There are many things in life we take for granted. One of these is having access to natural beauty. Whether we must walk, drive, fly, or sail over waves. 

At any given moment we expect to be able to travel into wild landscapes. We have a cultural fascination with the romantic sublime. We love nothing more than getting away from our busy lives and setting forth into green hills and snow tipped mountains. It’s primal.

Lockdown has intensified our desire for nature

Lockdown has intensified our desire for nature

With the coming of the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time in living memory, many of us were confined indoors for swathes of time. Work, socialisation, and shopping became almost exclusively digital. The refreshing health benefits of getting out and about and interacting with others were lost—except for fleeting bouts of exercise with strict social distancing.

Lockdown intensified the detached over digitisation of modern life. Like a dystopian fever dream, we were trapped in online bubbles removed from one another and the wider world. Those living in cities, without access to countryside, certainly had it worse. Unable to leave a synthetic reality, drifting between computer screens and concrete jungles. 

We are seeing a surge in nature deficit. We may have been suffering from it before lockdown, but now it is hard to ignore. It’s as though a shroud has been lifted and we’re perceiving our planet for the first time and how essential rural areas are to our wellbeing.

Biophilia is part of our DNA

Biophilia is part of our DNA

The term “biophilia” translates to “a love of life” and is written into our genes. We have evolved to care deeply for plants, animals, and landscapes. Why? It could be as simple as; it has brought us happiness and enriched our lives.

However, modern studies show that being amongst nature may have physiological benefits too. Phytoncides (organic compounds) emitted by trees and plants are thought to have surprising effects on us. These compounds cause us to create more white blood cells (NK)—which are anti-carcinogenic. Also people who practice shinrinyoku (the art of forest bathing) are less likely to be depressed and may have stronger immune systems.

Essentially, we’re healthier mentally and physically if we have nature.

Set yourself free in the Scottish Highlands

Set yourself free in the Scottish Highlands

Now that lockdown is over people are flocking from cities to rural areas like we’ve never seen before, desperate to drink in the spirit of what makes us human. To venture into lush forests, to hear the roar of waves, to summit peaks, to be alive. And one thing is for sure, there’s nowhere wilder, more biodiverse, and good for the soul as the Scottish Highlands. Our final frontier.

That said, there are the flagship places in the highlands attracting the bulk of tourism. These places can be understandably busy. Yet, if you know where to look, you’ll still find a great deal of solitude and healing from the damages of lockdown.

Here at Kilcamb Lodge, we’re way out on an untouched, rugged peninsula overlooking the sapphire waters of Loch Sunart. The Ardnamurchan Penisula (headland of the great seas) is Scotland’s Wild West. We love it here and so do our guests.

We’re unapologetically remote. No major infrastructure, no urbanisation—just the endless commune with nature in its truest form. People come to lose themselves in our gnarled and vast rainforests, watch eagles soar over rough uplands, and gaze at mountain hewn horizons. Exhilarating feelings of awe and a beauty beyond words. The sublime is very much alive in Ardnamurchan and you owe it to yourself to experience it.

Of course, we’re a luxury hotel—with superb triple AA Rosette dining and enough single malts to excite the staunchest of connoisseurs. So why not mix the feral with fine and do Ardnamurchan in style?

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