I don’t know about you, but I’m a slight addict to the internet. I’d like to think that I can switch off, unwind and enjoy the everyday, but like most people, technology is so intrinsic to my life that if WiFi is down, I become agitated. It’s like a twitch. I feel the need to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or my email. Put a phone in my hand and it’s a problem not to check.
Given this addiction, I did what many addicts do. I went to rehab.
Enter the digital detox.
Glamping on Arran
While holidaying on the Isle of Arran, a.k.a. my favourite place on earth, David and I checked into Runach Arainn (“secret Arran”) for a night. We stayed in a traditional yurt, complete on the inside with a proper bed, table and chairs, crockery cabinet and the classic chimney in the centre of the yurt to keep us cozy come rain or shine. Glamping on Arran – excellent. I’m a bit *cough* old to be grabbing a sleeping bag while on holiday.
Arriving in Kilmory, a village I’d never previously visited on Arran, we took a right at the sign for Kilmory church and strolled five minutes up the road, turning at the Kilmory Church. I say strolled, because we brought Jack along with us.
Pippa and Andrew, owners of Runach Arainn, have only had the two yurts on their “glampsite” operational since November. Despite the short time frame, the visitor’s book is overflowing with compliments and happy guests. We were in safe hands.
I was surprised at how spacious the yurt was on the inside! We had plenty of space for the three of us to kick back and relax for the night. In many ways it felt larger than your average hotel room. It was quiet, peaceful and environmentally friendly. Our lights were solar powered, there was one socket, but again it was solar powered, and the toilet in our private bathroom was a super snazzy compost toilet.
Wanting to make the most of a dry day – it is Scotland after all – we dropped off our bags, threw on the Baby Bjorn, and headed off for a walk up the hill per the recommendation of Pippa and Andrew. We crossed a peaty stream, meandered past farmland and eventually made our way to a glorious hedgerow. I was reminded on a scene in Game of Thrones where one of the characters is on a road that goes through a tree tunnel. That’s exactly what this was like, and I can only imagine how incredible it would be in the height of summer with the greenery in full effect.
If the blue flag flies, according to the sign, then you can check out the Kilmory wood workshop. Sadly it was closed when we visited, but we enjoyed the fresh, brisk walk nonetheless.
Heading back, we took a look through the Kilmory church and graveyard. There’s something about the number 86 on this island! There was a series of three or four gravestones in a row, and each person died at the ripe age of 86. Living on this island with these views, the great food and the “island time” lifestyle, I think that’d be a great way to live out 86 years.
Back at the yurt and we settled in for the evening. David got the wood burning stove going and relived his childhood camping experiences. Jack and I snuggled down for a little nap, falling asleep looking up at the clear roof, panes separated by wood like spokes on a wheel.
It’s funny. I wasn’t even tempted to check and see if I had wifi connection. The signal on our phone was non-existent, but to be fair we had an Orange SIM card, one of the mobile providers that has terrible signal on Arran in general.
Without the temptation of the internet or any other digital distraction, I really plugged into family time. We played with Jack, read him kid’s stories that were on the bookshelves, and David and I played a board game, trading turns to bounce the baby.
For dinner, we tucked into a real island feast. Every piece of our dinner came from a local producer. We had Wooley’s oatcakes, Arran Fine Foods’ plum and pear chutney, Torrylinn creamery’s award winning extra mature cheddar cheese (best in the world, thank you very much!), and an assortment of desserts from Wooley’s bakery. A dinner of island nibbles is the best way to go. Poor Jack only had a bottle of milk. Ah well… we’ll be back.
Snuggling in for the night was an incredible feeling. Pippa and Andrew had provided a cot for Jack who slept well with all the fresh air from the day, while David and I cozied into bed. Staring up at the glass roof, I could only imagine what this must be like on a night with a clear sky. With minimal light pollution on Arran, you’d fall asleep to thousands of stars.
Fun fact of travelling with an infant means nighttime feeds. Usually I drag myself out of bed at Jack’s cries, feeding him on the boring old couch at home. Not so, here! It was so special and neat to feed him, listening to the crackle of the dying fire. It was so quiet, apart from Jack’s little glugs, and of course the epic burp that followed.
The other fun fact of travelling with a small baby means waking up when he wakes up, at the crack of dawn. The bonus of this? In my previous life I’d never witness the sunrise. I’d be snoozing away, dead to the world. But with Jack, we were up at six a.m. Handing him over to David, I walked the short distance to the bathroom, all the while taking in the view. I couldn’t believe the colours of the sunrise, burning through the sky.
I never considered myself a camper. I mean, I did an overland trip in Africa back in the day, but staying for a night in Runach Arainn reminded me why unwinding and turning off the devices is so important for a family. It was our first night away as a family of three and I’ll always remember glamping on Arran fondly.
I switched off my device and plugged into my family.
Have you ever taken or considered a digital detox? Would you try glamping?
Top Tip! If you ever decide to stay at Runach Arainn (and you should!), ask Pippa and Andrew about Arran’s best kept secret, mere minutes from their property. I would tell you about it… but then I wouldn’t be keeping the secret, would I?
Many thanks to Runach Arainn for hosting us. My opinions are honest and entirely my own.