Family and Nature Holidays


Family HolidaysFall in love with Scotland’s wild inhabitants of forest and coast, and discover the joys of the simpler life on one of our wonderful nature connection and sustainable living holidays. Wild At Heart family breaks and wellbeing weeks are run by our very own Dr Deborah Benham (the managing director at Newbold) who is a wildlife biologist and accredited guide.

Wild At Heart offers outdoor experiences which help children and adults alike reconnect to the natural world – whether this is through learning about the local seal and dolphin populations, or helping to protect bumblebees and butterflies in our 7 acres of organic grounds.

Family Holidays

It made me feel like a fresh adolescent again discovering the world and feeling passionate about change (instead of the slightly jaded cynical northerner developed from working in the NHS for a few years!)

family on EcoV boatThe holiday choice for families whose children (and parents!) are keen on animals and nature.
We’ve found that it’s often the simple things – playing in woodland, swimming in the river, wild picnics and campfires, that nurture and develop a love and concern for nature in an enjoyable and engaging way. We’ve also learnt that what parents most want is for their children to be having a great time, without having to  organise everything themselves! However, parents should have a great time too – and it’s often doing exactly the same things as the children. Nonetheless, there are plenty of opportunities for ‘you’ time as well, like relaxing in the cosy lounge or Newbold’s beautiful Victorian conservatory, or treating yourself to a massage or yoga lesson with one of our in house therapists.

  • Nature-based games: a fun way to enhance environmental understanding and connection, such as ‘Bat catches Midgee’, ‘Protect your Tree’, nature-based arts and crafts. Make a bird feeder or nest box or learn how to set up cameras to watch wildlife remotely.
  • Nature Detectives: Spend a day with ‘Tracker Dan’ looking for clues to unravel natural mysteries. Where did the otter pass last night? Where are the deer sleeping? And what are the birds saying to each other?
  • Be a Marine Biologist for the Day: Learn about seals and dolphins by carrying out your own mini research project, then taking a thrilling boat trip out into the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation. Spot seals, seabirds and if we’re lucky, the famous bottlenose dolphins – one of only two populations in the UK!

Price:  Fully-guided and fully inclusive –

7 nights at Newbold House – Adults £700/ Children £530.

Booking: To book or for more information, call 01309 672659  or email

Nature Retreat

A beautiful, perfectly formed pause in the hustle of life. I came away energised, inspired, and resolved to do more for the environment.

drawing by the river

A deeply relaxing short break to refresh mind, body and soul.  No crowds or traffic noise, just open spaces, unspoilt nature and the sounds of birdsong. Our aim is to provide the most nurturing ‘home from home’ environment possible, where you can truly escape the stresses and strains of daily life and renew yourself.

Our expert retreat coordinator and in house wildlife experts will work with you to organise a tailored experience to deeply connect you with nature, both inner and outer.

Nature walks: around our grounds and out into the adjacent woodland and wetlands with one of our experienced leaders, Deborah, Dan or Manja. Learn what the birds are saying to each other and which plants have been used over the years for sustenance and health

Quiet journaling, nature-art, an in-house Esalen massage with our therapist Heather or we can arrange a variety of holistic therapies and healing sessions with other local practitioners.

A visit to the local bay, seal colony and ecovillage: Findhorn ecovillage and community is full of funky eco-houses, craft workshops, an arts centre and great coffee and cake to enjoy. And include a trip out to look for the area’s famous resident dolphin population with marine biologist and Newbold Managing Director, Dr Deborah Benham.

A day at the beautiful Findhorn River: This magical river valley is surrounded by ancient deciduous forest and Scots pine, with lovely paths and swimming holes. Your guide will offer opportunities for led walks or nature-based meditation, or simply wander, write, swim, read or relax. We can also build a little campfire to make some wild tea or ember-baked bread.

Dates: Please enquire. We can run these breaks on request for groups of 2+ people, subject to availability.

Prices: Include accommodation, meals, activities and local transport e.g. 4 Night short break: £499 (shared room), £540 (single room).

Booking: To book or for more information, call 01309 672659 or 07590 832919, or email

Coastal Wildlife Holidays

Your knowledge of the dolphins and the way you effortlessly wove your understanding into our discussions made our enjoyment of the experience all the better. That, together with an excellent picnic, kind weather, expert boat handling and, not least, accommodating dolphins and sea-birds made for an unforgettable experience.

Early May 2013 035Explore the Moray Firth (recently voted by National Geographic as one of the best coastlines in the world) from both land and sea with marine biologist Dr Deborah Benham.

Imagine watching dolphins from land as they come in to feed on the salmon and sea trout migrating in and out of our famous ‘whisky’ rivers; standing on a cliff above thousands of nesting gannets; and spotting grey seals and seabirds – and perhaps even Minke whales and basking sharks in summer.

This trip takes in the most beautiful parts of the Moray Firth and as well as the wealth of wildlife you can enjoy relaxing coastal walks and countless fantastic photography opportunities.

  • Troupe Head – Gannets & Puffins:   Managed by the RSPB, Troupe Head is the second largest mainland Gannet nesting site in the UK. Watch the pairs as they display fascinating courtship, bonding and nesting behaviour.
  • Coast, caves & rock pools:  take time to paddle about in rock-pools discovering their tiny but amazing inhabitants. Keep an eye out for dolphins in the water and hunting birds of prey along the dunes, then explore the bay caves after lunch!
  • Evening Talks: On some evenings there will be a wildlife themed talk by local experts, slide show or film to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the local marine environment and its inhabitants.

Dates: Please enquire. We can run these breaks on request for groups of 2+ people, subject to availability.

Indicative Price:  4 night/ 3 day break fully inclusive of all guided activities, boat trips, accommodation and meals £550 pp based on 2 or more sharing. Single use of rooms may incur a supplement.

Booking: To book or for more information, call 01309 672659 or 07590 832919, or email

PLEASE NOTE! This holiday is not recommended for young children as watching wildlife often requires patience and perseverance. However we are happy to welcome older children (12+) who are keen on animals and have some wildlife watching experience. Due to the nature of our holidays, we keep the itineraries quite flexible. This allows us to make the most of weather conditions and wildlife sightings.

Day Trips

North 58 boat and coastlineIf you’re coming to Newbold for a workshop or to stay for any reason, and would like to get to know the local wildlife and landscapes, Wild At Heart also offer many day or half day excursions. Popular trips include visiting the seals and Ecovillage at Findhorn Bay, wildlife tracking and basic bushcraft skills, or a whole day out looking for and learning about the local bottlenose dolphins. These trips must be booked in advance, before your arrival at Newbold.

Please enquire for prices and availability.

Booking: To book any of these trips or for more information, call 01309 672659 or 07590 832919, or email

Please be aware that sometimes the day and time of activities (particularly for seal and dolphin watching) needs to be changed to allow for optimal tide and weather conditions, allowing the best wildlife sightings.