A rewilding journey in the spectacular Scottish Highlands.
- Learn about exciting nature recovery initiatives from those at the cutting edge.
- Explore Highland glens, rivers and lochs for golden eagles, red deer and mountain hares.
- Discover the Caledonian Forest, home to red squirrels and pine martens.
- Visit secluded wetlands to watch industrious beavers.
- Relax in our mountain lodge and dine on delicious, locally-sourced food.
- Receive a complimentary digital copy of our landmark book: SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey.
Single supplement: £0
- 6 nights accommodation in an en-suite room
- All meals
- All excursions
- Personal guiding
- Transfers to/from Kingussie
- Travel to/from the retreat
- Travel/cancellation insurance
- Alcoholic drinks (wine is served with dinner)
- Personal expenses
"It’s an exciting time for rewilding in Scotland, with many inspiring initiatives taking place across the Highlands, home to some of the UK’s most dramatic landscapes and best-loved wildlife.”
James Shooter, Guide
Day 1: After arrival and introductions, we enjoy our first meal together before an after-dinner presentation setting the scene for our adventure.
Day 2-6: We begin our retreat by exploring our surroundings with a walk through our 120-acre rewilding reserve and an early morning osprey watch. We look for golden eagles, red deer and mountain hares in a remote Highland glen and discover the regenerating landscape of the acclaimed Glenfeshie Estate.
We head north to explore spectacular Glen Affric and if conditions permit, we may go in search of the world's most northerly bottlenose dolphins. Closer to home, we explore the Caledonian Forest and watch red squirrels scampering, along with pine martens foraging from a local hide. An evening vigil will, with luck, give us a glimpse of the recently reintroduced beaver, a wetland engineer and a real symbol of our changing attitudes towards species that were once persecuted.
“After many years of decline, the last remnants of the Caledonian Forest are beginning to recover. The gnarled granny pines, some centuries-old, are now surrounded by new life as saplings begin to erupt from the undergrowth and spread.”
We'll visit the various landscapes of Cairngorms Connect, the UK's largest nature restoration project and throughout the retreat we've arranged to meet with several rewilding experts working to effect positive change. They will provide a fascinating perspective on their work, stimulating new thinking about the future for Scotland’s wildlife and wild places.
“Throughout the retreat we’ll hear first-hand stories from some of the experts on the ground, helping nature to recover.”
This retreat provides a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the raw beauty and drama of the Scottish Highlands, look for special wildlife and learn about a broad spectrum of rewilding initiatives along the way.
Day 7: We say our farewells after breakfast on Friday morning.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
By train/bus: Public transport is generally reliable and we can offer free transfers to/from Kingussie (7 miles).
By car: Cars can be safely parked. Directions will be sent as Satnav is not always reliable. Our postcode is PH21 1NX.
By air: Our nearest airport is Inverness (45 miles) and we can offer free transfers. We collect at 4pm on arrival day and drop off mid-morning on departure day.
Ballintean Mountain Lodge is your home from home for our Cairngorms based retreats. This beautifully converted steading is based in Glenfeshie at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The wild landscapes surrounding Ballintean contain some of Scotland’s most treasured habitats as vast ancient forests, hidden lochs and snow-capped mountains provide a breath-taking backdrop for an inspiring retreat. Here you can explore the lodge’s extensive grounds where ospreys nest, red squirrels forage and our very own highland cows wander the meadows along the River Feshie.
Ballintean Mountain Lodge is comfortable and full of character. Specially designed for house parties, there is a choice of single, double or twin rooms, all with private facilities. Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home!
The Lodge has reliable Wi-Fi although, due to its remoteness, phone signals can be patchy.
Your room at Ballintean Mountain Lodge will be available from 4pm on arrival day. Our first evening meal is normally taken at 7.30pm.
Breakfast and evening meals will be taken within our accommodation and prepared by our own catering team. We offer home-cooked, wholesome food prepared with fresh, local ingredients. In the field, we take a picnic lunch and home-bakes. We might also squeeze in coffee and cake stops along the way! We can almost always accommodate specific dietary requirements - just tell us when booking and we’ll make sure to satisfy your needs.
Most sites are accessible via established paths and tracks but the terrain can be uneven and sometimes wet and/or slippery. You should generally be able to walk at a leisurely pace for up to 5km. Waiting for wildlife such as pine martens or beavers, to show can sometimes involve staying quiet and still for extended periods.
Weather is very changeable in the Highlands and you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to wintry squalls even in the summer. Temperatures are likely to range from 10c to 22c with the possibility of strong winds. If you’re unsure what to pack, we’ll be pleased to advise.
Midges aren’t usually an issue but can be irritating on calm, mild days in mid-late summer, so we suggest you bring a suitable repellent. For anyone who has experienced midges on Scotland’s west coast, they don’t come anywhere close in the Cairngorms!