At the start of every year we all make promises to ourselves. Promises that benefit other people: be kinder, be more forgiving. Those that mainly benefit ourselves: eat more healthily, get fitter. But now more people are discovering the benefits of looking after themselves, and those closest to them, from deeper within. ‘Find happiness’ as a stand-alone promise to ourselves is fast becoming one of the most sought after New Year’s resolutions. What if a resolution to stay in your own Scottish castle could start your journey to complete well-being?
The idea of mindfulness stems from Buddhist traditions but only over recent years has it come into mainstream practises. Ultimately, it’s the notion of being aware of ourselves and the world around us to improve our mental well-being. Scotland is renowned for its well-being retreats helping people fulfil their dreams in a beautiful, natural and peaceful environment. We believe 2019 is the year to start holidaying with more meaning. Find a place to stay where you can truly express yourself, really relax and thoroughly enjoy being in the moment.
Aldourie Castle Estate can be your wellness retreat for a week or even a month. It’s up to you to decide how best to stay in your own Scottish castle – on your own, with a partner, as a family or with friends. Here are Aldourie’s top five ways in which we can offer you a unique well-being retreat during your stay at the only live-in Castle on Loch Ness. If you like to spend your time wisely, reading on will be time well spent on your soul.
Captivating views of natural landscapes let you escape inner thoughts
From any of the 50 plus rooms within the enchanting Aldourie Castle, guests can enjoy an abundance of natural beauty. Large sash windows peer out over parkland, woodland, Loch Ness and in the very near distance a mountainous Highland backdrop. Any given view from the Castle will evoke a sense of freedom, peace and an appreciation of nature.
Time spent looking out of windows cocooned within a safe, comfortable space is a perfect place from which to meditate and connect to the wider world. Regular acceptance that we are part of something larger and more powerful than ourselves is considered a healthy, mindful activity. Too much time to think can be harmful to our wellbeing so periods of time spent focussing on a beautiful natural scene can only encourage happiness to grow.
Stay in your own Scottish castle away from external stressors
During a stay in your own Scottish castle such as Aldourie, you automatically find yourself in harmonious environment. It was never a Castle in the sense of the word, i.e. no battles ever took place here. Aldourie originated as a mansion house and only turned into a ‘Castle’ when its additional wings and turrets were added. Its main use has always been as a family home designed for entertaining. This is a great basis from which your well-being holiday can take flight.
Aldourie Castle is set in 500 acres on private land. Many of us do not realise the importance of silence, for time to collect our thoughts and just ‘be in the moment’. We don’t always get the chance on a holiday to appreciate complete silence but on a retreat it is somehow guaranteed and, more often than not, expected. Not only is Aldourie Estate away from public noise such as traffic, tourists and the hubbub of everyday life but there is the opportunity to delve deep into nature and experience the true beauty and calm of the land.
Wildlife and man’s best friend soothe your soul
Aldourie Castle has its own dog who goes by the name of Lizzie. We nicknamed her Loch Ness Lizzie because she loves spending a lot of her time frolicking in the refreshing waters of Loch Ness, only a few bounds away from the Castle’s back door. Most of our guests like to meet Lizzie and take her out on the Estate at some point during their stay – if not daily (she can make quite an impression on dog lovers). You only have to type in the words online and research confirms theories that dogs induce human health. Stay in your own Scottish castle and spend half an hour a day petting, playing and walking with Loch Ness Lizzie and before you know it you’ve reduced your stress levels and begun a regular exercise routine.
Our Castle canine is only one of the creatures you’ll find on the Aldourie Estate, however. An array of wildlife lives and breathes within these scenic grounds which also incorporate an arboretum and walled garden. Discover a freeing sensation as you follow the line of flight of a bird of prey soaring high above. Sightings of more unusual animals such as cuckoos will lift your mood making you focus on the beauty and rarity you’re experiencing. Gentle, beautiful creatures such as roe deer automatically calm you and bring instant joy, their peaceful nature extending to the watcher.
The fact there exists so many species in one location makes you want to witness and feel their presence. This alone brings you into the moment more readily as you quietly seek them out in their private habitats.
Wild water proximity for more happiness
It’s official: being exposed to water on a regular basis looks after your mind and soul in numerous ways. The fresh air it releases improves mood and stress – hence why we crave fresh air when things get ‘too much’. Being exposed to water strengthens your immune system attributing to your mental health. It also puts your mind in a meditative state encouraging relaxation, rest and better sleep. And we all know how happy a good night’s sleep makes us feel! Looking at the steady movement of water, and listening to its gentle gush, floods the brain with feel good hormones.
Stay in your own Scottish castle only metres from Loch Ness and you can walk its calming shoreline daily, hire out a kayak for an adventurous afternoon or experience an exhilarating wild swim.