‘We howled like wolves’: a running break in Scotland’s wild west

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A new fitness and nature retreat in Argyll, two hours by train and ferry from Glasgow, ditches speed and calorie counts to let the countryside work its magic

At a viewpoint overlooking a sea of canary-yellow gorse and delicate blackthorn blossom tumbling down to inky Loch Fyne, the six of us howl like wolves into a gentle breeze. It’s an exhilarating moment, adding to the euphoria as we near the end of the four-day retreat’s longest run.

It’s day three, and from our base at Auchgoyle Farm, a once-dilapidated dairy farm going through a rewilding transformation thanks to new owners David and Katharine Lowrie, we’d spent the morning sloshing through peaty burns, scampering across dunes and scrambling over rockpools along the quieter side of the Cowal peninsula. Aptly named Argyll’s secret coast, we barely saw another soul but did spot roe deer hiding in thick bracken, osprey circling overhead and eider ducks ushering their young away from shore.

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