This is it – WanderWomen’s Overnight Retreats are here!

When I was first dreaming about taking groups of women out into the wild, onto the paths, that I have walked many times on my own, with my family and friends, to camping spots I stayed at by myself and with friends, this is what I had in mind: delving into nature, connecting with the self, and seeing a full cycle in a day, experiencing the warm, comforting, familiar light of day, as well as the dark, the cold and unfamiliar, seeking comfort in the uncomfortable, embracing fears, pushing boundaries of familiarity, and growing the self.

So far, the WanderWomen journey has been an adventure for sure, meeting so many brave women since the first trip back in November 2018. Since that very firs trip, watching a beautiful sunrise from the top of Arthur’s seat, an extinct vulcano in the midst of our beautiful city of Edinburgh, some winter trips had to be cancelled for the wild weather, some went ahead in crazy gusts of wind: women pushing their boundaries, expanding their comfort zones, sharing silence and laughter, food and neoprene socks, conquering hills, caves, slippery rocks as well as the wild and cold waves of the North Sea.

Now that the weather is warming up, spring is coming, our surrounds coming back into life, it’s time to make plans for the summer months! Time to refocus on my initial plan to give you a tent, and head out to find a wild spot for a night!

However, lucky as we are in Scotland with the wild camping laws in Scotland being pretty unique compared with the rest of the UK, I recently learned that taking organised groups wild camping is not allowed. And that’s fair enough if you look at the overuse some popular wild camp spots, leading to littering and disrespectful behaviour, eventually destroying beautiful wild spots, and possibly leading with it some tightening of laws, as is already the case in the East Loch Lomond area, and some beaches in East Lothian.

So where did this leave me with my plans?

Thankfully I like meeting people, love making new friends and live for making connections, and making things happen. So I decided to make friends with landowners in all my favourite places, in order to share their land with you on WanderWomen’s Overnight Retreats.

The first Overnight Retreat will be a magical forestbathing opportunity at Blinkbonny Wood, where I have spent many happy days with family and friends, a wild campside in beautiful woodlands near Haddington. The Lammermuir hills are nearby, and so is a lovely reservoir for a spot of wild swimming: Come and spend a different kind of Friday night out at Blinkbonny Wood on Friday, 17th May! More details here.

Two summer Overnight Retreats will take place in June and September at Foxlake Adventures CIC! This location is perfect for a first time camper: I won’t just teach you how to put up a tent, but you will also have the facilities of showers and toilets for your comfort, as well as a group shelter opportunity! With the John Muir Way crossing through the land, beautiful woodland, as well as the sea, you are guaranteed a great time filled with mindfulness, stories and laughter around the bonfire, connections and reflections. Find out more about the Midsummer Camp Out in June and the Indian Summer Camp out in September events!

Last but not least, we have secured Archerfield Estate for overnight trips in July and August. Linked to stunning beaches, caves and woodlands, this will be the place to be for the meteor showers in August, finding awe on a Stargazing night out.

July will have instore for you a Midsummer Night Dreaming event. Both times you will be able to enjoy Mindfulness, meditation, yoga play and nature art, as well as barefoot walking, bonfires and wild swimming, all topped with a gorgeous breakfast at Archerfield Walled Garden Cafe.

For all Overnight Retreats, you will be provided with a single tent (or double if you come with a friend, sister or mother), a personalised packing list, food, drink and guidance for group and individual activities.

Groups will be kept small (max 8), to allow for personal space, supportive group dynamics, as well as close connection opportunities.

These events will get you out more, connect you with like-hearted women, beautiful nature around us, as well as with yourself as part of your wellness and selfcare.

You will come back refreshed, refocused and happy to be alive, it will give you the confidence and skills to invite more adventure into your everyday life!

For an overview of all events, head over to Eventbrite.

Wild Camping in East Lothian, Photo by Jo Tennant Photographs

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