In with the new

Joyful experiences for 2024

It’s easy to feel like January’s a bit of a write-off. 

The glitter of the festive season has dissipated. New Year’s resolutions have been made… and reneged. Gruelling workouts and spartan eating regimes are the order of the day – with the presiding feeling that this should be a month of restraint and austerity. 

And yet, isn’t there something to be said for a little January joy?

With that in mind, we’ve picked five incredible experiences to brighten up the darkest of winter days and give you something to look forward to. Ways to hone new skills, indulge, learn and relax, from clever cooking classes to a healing yoga retreat - and even a little gin-making. 

The best part? There’s not a celery stick in sight… 

Sharpen up your culinary skills at Glenapp Castle

Could this be the year you conquer the kitchen? The team at Glenapp Castle have created a new cookery lesson experience to help you unleash your inner chef. 

First, you’ll head out into the verdant castle gardens to see, smell and sample many of the homegrown ingredients you’ll find adorning dishes in the castle restaurant. 

Next, you’ll prepare your very own plate with the guidance of either the castle’s talented executive chef or head chef. 

This experience is perfect for everyone – so whether you’re an absolute beginner or a dab hand with a saucepan, you’ll find it to your taste.  

To learn more and book this unique experience, contact Glenapp Castle by emailing or call them on 01496 302 310. 


Replenish your zen with a yoga retreat at Murrayshall Country Estate

Feeling frazzled by 2024 already? Slope off to this gentle yoga retreat at Murrayshall Country Estate. You’ll find everything you need to regain equilibrium in the beautiful Perthshire countryside – and maybe cultivate a little inner peace into the bargain. 

Created in collaboration with Yoga Tribe Scotland, this healing retreat includes five expertly crafted yoga sessions led by a seasoned yoga instructor – plus stress management workshops and a guided fireside meditation. 

This two-night break costs £499 per person, or £990 for two people sharing a room. 

To secure your spot or find out more, email Duty Manager Stuart Kidd at


Get steamy with a Valentine’s afternoon tea aboard Fingal 

Nothing says romance like arguing over whose turn it is to put the kettle on. 

Thankfully, the good folks at Fingal have spared us this age-old debate with their decadent afternoon tea experience. 

You’ll tuck into moreish morsels and dainty pastries aboard this beautiful old floating hotel, all while watching other boats drift lazily by the docks at Leith. 

Lashings of piping hot tea should be expected, but you can up the ante with a glass of champagne or two for a truly sparkling celebration. Kettle, shmettle.


Bag your first Munro of 2024 in the Highlands 

Blow away the winter cobwebs and test your walking skills on a hike up one of Scotland's towering Munros. At 3,000 ft/914 m or above in height, the views are immense, so bagging one of these impressive Scottish mountains is something every walker should do at least once. You don’t have to be a professional hiker to bag a Munro, but you do need to be well-prepared and have suitable clothing - especially in winter.

A vast mountain to the north of Inverness, Ben Wyvis is one of the easiest Munros to climb. The mountain offers a relatively easy ascent and impressive views out across huge swathes of the Highlands from the top.

Celebrate afterwards by staying in the wonderful Glenmorangie House and put your feet up and relax with a well-earned dram from their extensive whisky selection in front of the fire.


Master gin-making at The Torridon 

Forget gin and tonic; this year it’s all about gin and Torridon. 

Luxury Scotland members Dunnet Bay Distillers and The Torridon have teamed up to deliver a special gin blending masterclass and tasting dinner on Saturday 2nd March. 

First, you’ll enjoy a quick gin-troduction (ahem) before sampling some of Dunnet Bay’s lab-scale gins, distilled in the Caithness village of Dunnet. 

Next, the Rock Rose Gin founders will help you choose complementary botanical spirits to craft your very own signature sip. 

Once you’re content with your sample blend, you’ll scale up your recipe before packaging, labelling and wax-sealing your creation for posterity (or at least until you get home). 

This special experience costs £150 per person, including the drink pairing. Please note that this is open to residents only and limited to ten people. 

To find out more or nab a place, email The Torridon or call them on 01445 791 242.