Wilderness Weekend: Cairngorms Connect - Rewilding Retreat - Discover the story of the UK's largest landscape scale restoration project.


22-25 Oct 2021

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
3 nights
Fitness: Easy
Group Size: 8

Discover the story of the UK's largest landscape scale restoration project.

  • Immerse yourself in the wild landscapes of Cairngorms Connect.
  • Learn about the importance of large scale ecosystems.
  • Search for some of the iconic wildlife of the region.
  • Witness the comeback of the Caledonian Forest.
  • Relax in our mountain lodge and dine on delicious home-cooked food.
  • Receive a complimentary digital copy of our landmark book: SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey.


Day 1: After arrival and introductions we enjoy our first meal together before an after-dinner presentation setting the scene for our adventure.

Day 2-3: We’ll explore the rewilding reserve at Ballintean, our base for the weekend, and in spring, search for the local ospreys that nest alongside the river. Next door lies the acclaimed Glenfeshie Estate and we'll take a walk alongside the braided river to see first-hand, a landscape recovering after decades of over-grazing. This is an area that encapsulates what rewilding can achieve given the chance. We discover the importance of Insh Marshes, one of the country's foremost wetland habitats with a variety of breeding waders and lined by nationally important stands of aspen. 

During the retreat, we’ll visit some of the best remnants of the Caledonian Forest, where a new and exciting approach is seeing the forest expand, benefitting golden eagles, crested tits and Britain's largest grouse, the capercaillie. We'll get up close with red squirrels and spend an evening watching badgers and pine martens from a dedicated hide.

This Wilderness Weekend will provide a fantastic insight into one of the UK's most exciting nature-recovery projects, whilst immersing ourselves in spectacular scenery and searching for some of Scotland's iconic wildlife.

Day 4: We say our farewells after breakfast on Monday.


DATES: 22-25 Oct 2021 GUIDES: Jack Ward STATUS: Fully Booked JOIN RESERVE LIST



Enjoy all the highlights of this rewilding experience surrounded by your own group of family or friends, on a retreat that is exclusively yours. Simply complete the following form to begin your journey.




Price: £795
Deposit: £200
Single supplement: £0


  • 3 nights accommodation in an en-suite room
  • All meals
  • All excursions
  • Guiding
  • Presentations
  • Transfers to/from Kingussie


  • Travel to/from the retreat
  • Travel/cancellation insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks (wine is served with dinner)
  • Personal expenses


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.


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 and 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 a Wi-Fi connection 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 live-in chef. We offer home-cooked, wholesome food prepared with fresh, local ingredients. In the field, we take a picnic lunch and home-bakes. 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 a short walk but the terrain can be uneven and sometimes wet and/or slippery. You should generally be able to walk up to 5km, sometimes over uneven ground. 


Weather is very changeable in the Highlands and you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to wintry squalls. Temperatures are likely to range from 5c to 15c with the possibility of strong winds.


Midges aren’t usually an issue at this time of year but can be present on calm, mild days. We suggest you bring a suitable repellent.