Explore Scotland's most recent rewilding initiative in its autumn splendour.
- Immerse yourself in the wild autumnal forest of Glens Affric & Cannich
- Witness the spectacular comeback of the Caledonian Pine Forest
- Picnic by cascading rivers and mirror-calm lochs
- Meet those at the cutting edge of rewilding at a landscape scale
- Look out for eagles, deer and even wild boar!
- Relax in a family-owned village hotel and dine on delicious home-cooked food.
- Receive a complimentary digital copy of our landmark book: SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey.
“The twisted pines and golden birches that flank Glen Affric, fire the imagination and conjure an evocative image of what much more of the Scottish Highlands could look like.”
Dan Puplett, 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 2-4: We like to retain some flexibility around the exact itinerary to take account of weather and local wildlife opportunities. Here is a taste of what you can expect.
We visit one of Scotland’s most spectacular glens, home to a wild forest that would once have stretched across much of Scotland. Glen Affric has been on a rewilding journey for longer than almost any other Scottish landscape. Pioneering work to protect and restore the Caledonian Pine Forest, took hold here three decades ago and today, the result is an emerging mosaic of woodland, peatland, loch and river – the foundation for East West Wild.
“The potential for East West Wild to make a major contribution to both nature recovery and revitalised communities, is hugely exciting.”
This ambitious coalition of landowners and communities covers Glens Cannich, Affric, Moriston and Shiel and is founded upon a vision to restore a wild landscape alongside vibrant communities. The pinewoods of East West Wild are home to specialists like crested tit and Scottish crossbill, while golden eagles breed on the crags above the glens. We spend time walking in the heartland of East West Wild and while enjoying the rich autumn forest, cascading waterfalls and the distant roar of rutting red deer, we meet with local experts who are driving this pioneering project forward.
Bunloit Estate covers 1,000 acres perched high above Loch Ness and was recently converted to rewilding. Part of East West Wild from its inception, we meet Bunloit’s rangers to learn about their exciting plans and to see evidence of returning wildlife, such as wild boar.
After a short drive, we take lunch beside a tumultuous river where if conditions are right, leaping salmon will be undertaking their epic upstream journey in one of nature’s most demanding migrations. We walk among the meandering channels of the River Enrick, which flows into Loch Ness at Urquhart Bay. This area is one of the best examples of ancient wet woodland in Europe and is reminiscent of the great salmon rivers of North America.
We visit the Forest of the Future! Local charity Trees for Life, owns the 10,000-acre Dundreggan Estate and has been working to rewild this part of Scotland for over 25 years. A key part of their work is growing young trees that will form part of the expanding forest across the East West Wild area. We talk to the nursery team before enjoying a leisurely walk through the ancient birch woodland at Dundreggan.
Against the backdrop of spectacular autumnal scenery, this Wild Weekend will provide a fascinating introduction into one of the UK's most exciting nature recovery projects.
Day 5: We say our farewells after breakfast on Tuesday morning.
|DATES: 21-25 Oct 2022||GUIDES: Dan Puplett||STATUS: Open||BOOK NOW|
Single supplement: £0
- 4 nights accommodation in an en-suite room
- All meals
- All excursions
- Personal guiding
- Transfers to/from Inverness
- Travel to/from the retreat
- Travel/cancellation insurance
- Alcoholic drinks (wine is served with dinner)
- Personal expenses
By car: Cars can be safely parked at the hotel. The postcode is IV63 6UH
By train/bus: public transport is generally reliable and we can offer free transfers to/from Inverness (15 miles). We will collect at 4pm on arrival day and drop off at 9.30am on departure day
By air: The nearest airport is Inverness (20 miles) and we can offer transfers each way. We collect at 3.30pm on arrival day and drop off at 10am on departure day.
Situated just a short walk from the shores of Loch Ness, the family-owned, 300-year old Benleva Hotel is perfectly postioned for our explorations of the area. This former church manse has eleven newly refurbished en-suite bedrooms fitted with freeview TVs and free WiFi.
The hotel also has a bustling bar serving a wide range of hand-crafted beers from its own brewery in the garden!
Your room at the Benleva Hotel will be available from 4pm on arrival day. Our first evening meal is normally taken at 7pm.
Breakfast and evening meals will be taken within our accommodation. The hotel prides itself on sourcing the finest meats and seafood the Highlands has to offer. The local chef produces simple classic dishes using the best home-grown and locally sourced produce available. In the field, we take a picnic lunch and we almost always find time to squeeze in a coffee and cake stop!
We can almost always accommodate specific dietary requirements - just tell us on the booking form 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.
Weather is very changeable in the Highlands at this time of year and you should expect anything from mild, calm conditions to wintry squalls. Temperatures are likely to range from 0c to 10c. If you’re unsure what to pack, we’ll be pleased to advise.
Not a problem at this time of year.