We have a beautiful ten bedroom House (Scottish Manse) set in mature gardens and woodland (with ponds and a burn) 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.
We are a married couple, very easy going and flexible, we love meeting new people and hearing about your travels and experiences / aspirations and are happy to provide advice and support wherever we can but equally happy to learn from you too. Unfortunately we are not at the house as often as we would like to be as due to family and work committments but our plan is to fully move up by late 2020.
Jane is very passionate about health and wellbeing especially alternative health care, nutrition and detoxification. She is also a qualified Naturopath, Pilates and Dance teacher she has run regular classes for over ten years. Jane is motivated to help people move away from a toxic lifestyle and creates our own non toxic products in the house wherever possible. She loves animals, the sea and is also Director & Founder of an award winning company.
Ben is a qualified yoga Instructor and dance fitness teacher. He has over 25 years experience of running workshops and wellbeing programmes both at an individual and community level. He is the co-founder of a non-profit organisation. Ben is a passionate outdoor enthusiast who enjoys foraging, mountain biking and outdoor living, he also enjoys juggling, circus skills, permaculture, reading and music.
We have two children aged 18 & 26 who are rarely around and also have three whippet dogs. At the moment we are in a transition period between two houses so sometimes we are all here together but as said before often away.
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. We are on all major bus routes and have 2 close airports - Inverness and Aberdeen and 2 train stations in Huntly and Keith.
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 resourceful, skilled and genuine people coming to stay with us and supporting us to fulfil this aspiration
We are looking for people interested in helping us out with the following roles:
Help around the House.
including changing bedding / cleaning rooms and bathrooms / washing and drying bedding and towels, and general cleaning and tidying and some basic painting and decorating.
Land and Gardening
Weeding / planting / mowing / trimming trees / hedges etc / use of strimmer and possible chainsaw depending on experience. Help with clearing the ponds and developing paths, herb garden and permaculture forest garden.
Looking after chickens and other animals.
General DIY (Do it Yourself)
Helping repair and restore windows and other aspects of the house, painting and decorating, general support for DIY projects.
We will require workaways to be house sitting most of the time - we are available always at anytime via facetime etc and ensure that we are up to the house at least once a month usually more - if this is something that you would NOT want to do please let us know as we can sometimes work around this.
Each position will include accommodation in a separate self contained Annex which has its own entrance, 3 hours a day work and you would provide your own meals, with 2 days off per week. We are flexible on start / end time if you want to fit your hours into less days and have more time off.
Please do get in touch if you have any questions thanks Jane and Ben
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
At the moment this workaway experience will suit people who are self sufficient and able to look after themselves - we need reliable, trustworthy people who can work on their own initiative and manage the house and land while we are away. We do have great neighbours and a good community however so you wont be isolated.
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. We have bikes available to borrow.
You will have the chance to take part in any health & wellbeing activities taking place at the house while we are there as well as learn about sustainable living, permaculture, 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 - just ask!
We are on the main number 10 Stagecoach bus route from Inverness to Aberdeen (we are 10 minutes from the bus stop) so its easy to get to our local towns of Keith or Huntly or further afield.
Help in the House - cleaning / cooking / laundry etc
Help in the Garden - pruning / clearing land / clearing the ponds / vegetable gardening / strimming / weeding / mowing / chopping and stacking wood / clearing the drive and loads more outdoor work!
Looking after the dogs (giving them loads of playing, love and attention) when they are at the house.
DIY - helping mainly Ben (but sometimes Jane) with painting, decorating, restoring windows, creating a new kitchen and much more.
House sitting - looking after the house, garden and guests while we are away (dogs will be with us).
English, basic french, very basic german.
Accommodation will be in the annex of the main house. Usually workaways will have their own room. We can accommodate groups of friends or couples no problem. The bedrooms will have beds, bedding, electricity, heating and access to full bathroom, with shower etc. You will also have access to shared living room space with TV and also to a communal kitchen. You will need to cook all meals for yourself - our agreement is that you will provide your own food and work 3 hours a day for 5 days a week. There is also a small car available if you are able to get your own insurance.
Beaches, mountains, forests are the main attractions. There is a beautiful castle in Huntly 5mins 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
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 3 hours a day, 5 days a week