Adventure | Cateran YOMP

📍The Cateran Yomp | Blairgowrie, Perthshire.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be chosen as a massage therapist for a massive  Charity event in Scotland, called the Cateran Yomp. The Yomp (a military term for a long-distance march) is an epic adventure challenge. Teams of people take on 54 miles (gold medal) in 24 hours across the rugged terrain of the Scottish wilderness. There is also a 36.5 (silver medal) or a 22 (bronze medal) mile option!

I had never been camping before, unless you count backgarden camping, with a warm, homemade breakfast and added table service in the morning! Unfortunately I don’t, so this was a completely new experience for me that (happily!) pushed me out my comfort zone. I was on a 6pm – 2am shift at the silver medal point, so set up camp at the main field then drove around 25 minutes through the beautiful Scottish wilderness, to location.


Every soldier and participant coming through our gazebo doors for treatment was in immense pain, soaked through, muddy and tired. It’s not just about the therapy given, but also a therapists positive attitude, to give competitors a bit of banter and drive to continue the journey. It’s really interesting to see where Massage and other therapies can take you, and it’s certainly given me a push to find out about more outdoor events like this. I spoke to a lovely lady who had joined a long haul racing car event through Mongolia, as a therapist, providing therapies to the driver and team to relieve back ache as way of payment! So I’m aiming for somewhere warmer next time, the Caribbean would be nice!

The Cateran Yomp Registration 2018

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Review | Natural Exhibition 

📍 Natural Health Exhibition, SEC Glasgow.


I was lucky enough to win tickets to ‘The Natural Exhibition’ this weekend ( Thank-you Serenity Massage!). The exhibition aims to showcase organic, natural, vegan and eco brands from across the UK, to introduce you to new products and services available on the market. 


The event is hosted by SEC in Glasgow, so we were able to take in the beautiful views of the shipyards and river Clyde on our walk from the car park. Exhibitors include; Kiehl’s, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Beauty Kitchen, BMW ( with THE most amazing eco cars on show) and Missy’s Vegan Cupcakes. There are also a few businesses offering free taster treatments in back, neck and shoulder massage as well as Indian Head Massage (from what I saw). This is worth the ticket price alone! The exhibitors are extremely friendly and (obviously) keen to talk about their brands, and the steps they take within their businesses to make a positive mark on the planet. 


With regards to the event, I thoroughly enjoyed the stalls and their approachable owners. I have been introduced to ethical businesses that I will definitely purchase from in future. However, the event was not as busy as I thought it would be, and almost verged on ‘awkward’. I think with a little bit more of a promotional focus, to help spread the word, it would be a much more popular day out. Glasgow has previously been named ‘Most Vegan-Friendly City’ by PETA, so there is definitely a market for the exhibition and, to be honest, it’s genuinely interesting to see and hear how ethical companies are taking on the world, let alone getting to sample their amazing products! The event is something a little different, and if the Natural Exhibition returns next year, so will I!

Natural Exhibition | 3rd & 4th June 2017, Glasgow.

Adventure | Glasgow Botanic Gardens

📍 Botanic Gardens, Glasgow.

A few weeks ago I had my first visit to Glasgow’s famous botanic gardens! Surrounded by Glasgows bustling West End, the gardens are a wonderful, peaceful sanctuary within such a busy City. 


This year, the gardens are celebrating their bicentenary! These gardens are set within seven acres of land and feature several alluring, beautifully presented glasshouses.


But these gardens are not just packed with vibrant plants and flowers, oh-no, they are unique. These gardens host a piece of Scottish history, they connect the wildnerness of the gardens to the scuttling City. Deep in the gardens is an abandoned, disused train station. The Botanic Gardens railway station was a railway station serving the Botanic Gardens, located in the Kelvinside area, in the West End of Glasgow. In 1979 the station building was destroyed by fire, but the track and platform remain below, masked by the perfectly pruned bushes and towering trees  above.


These are beautifully kept gardens, and definitely worth a visit. Our next visit will include a detour to the onsite tearoom – I’ve heard great things about their cake selection! It’s a wonderful day out with a large playpark for younger explorers, however the huge array of plant species will keep children and adults alike entertained! I can guarantee the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are a perfect day out and with thanks to these gardens, I am confident that my little girl’s interest in nature has began to bloom.


Glasgow Botanic Gardens | Free.

Adventure | Botanical Wonderland

📍Benmore Botanical Gardens, Dunoon.

Firstly, I’d like to point out that I’m an outdoors type-of-gal. I can’t stand being stuck inside all day. It’s a blessing and a curse, because on days like last week (think rain, hail and everything in between!) I dragged my partner and our camera across the River Clyde on a ferry and up a mountain. I’m sure he would have rathered a date night to the cinema, but c’est la vie!

I’d been to Benmore Gardens only once before, but even that was about 15 years ago. I remembered certain parts; the path lined with Redwoods, outlook post at the top of the hill, and the homely little cafe. But the rest was a mystery.


Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We were welcomed by a magnificent avenue of Giant Redwoods, the most stunning entrance to any botanical garden I’ve seen so far. The kind lady at the ticket office informed us that they now stand over 50 metres high. Quite a feat to translate to camera. Alex had even cheered up a bit, when he saw the views. Up the hill we climbed, literally through low lying clouds, were we were greeted by wonderful views from the heart of Scotland and the Holy Loch.


There are around seven miles of trails throughout Benmore Gardens, each pathway transporting you to another botanical destination. This includes a Chilean viewpoint, a Japanese valley and Victorian Fernery, with over 70 different types of ferns, beautifully positioned in the rock of a hillside.


There are so many different areas of the gardens, I can’t recommend it enough. I’m sure we missed a few areas, so will be back over on the ferry… as soon as it stops raining!


Do you know of any hidden botanical gems? Comment below!

Benmore Gardens | Admission: £6.50 for Adults. £5.50 for Concessions. Free for Under 16’s.

Hello!

Hi, I’m Claire! Complementary Therapist and all-round nature enthusiast. The aim of this blog is to bring together my interests and passions. Health, wellbeing and nature. 

I thoroughly believe that by embracing nature and the effect it can have on our physical and psychological health, we can boost our wellbeing and regain our zest for life! In this blog I aim to provide healthcare hints and tips, reviews and details of my adventures across Scotland and beyond!

What gets you excited, gives you the spirit to ‘bounce’ out of bed and seize the day? What makes you feel alive?!

Gourock Pier, Scotland 📍