Galloway Holistic Retreats:Yurt Studio Space

by Esther N Stevenson in Auchencairn, Scotland, United Kingdom

Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

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

by Esther N Stevenson in Auchencairn, Scotland, United Kingdom

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


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£280 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£280 Reward: A place on one of our future retreats

How does a relaxing weekend on one of our retreats sound? Indulge in yoga, meditation, sound baths, holistic treatments and delicious, nutritious food in a glorious coastal setting. This comes at a huge discount and retreats run throughout the year.

£5 or more

£5 Reward: Wall of Wonderful Contributors

Name added to our Picture of Wonderful Contributors, which will have pride of place in the yurt.

£10 or more

0 of 15 claimed

£10 Reward: Aromatherapy Massage

20 minute hand or foot aromatherapy massage from the wonderful Jo, who has magic in her hands! These can be redeemed throughout the year.

£20 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£20 Reward: Sound Bath for 2

An invitation for you and a friend to attend a sound healing session in the yurt in Auchencairn. These will run throughout 2019.

£25 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£25 Reward: Healing Treatment with Liz Drake

A 25 minute healing session with the wonderful Elizabeth Drake at her treatment room in Castle Douglas. Elizabeth works with various forms of energy to bring the body and soul back into balance. Some of the methods she uses involve colour, crystals, sacred geometry, oils and sound. She also practices and teaches both Angelic Reiki and Usui Reiki, and is an experienced past life regressionist, offering this as well as past life healing. Dates tbc

£30 or more

0 of 3 claimed

£30 Reward: Block of Yoga or Qigong Classes

How does a block of 6 Yoga or Qigong classes with the amazing Susan Neal sound, either in Dumfries or Lockerbie? Susan has been teaching yoga and qigong since 2007 and is a fantastic and extremely knowledgeable practitioner; her wisdom is invaluable during our retreats. Dates can be confirmed with Susan.

£50 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward: Place on a Relaxation Day

Come along to one of our Relaxation Days which we will be running throughout 2019. You can indulge in a day of yoga, qigong, meditation, a sound bath and a mini-massage, enjoy a fantastic lunch and finish the day with a spell in the hot tub.

£60 or more

0 of 20 claimed

£60 Reward: A night for 2 in our B&B

Enjoy a night for two in our B&B in one of our en-suite rooms, including breakfast. Whilst here, you may decide that you fancy a massage or your chakras cleansed, for example ( at a small extra cost) Dates to be staggered throughout the year.

£70 or more

0 of 4 claimed

£70 Reward: Launch Party Invitation

Would you like to come to our launch party to celebrate the opening of our venue? You and a friend are invited to come along to our evening of music, information about the retreat, gorgeous nibbles and an evening in our B&B, breakfast included. You'll also leave with a goody bag. Date to be confirmed.

£100 or more

0 of 15 claimed

£100 Reward: 2 Nights B&B

Enjoy two nights for two in our B&B in one of our en-suite rooms, including breakfast. Whilst here, you may decide that you fancy a massage or your chakras cleansed, for example ( at a small extra cost) Dates tbc.

£120 or more

0 of 2 claimed

£120 Reward: Planting of two fruit trees

Two fruit trees will be planted in the garden and a plaque bearing your name will be placed at the base of each tree. A lifelong legacy, bearing fruit for years and generations to come.

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