Galloway Holistic Retreats:Yurt Studio Space

To purchase a yurt, which will be the studio space for my holistic retreats as well as a community space for local events.

Unfortunately, this project was not successful

Rejuvenate Mind, Body and a Yurt

The Yurt symbolises the balance and unity of the mind, body, spirit, the universe, time.......and creates a sanctuary which protects and nurtures. 

It is a fact that life can be stressful and exhausting at times. Yet how many of us consciously stop and take time to explore options that will optimise and safeguard our mental and physical health? The need to step off the conveyor belt of our day-to-day existence and gift ourselves “Me Time” is well-documented; indeed, research and anecdotal evidence highlights that we are overworked, overtired and overstretched. We all need our own sanctuary and safe space and it is the Yurt that can create such an environment. I set up Galloway Holistic Retreats in 2016, in order to provide folk with the opportunity to retreat, relax and rejuvenate. We offer holistic retreats over the space of a weekend, where our guests indulge in sessions of yoga, pilates, qigong, meditation, sound baths, and healing holistic treatments such as massage, reiki and chakra cleansing. Future retreats will also focus on creative writing, photography, art therapy and foraging for example, in order to remain diversive and creative.  To date I have rented holiday lets, but this restricts the frequency of hosting my retreats, which is why I have part purchased/part rented The Old Smugglers, an old pub in the village of Auchencairn in Dumfries and Galloway, where my vision is to create an holistic hub that I will use for my retreats and that others can rent for their own ventures.   

So why do we need a yurt? The former pub is currently undergoing a series of major works and once completed, it will have a restaurant, 4 en-suite letting bedrooms and, with your help, a 24ft yurt. 

But why a yurt?  

Quite simply, we don’t have the space inside the building itself for a dedicated studio, which is essential for this business to thrive, nor the necessary funds at the moment due to the costs of the renovation of the venue. It is the yurt that will provide the magical space in which healing and rejuvenation will take place, where we will practice yoga, meditation, immerse ourselves in the healing power of sound baths and simply “be”. But our yurt can also double as a space where celebrations can take place, such as small, intimate wedding receptions, birthdays and local events run by and for the community such as evenings of song and tales of smuggling. I would also like to see schools use the space for blocks of mindful meditation in order to tackle the increasing rise in mental health issues amongst our young folk, as well as hosting 2-3 day residential retreats that offer holistic strategies to young people who have been identified as suffering from debilitating issues such as anxiety. 

Situated in the large rear garden by the burn , it could really be a special space. Galloway Holistic Retreats will be the holistic hub that so many communities are crying out for, a place where people of all ages go to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. The yurt is the main space where this will take place; it is the heart of this business that will help guests who come from beyond this beautiful village, as well as the locals themselves. Each and every one of us at some stage in our lives will probably need "time out"-and this is where our holistic hub and yurt can help folk on their journey.


These are just some of the testimonials we have received from previous guests.  If you can pledge today, we can guarantee many more years of helping those who need time to breathe, grow and simply "be".

  • What a treat! The weekend I spent here felt like a time to breathe, and be still. Lovely people, lovely food, amazing massage from Jo, and lots of quiet time for the soul. Loved it. Thank you, thank you.  Tammy
  • I attended a day retreat and could not recommend these guys enough, welcoming, well organised and relaxed, the day included yoga, qigong, reiki, massage and sound healing, and last but not least the most amazing vegan lunch. I look forward to visiting more. Thank you Esther and your team, much metta, Fiona
  •  This was our first retreat and it has set the bar high! Felt welcome and relaxed from the minute we arrived and even more relaxed by the time we left. Lovely location and property with equally lovely people. Esther couldn't be more accommodating; the yoga, qigong, massage, chakra healing, food and company were all top-notch. Would definitely recommend.   Melisa

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