By Gabbi Armstrong
Communications Project Manager for the North Coast 500
Published: 11th May 2018

The healing powers of nature

It seems these days that a lot of us are rushed forward by our busy lives. Our phones keep us online and connected to a never-ending stream of updates and emails and work is never far away, even while taking a break or on holiday.

Why not escape from it all and enjoy the ultimate Highland retreat? Set aside three nights or more during your NC500 trip to indulge in the stillness and tranquillity at the pitch perfect hideaway that is Alladale Wilderness Reserve. We caught up with Pieter-Paul from Alladale Wilderness Reserve

The effects such a rushed lifestyle can have are widely publicised. At Alladale Wilderness Reserve, we hope we can offer our guests a change of pace, an alternative connection, and a deep breath of much needed fresh air out in our wild part of the Scottish Highlands.

Photo: Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Steph Wall Yoga


There hardly is a better way to recharge oneself than to practice yoga amidst the stunning, rugged mountainous landscape of Alladale. Focusing on self and living in the moment, while connecting with others and nature, has an immediate effect on one’s wellbeing. Yoga is so much more than stretching and breathing, and the purpose of our yoga retreat in October is to create an experience of connection.

Wim Hof

Another way to experience how nature can dramatically affect one’s health, is through cold exposure. Gaining followers all over the world, the infamous Wim Hof, better known as The Iceman, challenges us to recondition ourselves and let our bodies do what it does best: take care of itself. Through cold treatments, breathing techniques, and a lot of commitment the Wim Hof Method has scientifically proven health benefits and can lead to dramatic reduction of use of medicine, stress levels, and a sense of disconnect. At Alladale, instructor Allan Brownlie offers unique week-long cold retreats based on this method, which you will not find anywhere else in the UK. Deep out in the reserve, at one of the most remote buildings in the Highlands, you will be guided through the process of cold immersion and finding your inner fire. Don’t expect WIFI, cell phone coverage, television, or noise pollution here. Here you’ll find quiet, wilderness, dramatic landscapes, clean air and water and potentially a life changing experience set amidst stunning scenery.

Photo: Alldale Wilderness Reserve, Wim Hof Retreat


This scenery also lends itself to master a totally different skill: landscape photography. After touring around Scotland for four years, photographer Dougie Cunningham published his hauntingly beautiful and very successful book Photographing Scotland in December 2017. At Alladale, he will take you out in the reserve and some neighbouring estates in October, to enjoy some of Sutherlands most scenic landscapes while capturing them on your camera. This retreat will involve some stunning hikes and drives, as you explore parts of the Highlands.

Photo: Dougie Cunningham Leading Lines, Photography Retreat

Forage for food

Exploring is something that is a definitive part of the Food, Forage, Foto retreat hosted by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott in September. These world travellers will take you out on the reserve and its surrounding villages and towns, to forage and collect local ingredients needed for your evening meals. These field to fork experiences yet again prove how much we can reconnect with nature if we know where to look.

Photo: Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Caldicott Food Forage Foto Retreat

Alladale offers three types of accommodation on site, varying from an all-inclusive luxury stay at our Victorian lodge with a private chef, to modern and comfortable self/catered cottages, and a unique back to basic experience, deep in the reserve. Embark on a broad range of onsite activities, such as guided hikes, ranger guided tours, mountain biking, fly fishing, foraging, clay pigeon shooting, wild swimming, massages, beauty treatments and whisky tastings.

(Please note there is no camper van/motor home access)

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