Price: £550pp (all inclusive except travel)
2018 dates: Friday 30 November – Monday 3 December (7 places left)
WHAT IS THE SWIMQUEST CHRISTMAS WEEKEND?Our SwimQuest Christmas weekend has become somewhat of a favourite with our guests, and has evolved into a weekend of winter swimming (and or ‘dipping’), fabulous food, drink, laughter and festivity. There is no pressure to swim on this trip, however we usually run two or three short winter dips a day for those who are willing, followed up by wonderful food and time to chill around the log fire. On Saturday evening, sit down with us for a homemade Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings) followed by games and carols by candlelight. We can guarantee this weekend won’t disappoint.
ABOUT ARISAIGDespite its ‘world away’ feel, Arisaig is easily accessible via train. The village of Arisaig (the Safe Place) is centred on the sheltered shore of Loch nan Ceall (Loch of the Cells) on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, and is nestled at the base of rocky Creag Mhor, the Sgurr an t’Sasunnaich (peak of the Englishman) and the Sgurr an Albanaich (peak of the Scotsman). It spreads west along the beautiful Rhu road, strewn with sandy white beaches and north along the shore towards Morar Loch – the deepest freshwater body in the British Isles (with a maximum depth of 310m).
ABOUT TRAIGH HOUSEOur base and accommodation for this tour is the historical Traigh House, nestled three miles north of Arisaig, in 500 acres of its own private woods and hills. Just yards away from stunning white beaches, it is the perfect place to enjoy stunning views of the Inner Hebrides and cosy up ready for a Scottish swimming adventure. Sleeping 16 people, Traigh House is fully equiped with central heating, log fires, beautiful drawing rooms complete with grand piano, a games room, drying room, a private walled garden and views over the sea and surrounding mountains. The house was also used as an SOE training base in the 1940s. By the way … if you can play the piano on request – we’ll give you a 10% discount!
IS THIS WINTER SWIMMING TRIP IN SCOTLAND FOR ME?Expect breathtaking scenery, cosy home-cooked food, life affirming sea temperatures and comfortable accommodation with a vista. The tour will include sea and freshwater loch swims, subject to weather conditions. This trip really is suitable for all abilities. Come with a sense of adventure, plenty of warm kit and a big appetite!
- Sea temperature: approx 5-10˚C
- Loch temperature: approx. 4-8˚C
- Daily swimming distance: up to 1km maximum (although more likely short winter dips!)
- Swimming ability: This location is suitable for both beginners and more advanced swimmers, although ideally you should have some form of cold water acclimatisation for this winter tour. If you are not sure what we mean, feel free to give us a call and ask for some advice.
- Are non-swimmers welcome? Absolutely – non-swimmers are welcome to join the tour and take advantage of this beautiful area.
- Start and finish: Start – 5pm Friday, Finish – 10am Monday (the tour is scheduled around the sleeper train timetable, however we can be flexible with pick ups if you prefer to take the cheaper, day train).
- Accommodation in Traigh House (private walled garden, grand piano, kitchen with aga, washing facilities, drying room, log fires, central heating, linen and towels, games room and wifi included)
- Swimming, assisted by safety boats if required and always escorted by swim guide/s
- Traditional home-cooked lunches
- Alcohol with evening meals
- Home cooked snacks and cakes
- SwimQuest swim cap
- SwimQuest dry bag
- Transfer to / from Arisaig
- All swim transfers (although if you intend to drive and would be happy to help with short shuttles, we would be hugely grateful!)
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Travel to and from Traigh House (guests are advised to travel to Arisaig station where we can arrange pick ups)
- Wetsuits and fins (if required)
- Any alcohol not served with meals
- Single room supplement (£175)
ABOUT TRAIGH HOUSE
Traigh House, Arisaig, Inverness-shire PH39 4NTWe will be staying in family owned Traigh House just metres from the sea. Based on twin share rooms (single supplement option £175 for the weekend, please let the office know if you require a private room if you haven’t already), the setting is unspoilt, idyllic and peaceful. Traigh House is an ideal base for a Christmas weekend, complete with a large kitchen, dining room, drawing room, grand piano and games room - cosy up and let us spoil you!
LOCATIONTraigh House is located about three miles north of Arisaig, six miles south of Mallaig, and forty miles west of Fort William, by road. It lies to the east of the B8008, which follows the coast west of the A830 Fort William to Mallaig road. The B8008 begins on the left, half a mile north of Arisaig. Traigh translates from Gaelic as beach, and reflects the sandy beaches to the west of the B8008.
ITINERARYThere are two planned swims per day. Please realise that the below is a very rough guide and that we will adapt the weekend carefully to suit the group and the Scottish weather conditions!
- Drinks, snacks and welcome in the Drawing Room
- 6pm briefing with mulled wine and mince pies
- 7pm dinner in the dining room
- 8.30am breakfast in the Dining Room
- 11.30am morning swim (Traigh Bay)
- 12.30pm lunch served in the Dining Room
- 2.00pm afternoon swim in Loch Morar
- 4pm afternoon tea served in the drawing room
- 8pm Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings!
- 9.30pm Carols, presents and games
- 9am breakfast
- 10.30 morning walk and swim along the Rhu Peninsula
- 12.30pm Lunch in the Dining Room
- 15.45pm afternoon swim along the sandy beaches towards Mallaig
- 4.30pm afternoon tea served in the drawing room
- 8pm sunday supper served in the dining room
- 9pm cheese and mulled wine by the fire
- Pre breakfast dip
- Breakfast and departures (check out 10am)
Travel to Traigh HouseThe easiest way to get to Traigh House is to take a train to Fort William and then a connecting train to Mallaig / Arisaig. We can pick you up from Arisaig / Mallaig station. The sleeper train from London to Fort William is an excellent option.
DIRECTIONS FOR DRIVING TO TRAIGH HOUSEPost code PH39 4NT
From the South / Fort WilliamTake the A830 (“the Road to the Isles”) northwards towards Mallaig. Staying on this road, drive past Arisaig, and after the end of the Arisaig speed restriction (about 1/2 mile), take the first left on to the Alternative Coastal Road (brown sign). This is the B8008 and is signed to "Back of Keppoch" and "An Traigh, Local Services and Traigh Golf Course". Follow this Alternative Coastal Road past the golf course (2.0 miles), until you reach a white gatehouse on the right of the road (2.3 miles). Go through the gate posts immediately to the left of the gatehouse, and follow the gravel drive to the large white house, which is set back about 100 yards from the sea. Gravelled parking area is adjacent to the south edge of the house and the wall of the walled garden.
From North/MallaigTake the A830 southwards towards Fort William for approx 3.5 miles. Immediately after the bridge over the River Morar, take the first right on to the B8008, the Alternative Coastal Road (brown sign). Follow this road for 2.3 miles, past Camusdarach – and just when the road runs alongside a beach once more, turn left off the road through gateposts on to a drive (north drive - you will see the white Gatehouse on the far side of the meadow/lawn as you make the turn) which leads up to the large white house.
What do I pack?
- At least three swimming costumes
- Wetsuit (if you would like to wear one - optional)
- Head torch (optional)
- Two Pairs of swim goggles – ideally one clear and one tinted
- Towel for the beach (though bath towels are provided)
- Small daypack/rucksack to use for your personal equipment/clothing during the day (although you will receive a 10L SwimQuest dry bag to keep)
- Sandals/aqua shoes / flip flops – for getting wet
- Walking boots / comfortable walking shoes
- VERY WARM CLOTHING fleece or warm jumper, tracksuit trousers/sweat pants for putting on immediately after swimming.
- Slippers for keeping feet warm in the house and making you feel at home (optional)
- Dryrobe / similar (optional)
- Waterproof jacket
- Woolly hat, scarf and gloves
- Insurance (for non-UK residents)
- Entertainment (music, board games etc, optional)
- Festive spirit