Wilderness Weekend: Alladale Reserve - Rewilding Retreat - A luxurious stay in a Victorian lodge at one of Scotland’s most celebrated rewilding initiatives.

WILDERNESS WEEKEND: ALLADALE RESERVE

9-12 Jul 2021

Sutherland, Scotland
£1260
3 nights
Fitness: Very Easy
Group Size: 8

A luxurious stay in a Victorian lodge at one of Scotland’s most celebrated rewilding initiatives.

  • Relax and enjoy exclusive use of the sumptuous Alladale Lodge.
  • Explore the spectacular 23,000-acre reserve on a Land Rover safari.
  • Get up close with red deer and red squirrels.
  • Take to the sea on a high-speed rib to look for bottlenose dolphins.
  • Enjoy fresh, locally sourced, home-cooked food.
  • Learn about rewilding at Alladale from the reserve’s rangers.
  • Receive a complimentary digital copy of our landmark book: SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey.

OUR VIEW

“Ever since Alladale Wilderness Reserve began its rewilding journey almost 20 years ago, we’ve enjoyed a close working relationship with the team at SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. We are delighted therefore, to collaborate and offer a luxury wilderness weekend retreat in the wilds of Sutherland.

Set against rugged hills and Scotland’s most northerly ancient Caledonian pine forest, Alladale Lodge is the ultimate private getaway. This imposing Victorian manor house is comfortable and spacious. In addition to its beautiful bedrooms and lounges, the property boasts an in-house sauna, gym and snooker room.

Each day Alladale’s talented chef will serve freshly prepared meals while we sit back, relax and indulge in the solitude of our own 23,000-acre wilderness reserve. Most of the menu's ingredients are home grown: from the venison and trout, to the vegetables and herbs grown in our own aquaponics gardens.

But our team up here likes to think that the real beauty of Alladale is to be found outside, in nature. Our various rewilding projects are proof of what people can achieve when they put their heads together and focus on the same goal: restoring our part of the Highlands to its former, natural glory. You will have the opportunity to hear stories and experiences from members of our team, some of which have been here since the beginning. Because rewilding at Alladale is about reconnecting people to nature, not excluding them from our lands.

Pieter-Paul Groenhuijsen, General Manager, Alladale Wilderness Reserve

Find out more about Alladale Wilderness Reserve from its Custodian, Paul Lister >

ITINERARY

Day 1: We will meet at the lodge in the late afternoon to enjoy tea and cake before a brief presentation about the history and objectives of Alladale and its associated charity, The European Nature Trust. Then we will enjoy our first evening meal together.

Day 2: After a short pre-breakfast walk from the lodge, we will journey by Land Rovers along spectacular Glen Mor. Looking out for eagles and deer, our guides will also tell us about the history of Alladale and the plans for its long-term restoration.

We will see the abundance of forest regeneration and after a tasty and wholesome lunch, we will look for more local wildlife that call the reserve home. We will also have a privileged glimpse of Alladale’s Scottish wildcats, part of a nationwide captive breeding recovery programme.

Before dinner, James Shooter our guide, will make a short presentation on rewilding across Scotland and the work of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.

Day 3: Again, we will rise early working-up an appetite for breakfast with an (optional) walk around the reserve.

Following breakfast, we will head to the coast making stops along the way to explore some of Scotland’s most northerly pine and oakwoods. After a picnic lunch on the shores of Loch Fleet where we will hopefully watch common seals with their newborn pups and keep eyes on the skies for fishing ospreys, we head to the Moray Firth. Here we board a privately chartered high-speed RIB and head out in search of the world’s most northerly pod of resident bottlenose dolphins where they gather to hunt salmon.

We return to the lodge for afternoon tea and cake.

Day 4: We share a final breakfast together before farewells and departure.

DATES

DATESGUIDESTATUS
DATES: 9-12 Jul 2021 GUIDES: James Shooter STATUS: Fully Booked JOIN RESERVE LIST

MAKE IT EXCLUSIVE?

MAKE IT EXCLUSIVE

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.


SUBMITTING

DETAILS

PRICE

Price: £1260
Deposit: £300
Single supplement: £0

PRICE INCLUDES

  • 3 nights accommodation in an en-suite room
  • All meals
  • All excursions
  • Guiding
  • Presentations
  • Transfers to/from Inverness airport/train station

PRICE EXCLUDES

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

TRAVEL

Your room at Alladale will be available from 4pm on arrival day. Following tea and cake, and once you’re all settled in, we’ll enjoy a brief presentation from the Alladale team at 7.00pm and then sit down for our first evening meal together. 

By train: Train travel is generally reliable and we can offer a free pick up at Ardgay Station at 4pm on arrival day and drop off at 10.00am on departure day.

By car: Cars can be safely parked. Postcode is IV24 3BS.

By air: The nearest airport is Inverness (45 miles) and we can offer a free pick up at 2.30pm on arrival day and drop off at 11am on departure day.

MEALS 

Breakfast and evening meals will be taken within our accommodation and prepared by our resident 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 you get what you want.

Wine is served with dinner and additional alcoholic drinks can be purchased directly from the lodge.

FITNESS 

All sites are accessible via a short walk but the terrain can be uneven and sometimes wet. You should generally be able to walk up to 3km, sometimes over uneven ground. 

WEATHER 

Weather can be changeable and you should expect anything from warm, calm conditions to wind and rain. Temperatures are likely to range from 10c to 20c with the possibility of strong winds, especially at the coast.

INSECTS

On warm calm days midges can be present at this time of year. We suggest you bring a suitable repellent.

GUIDES

James Shooter

JAMES SHOOTER

James is one of the directors at SCOTLAND: The Big Picture and is the Head of Rewilding Escapes. He is an award-winning nature photographer, filmmaker and guide with a passion for rewilding. He enjoys taking small groups of people to search for amazing wildlife in spectacular scenery, whilst exploring the potential for wilder landscapes. James is an advocate for ecotourism as one of the benefits of rewilding and has been guiding nature lovers and photographers across the Scottish Highlands for several years.

Join James on the following retreats:
9-12 Jul 2021

Alladale Lodge

Set against rugged hills and the country’s most northerly ancient Caledonian pine forest, Alladale Lodge is the ultimate luxury getaway. This beautiful Victorian manor, refurbished by Laura Ashley in traditional Scottish fashion, is comfortable and spacious.

Alladale Lodge is set amongst 23,000 acres of wilderness reserve and is one of Scotland’s most celebrated rewilding initiatives. Almost a million trees have been planted since Paul Lister, Alladale’s custodian, acquired the estate and the team works extremely hard in restoring this unique part of the Highlands to its former glory.

Our accommodation in Alladale Lodge is in high-quality en-suite rooms, all individually decorated and traditionally furnished. We will have exclusive use of the lodge and its facilities for the duration of our stay.

The Lodge has a Wi-Fi connection although due to its remoteness, signals can be patchy. 

Use of Alladale’s gym, sauna and snooker room are included.

Facilities:

  • Sumptuous double guest rooms with en-suite shower/bathrooms
  • Talented chef creating amazing meals from local produce
  • Natura Siberica organic toiletries made with Alladale’s very own thistles
  • Fully equipped gym and sauna
  • Billiard room
  • Boardroom with latest AV equipment
  • Set amongst 23,000 acres of wilderness reserve
  • Free satellite WiFi 

Location:

THE BIG PICTURE

  • By booking a retreat you’ll be directly supporting local jobs and services in the Scottish Highlands, demonstrating that wild nature has a tangible economic value. 
  • All of our food and services are sourced from local suppliers wherever possible, and we constantly review ways in which we can make our retreats more sustainable. 
  • We invest all profits from Rewilding Escapes directly into our work, so by joining our retreats, you are contributing to rewilding projects in Scotland.