The Egyptians was perhaps the first to discover the potential of water and essential oils for therapeutic purposes. Remedial treatments and bath spas have been around for thousands of years, with well-being philosophies dating back as far 7000BC!
As you may have read in our previous post; where otters thrive, the water resources are healthy for human and can be seen as critical indicators of our human condition. So what better place to have a spa? The otters come to Eriska to enjoy the healthy water, and we thought we would give you a good reason to invest in your health and wellness when you come to enjoy what Eriska offers so well.
Spa season is here and Eriska tranquillity mixed with some fun activities really makes your body feel the love.
I had a talk with our spa therapists this week. At Eriska our therapists focus upon providing you with what the body needs for the upcoming season when the sun poses its wear and tear on skin, hair and nails - the right treatment for the right season. They recommended the following to nourish and protect the skin:
Salt and Oil Scrub
This is exceptional skin softening body exfoliation combines sea salts, nourishing and essential oils to leave your skin moisturised, smooth and soft. A compact treatment with a dramatic result.
Detoxifying Algae Wrap
Is a therapeutic, balancing and detoxifying treatment which involves skin brushing, gentle exfoliation and algae in rich minerals and enzymes. Designed to ease away tension, helps boost the metabolism and speed up the elimination of toxins. Includes a full scalp treatment for total relaxation.
Aromatherapy Body Massage
Experience the benefits of massage and individually chosen essential oils in one of the
finest anti-stress treatments available. This complete scalp and body massage focuses on acupressure points, helping to strengthen the nervous system, thus restoring lost energy.
A Tennis Match & Leg Reviver Massage
Or for the more sporty ones, why not take your girls or daughters to our indoor tennis court. There is nothing like a good match of tennis, to then go for a leg reviver massage, which is a truly traditional massage with regulated pressure, excellent for releasing tension in the legs. Stimulating effleurage and long, strong movements for effectively easing tired limbs.
As much as you need relaxation and pampering it is good to give yourself that little justification to then really joy relaxation before it is back to the one continuous contract: life.
There are a range of spa & spa stay packages available, so why not have a look, maybe someone you know needs a bit of pampering? We all might as well pick up where the Egyptian's started. The well-being philosophy is here to stay.
The unpredictable West Coast Weather keeps us reaching for the summer raincoat (I'm sure we all have that convenient thin one..). Despite the 'cold' and wet weather, last night offered some stunning views to make up for the otherwise disappointing summer weather the past week! We experienced a few rays of sunshine during the daytime with some smaller showers throughout, especially in the evenings.
This next week looks slightly better as it will be a bit warmer, however a few showers are projected.
Today: It was a bit misty this morning and some low clouds but these look to be clearing to leave a bright day with some good sunny spells projected. Light winds may follow but it will feel warm in the sunshine. Later tonight, it looks to be some more evening sunshine with clear spells following overnight.
Monday: a rather cloudy start with a little rain is possible but the day is otherwise projected to be bright with sunny spells and comfortable temperatures.
Tuesday: looks to be starting out bright, but with rain projected to be spreading east throughout the afternoon.
Wednesday: looks to be dry and bright compared to the rest of the week.
Thursday: will be expecting some sunny spells with a few showers later in the day.
Friday: is projected to be brighter and dry - partly cloudy but with a few rays of sun coming through during the day.
Saturday: looks to be much like the Friday with mainly dry weather and a few sunny spells keeping us company for the weekend.
We believe this next week will offer both guests and their four legged friends (if you have them) a smelling sensation, there is nothing like going for a nice walk in the drizzle when it is warm and you can smell the flowers and wet grass! If you are coming up (or down) to us this coming week, bring the thin summer raincoat so that you can enjoy a walk around the island and enjoy the scenery without feeling you have to take shelter amongst the trees!
Did you know that Otters watches the health of our aquatic resources?
Where otters thrive, the water resources are healthy for human. Otters are the apex indicator species of the water habitat and our water resources, and can be seen as critical indicators of our human condition.
As you may know, over the years history and memorable dates have been marked by the addition of items to Eriska. The year the house was built, 1884, an oak tree was planted by the south east corner of the house and indeed it remains strong and vibrant today- indeed it sports a delightful swing seat. In 1984 to make the house one hundredth birthday another oak was planted on the south west corner by the croquet lawn and despite a few years with little growth it is now well established and beginning to dominate that area.
So to mark and celebrate our 40th Anniversary this year we decided to mark it by adding a permanent new "Guardian of Eriska" in the shape of a Bronze Sculpture. Wache was made by bronze sculptor Kenneth Robertson, using advanced techniques, initially creating a wire meshed mould which was then cast as a simple albino plaster. Ensuring he fitted in to the environment and more importantly onto a rock at Otter Point was essential and it was moulded to fit a particular rock looking a specific way to guard the island. Several visits later and much hard work from Keneth and his son. Wache now sits at Otter Point cast in wonderful bronze.
We felt our sculpture needed a name and so we set out get our friend a name. After a few weeks of collecting name suggestions and votes, a name was announced last Sunday; Wache was sent in by Dr. Jo Myers Thompson, and is old Scottish for 'Eternal Watcher' - a name that ideally suits him as he sits on the rocky surface on the west side of the Island watching the loch.
We therefore thought we would introduce you to our winner and asked how she came about the name Wache. And indeed did we end up with a worthy winner!
Dr. Jo Myers Thompson is the Executive Director of the Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation, a not-for-profit umbrella organization overseeing a variety of conservation efforts in the deep heart of equatorial Africa. By profession, she is a primatologist and naturalist.
Jo received her doctorate degree from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and is a contributing author to several books about ecology, distribution and evolution and has since 1995 been involved with otter conservation, which started with her raising an infant Congo Clawless Otter. At that time, the species had recently been declared extinct. However, that classification was based on absence of reports not absence of the otters. So, she was launched into the world of otter conservation as the world expert on the Congo Clawless Otter species.
How did you come up with the name Wache?
"My very dear friends, Victoria & Douglas Miller live near Oban. They know of my love for otters and tell me from time to time of seeing otters around that region. In fact, they mentioned to me about the bronze statue even before the competition was announced. When you posted the competition on your Facebook wall, Vicki wrote and asked me what name I would suggest. I told her 'Wache' because it means "Eternal watcher" in the old Scottish tongue."
Wache will hold three roles as Eriska's guardian:
To guard the entrance to Loch Creran.
To encourage otters to the shores.
To offer a sighting spot for visitors that come to Eriska.
If you are coming to visit us soon or in the future, take a walk to Otter Point and say hello to Wache. He sits on a truly beautiful spot on the island which is perfect for sunsets and taking pictures. Maybe he will bring some of his friends to our shores? If you're lucky you might spot them, it's just another great reason to bring your camera to Eriska.
Wache will have his name engraved on a plaque together with Dr. Jo's and when finished it will be displayed for everyone to see. We will make sure to keep you all updated on our progress. And again, congratulations to you Jo!
An absolutely lovely week has gone past on the West Coast of Scotland! A bit grey in the early morning otherwise sunny and warm at Isle of Eriska! I believe a happy few has been able to acquire a slight tan and some charming freckles!
I am however sad to report that the week ahead does look slightly darker,
Today: some mist and fog patches cleared early, otherwise it is a clear bright day with warm sunny spells maybe slightly cooler than the week that has gone past. There are some showers projected for the area this afternoon, however it looks as if they could miss Eriska.
Monday: Looks to start with early mist or fog but will soon clear, then another warm day with sunny spells. A few showers developing during the afternoon is projected, although many places will be staying dry.
Tuesday: looks to be more cloudy, making the temperatures drop slightly with some light rain in some areas.
Wednesday: the weather is projected to turn heavier and more persistent than on the Wednesday with strengthening winds which will affect temperatures.
Thursday: looks to become a bit brighter again and is followed by sunshine and in some places light showers that will hopefully miss Eriska on its way past.
Friday: is projected to kick off the weekend with acceptable temperatures, however more cloudy with patches of rain throughout the
Saturday: looks to be very similar to Friday, but the temperature is projected to be dropping slightly with more clouds cluttering up the sky.
It has indeed been very nice at Eriska this last week, and I saw my first 2013 butterfly! This picture of a butterfly was taken at Eriska by Mr & Mrs Heath when they stayed with us (thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures with us!)
We would appreciate it a lot if you have any memories and pictures that you would like to share with us. You can send your pictures and stories to email@example.com
Did you know that characteristics of humans travelling for curiosity and pleasure can be found from about 1500 BC?
We still love to travel for these reasons, experiencing exciting new things such as culture, food & drink and activities. Isle of Eriska is the perfect place to stay this summer as is situated within close proximity to a range of activities and events hosted during the summer months each year and we thought we would recommend a few interesting events especially for the family.
Everyone's idea of a holiday is different, so planning for the luxury family holiday you may have to look at the 'something for everyone' side of things. The West Coast of Scotland has much to offer families travelling with curious kids, sporty parents and grandparents - we are talking time to relax, sports and the Highland Games 2013!
Scotland has a long tradition and history of the Highland Games where Clans would compete against each other in sporting events taking place across the Highlands. Early Celts viewed these events as war games where their strongest and bravest soldiers would win the games.
Some say that the Highland Games originated as a clan chieftain's way of choosing the best bodyguards and the fittest fighters. But not all the chief's requirements were war related - musicians and dancers were important for the prestige of the chief's household. Choosing staff and supporters was done by holding competitions - looking for good runners for couriers, strong men for defence and a range of entertainers to amuse them during the winter evenings. Nevertheless, the highland games are a bit different today.
The Games today bring people and families together to socialise and compete! The emphasis on sportsmanship and enjoying it together attracts many families and visitors of all ages. Visitors can experience great culture, sport and competition. The Games host a range of different activities across different event locations on different days throughout the summer. In other words, there is plenty of opportunities to experience the beautiful Scottish West Coast and Argyll, with the Loch Lomond Highland Games on 16th July, Mull Games on 18th July, the Inverary Games on 16th July and a bit closer to home: the Oban Games on Thursday 22nd August 2013, which is one of the largest gatherings in Scotland.
The activities set for the Oban Games has 3 elements:
A world class solo piping competition
Traditional Highland Games with competitive track and field events
The perfect day out for the family
The Oban Games are also well worth the visit for families, and also for those connected with Scotland, to meet and explore their roots and find out more about where their forebears came from, and provide information to visitors from England and overseas about Celtic traditions. The main focus is the Heritage Tent to which all are welcomed; there is much interesting information available and the exhibitors are free to exchange information with visitors all day.
We have also listed a few other things for your family to do in the area and if you are coming to stay with us at Eriska this summer;
1. A trip by sea, Costal Connection offers both two and three hour trips around the isles, where you can enjoy bird watching, other wildlife, castles and beautiful scenery. Costal Connection can also come by our pier to pick you up.
2. A mini-golf tournament. We have something for every level, beginners or seasoned players alike, and the nine-hole golf course is placed on a wonderful piece of land viewing the sea. If the weather does not permit it you can take the enthusiast golfers inside to an excellent putting green and a short game area for chipping and bunkering. Our golf course is also open to visitors!
3. Walks! We are happy to provide picnic lunches for your family if you stay with us that can be brought with you for walks around the island, along the beach or up the hills. There are many paths and trails to explore at Eriska, and maps and GPS's can be borrowed from the reception.
4. Placed within the old stables you find our spa and swimming pool. Go for a swim in the 17m pool always kept at about 30c or have a relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi. Best of all: these activities are not weather dependent!
5. Segway Touring: Only an 8 minute drive away from the Island you find Tralee Segway Centre. Here they have something for everyone, for the youngest and for the brave! Choose between driving through the forest track, racing each other or testing your skills of precision!
By the looks of it it looks like a really busy holiday, however days with a good range of activities will satisfy the curiosity for the little or younger travelers, at the same time as you have a week of family quality-time and relaxation.
The wild and wholly scenery makes Eriska a playground of activities for all ages but also the place for true relaxation. Activities and relaxation opportunities are literally just on the door step but still within close proximity to other activities and attractions. We are more than happy to help our guests plan activities and adventures! If you have any questions regarding planning of activities you can click on the button underneath.
Another week of West Coast Weather has gone past, however exceeding expectations! Last week turned out to be warmer and sunnier than what the weather forecast promised in the last days of May. The evenings have been perfect for wee walks up to the Cairn and by the beach. June did start a bit more windy and drizzly, but after such a good week we are keeping our fingers crossed for more pleasant surprises!
Today: the day has started off dry and bright start to the day however it is forecasted to become cloudier. Patchy light rain over the higher grounds of Argyll is expected. Although it will be cloudier there will still be a few bright intervals. Tonight: Cloudy this evening with more general area of rain moving in from west, this fairly persistent at first but becoming lighter and more patchy later.
Monday: A cloudy start with outbreaks of rain these mainly over Argyll. Becoming drier and brighter in the afternoon. Light winds with comfortable temperatures.
Tuesday: is forecasted to be nice and bright with dry grounds and sunny spells.
Wednesday: is looking good and seem to promise bright and warmer weather with calm winds. Maybe it is the perfect day to ?
Thursday: looks to continue the nice weather from Wednesday with good temperatures and soothing winds.
Friday: a bit cloudier but will have a few rays of sun peeking through which will keep the temperatures at the same level.
Saturday: the weather is projected to be quite humid with rain and heavier clouds but with some sunny spells throughout the day.
We hope you had a lovely bank holiday and that you experienced some of the nice weather that we did. Some of our guest even had their afternoon tea outside, and if you ask us that is a sure sign that the summer is coming! This picture was taken just around 22:00 by the Cairn last week, a lovely spot for enjoying the scenery, taking photographs and enjoying the peace and quiet that Eriska offers.
I had a phone call a few days ago, and they asked me if the hotel was well liked by couples looking to relax and enjoy a proper getaway. And I thought, YES absolutely!
Having talked to a few guests and their plans for their stay, we decided to list some of the things couples enjoy doing when they come for a weekend, whether it is for a few days away from the hectic life of work or celebrating an anniversary. We have listed just some of the things you can do when staying at Eriska for all year round and some tips to actually leave the ever present world behind for a weekend. You will undoubtedly find your own ways of making it worth remembering.
10 Ways to Rekindle the Romance in Eriska.
Enjoy long meals together, spend time in the morning and just chat over a long breakfast.
Curl up together by the fireplace in the hall/lounge in the hotel with a good book. The hotel has many books to borrow away and can be found throughout the hotel.
Take some time off the iPhone and iPad when you are here and enjoy each others company.
Book a spa treatment together, it is the ultimate relaxation. A holistic total body care massage lasts for 85 minutes and will leave both body and soul in harmony.
Enjoy a relaxing evening in the hot tub - the spa suites come with their own garden and hot tub and are strictly for couples.
Go for a picnic together! The island has many treasured spots to settle down for a bite, the food is prepared by the kitchen to take away and maps of the island are available at the reception.
Challenge each other in a mini tournament of putting, winner gets to chose next week's favourite TV show or where the next restaurant visit goes.
Go for a day-trip to the surrounding islands, Scotland's West Coast host impressive scenery with beautiful beaches, the romantic Eilean Donan Castle on the Isle of Skye, and rich history and culture to be experienced on the isles of Mull and Iona.
Spend an evening by the bar in the concervatory and wait for the badgers to come visit the steps.
10. Sit by the cairn at Eriska to watch the sunset (which is around 22:00 these days).
Coming to Eriska you will have time for at least two of these 'activities' if not more. As one of our guests said; "All in all, Eriska is a lovely spot to spend some time relaxing, eating well, and curling up by the log fires with a good book".
Eriska has so many places waiting to be explored and is the perfect escape for those in need of some pampering, sea air, delicious food and good wine.
Another busy week has gone by and the weather allowed us to become a bit spoilt as we considered packing away the warmer clothes. A few very warm days really got the expectations up! However, the weather forecast this week ahead looks slightly greyer and moist despite finally having June on the door step.
Today it has started of cloudy with patchy rain at first, but the sun is out and looks to be leaving a mainly dry and bright day with more sunny spells developing. Winds remain fairly light.
Tonight it looks to be clouding over again with another band of rain moving in from the west this turning heavy over most of Argyll towards Monday morning. Winds coming from the southeast will also become stronger.
Monday: a cloudy start with outbreaks of rain these still heavy at times over Argyll. Becoming drier and brighter in the afternoon but with showers following on behind. Strong winds.
Tuesday: looks to be brighter than the Monday with some isolated showers.
Wednesday: will become cloudier than the start of the week with mainly light rain during the day.
Thursday: looks to be very much like Wednesday - generally cloudy with patchy rain throughout the day.
Friday: will be cloudy with patches of rain, and the sun will peak through during the day.
Saturday: will be ever so slightly warmer than the rest of the week but will continue to change between being cloudy with sun spells and light rain.
If you are coming up to stay with us at the hotel this week, Monday will be very windy, so bring warmer clothes, for the rest of the week you can use light protective wear and enjoy the nice views that the weather might bring about. The picture on the right was taken very recently, showing the beautiful views that the not so summery weather brings with it to the West Coast of Scotland.
As I stepped onto the platform this morning I wondered how many other commuters had experienced as enjoyable a Saturday as I had? On Friday night I had the good fortune to hear Jools Holland and his big band play in Perth. After the concert I drove across to Eriska. There was a thick dark blue band of light on the horizon even though it was close to midnight. The longest day is just around the corner and hopefully some better weather is on it way.
I arrived at Eriska around 2:00 am, and Beppo met me with the news that we would be leaving shortly after six. Moments after my eyelids closed it was time to get up. Our task was to pre-position Beppo's boat in the Clyde ready for racing over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Things were looking promising. Seona had arranged scrambled egg and bacon rolls and a suitably highly calorific picnic. The passage down toward the Crinan Canal was wonderful. A northerly wind pushed us down past Oban and on past Easdale and Seil. We had clear views of Ben More on Mull, and we speculated on the progess of the boats in the Scottish Islands Peak Race. The runners of the slower boats would have been on Ben More in the dark, but they all should have been well on their way to Jura to tackle the Paps.
A little later we passed Corryvreckan. I remembered that that George Orwell's brother-in-law is famed as the first man to swim the whirlpool. This is more of an achievement because he only had one leg. We arrived at the start of the lock system in relatively good time, although there was still a fair chance that we would not make it out the other end before the locks closed. Seona had come down to lend a hand and give us a lift back to Eriska. The lock system provides a critical safe passageway for boats to move between the west coast and the Clyde. As well as being a fantastic example of engineering, the canal is a very peaceful interlude between the rugged seascape of the west coast and the wide estuarial waters of the post-industrial Clyde.
In my view the west coast provides the most amazing yacht cruising of anywhere in Britain, but the Clyde is a close second. Therefore to be able to link both of these areas up in a single day trip is especially appealing. I always find the seaward approach to Eriska very dramatic. If you are ever leaving by boat and going south, take a glance over your shoulder and you will get a unique glimpse of the Baronial elegance of the main house. Using the canal makes a trip to Eriska for dinner followed by a return passage home the next day a viable, and very attractive, possibility for Clyde-based yacht owners.
Last week we were blessed with some refreshing spells of sunshine on Scotland's West Coast, however over the Friday and Saturday the wind caught up with us before calming down over night.
This week commencing looks to be starting with a bit of mist but will gradually brighten as we go, but varying temperatures, with warmer days at the start of the week.
Today: A grey, misty start with some drizzle in places before gradually turning brighter with sunny spells developing into the afternoon. Best of the sunshine and temperatures across the coast .There may also be some evening sunshine at first with some occasional drizzle during the evening and overnight.
Monday: Dull, misty, start with drizzle in places before brightening up with sunnier spells developing. Perhaps remaining misty across some coasts. A few showers developing later, with a risk of thunder.
Tuesday: Cloudy start, with early patchy mist and drizzle, turning drier and brighter.
Wednesday: It will be turning cooler and breezy with projected showers later.
Thursday: The unseasonal weather continues- a bit cool and breezy with some showers.
Friday: It continues to be a bit breezy, but with some sunshine spells.
Saturday: The stiff breezes will continue into the weekend, otherwise brighter than previous days.
What do we do when the calendar is slowly moving against summer, but the weather is not? Over the next few weeks we will post interesting things you can do if the weather doesn't allow the typical summer activities!
If you are coming to visit us at Isle of Eriska the coming week remember to bring your camera, the colours now are vibrant with the scenery slowly turning from pale orange to delicious green.