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    Wilderness Retreat

    The Highlands

    22 reviews

    Travel Planning & Advice

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    Trip created by Rachael Gavan
    View Rachael's Profile

    Region: Cairngorms and Central Highlands
    Trip Type: Wilderness Retreat
    Accommodation: Classic
    Confirmed: When 4 Travellers Book


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    Download Itinerary

    The wilds of the Cairngorm National Park await you on this unique women’s only wilderness retreat. Based in a bright and airy Highland lodge that specialises in fresh, locally sourced seasonal food, you’ll get the chance to experience the magic of Scotland with like-minded women. Over the course of a week, you’ll enjoy exploring the varied landscape, learning and practising new wilderness skills, and challenging yourself in a friendly and supportive environment.

    With a maximum group size of 8, this inspiring guided trip combines breathtakingly scenic hikes with mini adventures and acquiring new skills. From wild swimming and restorative yoga to navigation and rewilding, you’ll get the chance to participate and share new experiences. Reconnect with nature and yourself against the backdrop of Scotland’s magical wild spaces alongside a fantastic group of women in the wild Cairngorms National Park.

    Trip Highlights

    • Hike in the beauty of the Cairngorms National Park
    • Try Wild Swimming in a sparkling mountain loch
    • Connect with like-minded women in a supportive environment
    • Learn new skills with your expert guide
    • Recharge and invigorate yourself on this active retreat

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Welcome To The Cairngorms

    Meeting in the Highland town of Aviemore, we arrive ready to discover beautiful landscapes and share experiences with like-minded women. Over lunch, we chat about plans for the week before setting off on a local hike with fabulous views of the Strathspey valley and the Cairngorms Mountain range – the perfect introduction to our week in the UK’s biggest national park. Arriving at our welcoming lodge accommodation we’ll settle in and relax before dinner. (L, D)

    Walk details: 8.5km/5.25miles, ascent 543m/1782ft, approx 4.5 hours

    Day 2 - Wild Swimming In A Mountain Loch

    Much has been said about the exhilarating and transformative nature of wild swimming. We start our morning off at one of our favourite local lochs to discover this for ourselves. Led by a qualified local expert, we test the silky, fresh waters at the highest beach in Britain. Whether you prefer to just dip the toes in or plan on a full swim, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the level of challenge that feels right for you. Post-swim hot drinks and homemade cake are a must in order to warm up from the inside out. After the exhilaration of this morning, we’ll enjoy a gentle hike through the native forest, hearing only bird songs, that your guide will identify and the breeze through the trees. The quiet atmosphere allows for a reflective afternoon before heading back to our lodge for a well-earned dinner. (B, L, D)

    Walk details: 6.5km/4miles, ascent 222m/728ft, approx 2.5 hours

    Day 3 - Yoga & Navigation

    The wilderness surroundings of our lodge are the perfect backdrop in which to relax. Stretch out the kinks and release any tension in the body and mind this morning on a relaxing and accessible yoga session led by a local instructor. After lunch, it’s time to spread out our maps and chat navigation with your guide. Whether you’re new to navigation or always carry a map and compass we’ll spend the afternoon learning new skills and putting them into practice. You’ll hone your technique as we adventure through the Cairngorms, feeling and following the contours and features of the map through our feet. (B, L, D)

    Walk details: 9km/5.5miles, ascent 110m/361ft, approx 3 hours

    Day 4 - Summiting Cairn Gorm

    Today we’ll head out on a full-day hike. The aim today is to summit Cairn Gorm Mountain. The 6th highest peak in the UK which has leant its name to the mountain range and national park. This hike will take us straight into a wild mountain environment. Passing under the impressive cliffs of the Northern Corries keep an eye out for wildlife including mountain hare, ptarmigan and the UK’s only heard of reindeer which often graze here. A steady but significant climb takes us up and on us to the Cairngorm plateau, an arctic landscape. We’ll enjoy incredible views to the surrounding mountain as well as sweeping panoramas of the Caledonian pine forest and the mountains of the west coast in the distance. From here, we can pick our route, using our new-found navigation skills to find the best viewpoint of the remote Loch Avon before a final steeper climb takes us onto the summit of Cairn Gorm Mountain. This will be the most challenging day of the week but an incredibly rewarding one. (B, L, D)

    Walk details: 11km/ 7 miles | 775m/ 2540 ft ascent | approx. 6-7 hours

    Day 5 - Rewilding the Highlands

    After a relaxed breakfast today we’ll enjoy a morning hike in Glen Feshie, this glen is often overlooked by hikers but it is one of the most beautiful. This area is also very special as it is the location of an innovative and ambitious rewilding initiative. Your guide will share some of the details of this flagship project that aims to restore the unique rich biodiversity in the Highlands. This is a long term project, spanning generations but you will see for yourself how the work has already transformed the local landscape, flora and fauna. This afternoon you can choose from some different options depending. You may want to join your guide on a short hike to a small summit, visit the open-air Highland Folk Museum with their reconstructed dwellings detailing what life was like for Highlanders dating back to the 1700’s. Alternatively, you may want to remain at the lodge to have a quiet afternoon to yourself to relax. (B, L, D)

    Walk details: 6.5km/ 4 miles | 200m/ 655 ft of ascent | approx. 2-2.5 hours

    Day 6 - Wild Swimming & Wild Trails

    Enjoying another outdoor swimming session this morning, we really put ourselves in the present moment, invigorated and calmed by the fresh wild water. Later this afternoon in the wild Cairngorms, we’ll enjoy a final hike to soak in the beauty of these untamed vistas and reflect on our week together. Over dinner tonight, we share our insights and take the time to appreciate and celebrate the adventure. (B, L, D)

    Walk details: 11km/6.75miles, ascent 775m/2543ft, approx 6.5 hours

    Day 7 - Depart for Home

    After a relaxed breakfast this morning we’ll pack up and leave our Highland lodge. Invigorated, connected and with new friends, you’ll depart the Cairngorms carrying memories of your adventure and the time you spent in this ancient, wild landscape. (B)

    Walk details: 5km/3miles, ascent 302m/991ft, approx 3 hours

    Wilderness Retreat
    The Highlands

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    Price from: £0
    Duration: 1 Days 0 Nights

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    This retreat enjoys accommodation in a private mountain lodge set in the beautiful surroundings of Glen Feshie. The area around the lodge has abundant wildlife to spot and the grass outside is grazed by Highland cattle. Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms with ensuite facilities.

    Single rooms

    There is no supplement charged to solo travellers, however, you may be required to share a room with another woman. On this trip, we have 7 rooms available and a mix of doubles and twins. There is no supplement for single rooms as we have exclusive use of the lodge. Solo occupancy rooms are allocated on a first come first served basis, please get in touch with our team to chat about availability.

    Meals Read More

    This trip is “All Inclusive” meaning all meals from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on the final day are provided.

    The lodge team will keep us well-fed with freshly prepared cooked breakfasts, lunches and evening meals using local produce. Special dietary requirements can be catered for.

    The lodge has an honesty fridge (cash only) which stocks local beers, gin, water, kombucha, diet coke, cheese, crackers, venison salami and chorizo, oat bars and crisps. There will also be an opportunity to stop at a local shop on the first day to purchase any other alcoholic drinks you would like during your stay.

    Trip Grading Read More

    Blue Graded 4-6

    Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. We walk at a good pace and you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will not always be on a path and the terrain underfoot can be rough and boggy, including boulder fields and mountain tops. Some of the daily walks will involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. Daily distances will be typically up to 16km but may be longer occasionally. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    Your Guide will meet you at the entrance of Aviemore Railway Station at 10.30am on Day 1 of your trip.

    You will be returned to Aviemore Railway Station at 10:30am on the final day of your trip.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Jane Gillies

    Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Scotland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

    Ask Jane a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Blue Graded Wilderness Retreats are suitable for active travellers who are reasonably fit and enjoy time in the outdoors regularly. During your trip, you can engage in various activities, including hiking, foraging, wild swimming, yoga and meditation. The walking will be at a good pace, and you can expect to be out for 4-8 hours a day. You will not always be on a path, and the terrain underfoot can be rough and boggy, including boulder fields and mountain tops. Some of the daily walks will involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. Daily distances will typically be between 5-15km but may be longer occasionally.

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.95 out of 5 based on 22 reviews of The Highlands


    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


    Briana Gruenewald

    Reviewed on 16/09/2023

    Age: 40 - 50
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 05/08/2023
    Trips Taken: 2

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    This trip exceeded my expectations. I had an incredible time. It's clear Wilderness Scotland takes a lot of care and thought when creating these trips. Our guide Emmy was a star, the lodge was lovely, meals were so tasty, and the hikes and wild swimming were so much fun! I cannot wait for my next Wilderness adventure.


    Johanna Hohenester

    Reviewed on 15/08/2023

    Age: 30 - 40
    Country: Germany
    Trip Date: 05/08/2023
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Can 100% recommend this Trip.


    Sonja Teeken

    Reviewed on 15/08/2023

    Age: 40 - 50
    Country: Germany
    Trip Date: 05/08/2023
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    I Had a wonderful time. Everything was very well organised, you didn't have to worry about anything. The accommodation, which we had all to ourselves as a group, was fantastic and the food was delicious. The hosts have created a beautiful place surrounded by nature. Emy as our tour guide organised the whole day from morning to bedtime. The days and evenings were varied and entertaining. She paid attention to each individual in the group and made all activities flexible. Emy rests within herself and conveys the enthusiasm she has for the environment, nature, landscape and walking. There were other people who shared their passion with us (e.g. wild swimming) - thank you to everyone involved. You were very inspiring!

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