World Environment Day: Health, wellness and sustainability in the Highlands

By Mika Bishop

With the Caledonian Sleeper introducing brand new trains to Inverness in July 2019, journeying to the Highlands has become part of a holiday experience with sustainability at its heart. With six wellness and sustainability elements incorporated into your travels, head for The Torridon in Wester Ross which co-exists with nature to not only enhance the guest experience but also to improve the wellbeing of the team.

Transport

Board the Caledonian Sleeper at London Euston, departing 2028 or 2059 on Sundays, 2115 Monday-Friday. Rooms are complete with Scottish toiletries, en-suite facilities and slumber-perfect handcrafted Glencraft mattresses.

Arrive at 0842 in Inverness ready to begin the drive to The Torridon in a Tesla. Meander through the hills surrounded by raw beauty, reaching The Torridon where Tesla chargers are available for complimentary use.

Green team

Striving for better, greener living is part of The Torridon’s DNA. A well-established Green Team with representatives from each department meets on a monthly basis to discuss and implement green initiatives which has helped the resort maintain its Green Gold Tourism Award. The construction of a bore hole means The Torridon has its own pure water supply, which has saved the use of 10,000 plastic bottles per year and large Cowshed dispensers are used in the rooms, wiping out the use of 40,000 toiletry bottles per year. Six new flats were recently built for staff that use biomass energy and mechanical heat recovery ventilation.

New experiences with Torridon Outdoors

Meet Ben Sharp, who has been hiking since he was 3.5 years old. Passionate about the uses of flora and fauna over the centuries and with a keen interest in the history of the Ordnance Survey, Ben recently joined The Torridon as Head of Torridon Outdoors. This team of qualified guides arranges bespoke activities and offers a new two-night Torridon Outdoors package.

Are you a landlubber or a seafarer? Choose from a day with a private instructor who will guide you through water activities including sea kayaking (and the chance to spot sea eagles), coasteering, open canoeing and gorge scrambling, or terra firma-based mountain hiking, nature trails, mountain biking and guided walks. Package costs from £315pp (two sharing) including two nights’ hotel accommodation, daily breakfast, one full day of activities with private instructor.

Down to earth chef

“To have the natural larder of Scotland on your doorstep is humbling” says Ross Stovold, head chef at 3 AA-Rosette 1887, The Torridon in Wester Ross. It is this respect for local ingredients that brings out his unique talent for producing dishes that are incredibly fresh and simple, yet intense in flavour.

Ross strives to deliver first-class dining with minimal manipulation. Pared-down glamour in rhythm with the changeable climate in the North West Highlands. Daily-changing menus led by farmers, growers, hunters and fisherman. There are no set recipes, dishes or menus at The Torridon, just exquisite plates of nature, with many of the ingredients coming from the kitchen garden or farm.

Inside out

The Torridon’s co-owner and People Director Rohaise Rose-Bristow embraces the location to improve staff development and productivity. Regular ‘walks & talks’ with Rohaise help maintain wellbeing and positive mental attitudes amongst staff. She encourages the team at The Torridon to embrace mindfulness and the beguiling environment to achieve a critical work-life balance. The results of having a happy and positive team speak for themselves, with 90% excellent guest feedback in 2019.

Sowing seeds

Before departing in your fully-charged Tesla to catch the Caledonian Sleeper home (2045 Monday-Friday, 2026 on Sundays) be given a parting gift of wildflower seeds in a compostable package. Part of The Torridon’s efforts to revitalise the bee population, guests are encouraged to plant the seeds to attract bees their gardens.

Accommodation at The Torridon costs from £65 per room at The Torridon Inn, or from £165 at The Torridon Hotel.

For more information and to book, contact The Torridon, tel: 01445 791242,www.thetorridon.com.