japanese ritual of waterfall bathing. As well as purifying the soul, this bracing cold water immersion helps to increase white blood cell count, which in turn boosts the immune system, with benefits further enhanced when combined with the newly learnt breathing practices.
After indulging in a heart-warming supper in The Strathearn, guests will once again be whisked away into the wilderness aboard one of Gleneagles’ bespoke Defenders, for an evening of stargazing under the inky-blue Scottish skies - with al-fresco digestifs to reflect on the day’s adventure.
Day 2 – A MINDFUL MORNING IN THE MOUNTAINS
The world famous Gleneagles breakfast provides the ultimate fuel for the full day’s expedition that awaits - summiting the magnificent Ben Vorlich, which provides the most dramatic backdrop to Loch Earn. Guests will ascend from the beautiful shores of Loch Earn, whose surrounding areas are largely undeveloped and have an open and wild sense of place, to 3,000 ft above sea level. Regarded as the Gateway to the Highlands, guests will take in spectacular views, before stopping off for a scenic picnic lunch to admire the scenery. Back at the hotel, guests will retreat to the award-winning spa for a well-earned aromatherapy massage to help soothe tired limbs.
Day 3 – EMBRACING NATURAL PURSUITS
Drawing on a selection of the country pursuits for which the hotel is renowned, Gleneagles’ Wild Wellness programme will culminate with a morning of fishing, foraging & forest bathing. Set in the calming stillness of the forest and woodlands surrounding Gleneagles’ very own secret Loch, guests will take time to breathe, relax and enjoy an introduction to seasonal foraging - be that edible or medicinal – forging a deeper connection with nature and learning about the wild and wonderful flavours in Scotland’s natural larder.
Take a tranquil boat ride on the loch, before enjoying an introduction to the graceful and rhythmic art of fly fishing - a meditative activity that deepens the connection with nature. The retreat concludes with a Forest Bathing session in Torlum Wood, allowing guests to slow down and completely immerse themselves in the tranquil atmosphere . A self-guided audio mediation has been specially curated to offer guests an introduction to the popular Japanese therapy, allowing for a more intimate experience. Inspired by the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku which draws on the therapeutic powers of nature to reduce stress, the sensory practice imparts a profound sense of peace. Guests will depart Gleneagles focussed and restored, with a newfound sense of inner calm, and with newly learnt holistic practices to better equip them to handle the stresses of every day life.
The new programme is designed to build upon Gleneagles’ extensive wellness offering. The Gleneagles Spa offers a holistic wellness experience, with 20 treatment rooms, a steam room, a hot sauna cabin, a warm, dark vitality pool, a light-filled relaxation courtyard and a healthy Spa café.
Wild Wellness at Gleneagles will run on selected dates from October to March 2021.
Rates for the package start from £3,280 including VAT and breakfast in October, and from £3,100 from November to March, based on two people sharing a Manor Room for two nights.
Single occupancy rates start from £2,880 including VAT and breakfast in October, and from £2,700 from November to March, staying in a Manor Room for two nights.