Get experience setting up a wellness retreat, and in the beautiful gardens in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Hi Workawayers!

    We have very recently bought a beautiful ten bedroom former Church of Scotland Manse set in mature gardens of approximately 8 acres with views to open countryside in the peaceful hamlet of Cairnie by Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Our aim is offer healthy lifestyle retreats for people who care about themselves and the wider world.
    My wife Jane is passionate about health and wellbeing especially alternative health care, nutrition and detoxification.
    A qualified Naturopath, Pilates, Zumba and Fitsteps teacher she has run regular classes for over ten years. Jane loves gardening, dancing as well as creating her own natural, non toxic health care products. She is also Director & Founder of an award winning company called World Jungle .

    My name is Ben and I am a qualified yoga Instructor and dance fitness teacher. I have over 25 years experience of running workshops and wellbeing programmes both at an individual and community level. I am co-founder of a non-profit organisation Word Jungle which has raised over £650,000 for community projects. A qualified Inner Action Coach for Rising Women Rising World as well as a passionate outdoor enthusiast who enjoys foraging, mountain biking and outdoor living. I am a qualified English As a Second Language teacher and I also enjoy juggling, circus skills, reading and music.
    Our mission is to support people to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills to lead a life which is good for themselves, the people around them and the wider planet.
    We would really benefit from lovely people coming to stay with us and supporting us to fulfill this aspiration, we need help with managing the walled garden and grounds, decorating and some basic house maintenance jobs. We also have some more specialist jobs that it would be really good to have help with. This includes, joinery projects such as renovating old windows, stone masonry projects, rendering and general building jobs. A plumber would also be amazing! But please dont let these specialist jobs deter you from writing to us.
    We are both easy going with two children aged 16 & 24 who are rarely around and also have two whippet dogs and two puppies. At the moment we are in a transition period between two houses so sometimes we are all here together and sometimes only one of us here.
    The surrounding area is beautiful looking out over a large pine forest, we are 20 minutes from beautiful beaches and close to the Cairngorm National Park with 3 of the 4 biggest mountains in Scotland.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house

  • Help


    The building requires some DIY and lots of decorating. We need help with painting and decorating and also looking after the grounds. We would love to develop the walled garden, establish an organic vegetable garden and polytunnel and build a bridge over the stream. We would also love to create some low impact buildings in the grounds .
    Most of the land of 8 acres is young woodland and we would like to develop paths through the land, seating areas as well as improve access to the ponds. There are some trees that need to be cut back so anyone with chainsaw/tree surgeon skills would be particularly welcome.
    We are intersted in permaculture design and are looking to integrate this style of design into the site.
    We also are starting up the health & wellbeing retreat from scratch and anyone with business start up skills , marketing skills, experience of running retreats would also be really helpful.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We hope people visiting the House will make new friends and learn about the local culture. They will have a chance to improve their English as well as enjoy staying in a beautiful part of the world and getting time to visit the Scottish Highlands and North East Coast. There is good public transport and you can get around easily using a combination of local buses and trains which are within easy walking distance. You will have the chance to take part in any health & wellbeing activities taking place at the house as well as learn about sustainable living, organic gardening and living toxic free. We are also happy to share our other interests as mentioned above including mountain biking, dance, circus skills, music, foraging and art.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, basic french, very basic german, would love to learn spanish

  • Accommodation


    Accommodation will be in the main house, there is a separate annex to the main house which may also be used. The bedrooms will have beds, sheets, electricity, heating and access to toilets. You will access to shared living room space and also to a communal kitchen. It is expected that we would eat a larger meal together in the evening. If we are not around for a short period then an allowance will be made available for food.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Beaches, mountains, forests are the main attractions. There is a beautiful castle in Huntly 10mins drive away . We are close to the famous Spey river along which there are many whisky distilleries which you can visit.

    Local attractions can be found visiting Tripadvisor

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

My Photo Album

View from the house out to Bin Forest with a majestic giant Sycamore tree
Our first three workaways enjoying meal time together who have been brilliant
Heike & Marleen just finished painting one of the bedrooms, they were very happy as they were allowed to keep the colour a bit green and not just white :)
This is Jane & Otis on top of one of the mountains in the nearby Cairngorm National Park
This is the house and front garden
This is me, Ben

Host ref number: 631816614573