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18 Life-Changing Ways To Chill The Fuck Out In Scotland

Fancy staying in a secluded treehouse, trying paddle board yoga, or relaxing in a bubbling spa beside a loch? Come to Scotland.

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Nope, this amazing retreat isn’t hidden deep within a tropical rainforest – it’s actually in Argyll and Bute. You can choose to stay in a yurt in the grounds, and all guests get access to a hot tub under a glass dome, “wild river bathing”, yoga classes, and outdoor baths.


The most stressful decision you’ll have to make if you stay in this modern eco-hideout in Sutherland is whether to take a hot bath inside, or outside. Both have the same epic view of the serene waters of Loch Eriboll, so you won't miss out.


These serene, crystal-clear turquoise pools on the Isle of Skye are linked by a series of cascading waterfalls. The water is damn cold, so unless you're pretty hardcore you might want to wear a wetsuit. Once you're used to the lingering numbness in your extremities, you'll feel like you haven't got a care in the world.

This purpose-built wilderness bothy miles away from anywhere is intended for use as an artist’s studio, but it’s available to non-artists too, or anyone who just wants a secluded, utterly beautiful getaway. It also has an outdoor shower to help you feel even more connected to nature.


This truly awesome eco-retreat is situated in a bluebell-filled wood on a 190-acre working farm. It has a built-in double bed, a sofa, a gas stove, teeny-tiny little windows, and a bath with a huge skylight above it so you can see the stars (and the resident red squirrels). Amazing.

If you've always wanted to unlock the hidden secrets of the galaxy, look no further than this inspiring and beautiful land art project in Dumfries and Galloway. It was designed by renowned artist Charles Jencks and cleverly represents various scientific discoveries and theories about the universe.


Findhorn is a spiritual community and eco-village in the coastal north of Scotland. Activities are coordinated by the nonprofit Findhorn Foundation, who run immersive, knowledgeable classes like their upcoming seven-day introduction to meditation workshop. Plus the course takes place in an adorable hobbit house for added charm.

Alternatively, if you prefer your turf-roofed hobbit homes to have a view, check out this unique clifftop eco-cottage in the Highlands. It's perched on the side of a gorge overlooking a waterfall, and has panoramic views of the sea and heather moors that surround it too, as well as a bloody fantastic oval-shaped bath. Sign me up.


The small but perfectly formed Hebridean island is one of only a handful of official dark sky islands in the world. There are no street lights on Coll and the island community council has no plans to install any, meaning that the night sky is shimmeringly clear.

This dreamy luxury cabin on Lewis isn't far from the mysterious and beautiful Callanish Standing Stones, and if you're lucky you might see the northern lights flickering outside as well. The lodge has huge floor-to-ceiling glass windows, as well as a private spa room.


Dolphins are a familiar sight in the Minch, a strait that separates the northwest Highlands from the Inner Hebrides, and the UK's only resident pod of orcas occasionally pay a visit too. Torridon Sea Tours offers wonderful evening whale watching trips in summer.

If dolphins aren't fictional enough for you, why not arrange a soothing unicorn quest instead? Scottish arts organisation Wide Open runs an immersive experience where you wander around ancient sites with Charlie the "unicorn", exploring humans' connection to the landscape around us, and to nature as a whole. Aww.


Samye Ling (or Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre for World Peace and Health, to give it its full name) was the first Buddhist monastery ever built in the Western world. They have glorious zen gardens, and you can also stay in the monastery itself for just £28 a night, which includes a slap-up veggie breakfast. Bargain.


This unique luxury retreat beside Loch Linnhe is hidden in a secluded glen, and was made by stretching a waterproof membrane over a network of supports. It’s a fancy, carbon-neutral tent, in other words, and features a cedarwood hot tub, an amazing view, and extremely fancy leather recliners.

This windswept and gorgeous island is home to a community of Tibetan Buddhists founded by a Kagyu meditation master, and the community welcomes guests and day visitors from April to October. You can try your hand at some meditative practices, or just pet the resident herd of ponies.


Scotland doesn't have any naturally occurring hot springs, so the founders of this modern, bright spa beside Loch Fyne created their own. There are two large hot tubs and a big heated pool that juts right out into the loch. It's basically like wild swimming, but without the risk of mild frostbite. Plus you can drink champagne while you enjoy the view: Bonus.

H/T Louise Purves at Visit Scotland, and also Cool Stays.