Image for Three places offering free holidays for people who really need it

Three places offering free holidays for people who really need it

Carers, community leaders and those who can’t afford to get away could be eligible for a free break in one of these beauty spots

Carers, community leaders and those who can’t afford to get away could be eligible for a free break in one of these beauty spots

1. Taigh Whin, Scotland

Nestled between majestic mountains and sandy shores on Scotland’s west coast, the two-bedroom cottage and stand-alone bothy studio at Taigh Whin offer those working for positive change in Scotland the space for deep restoration in stunning surroundings.

There are spectacular views across to the Isle of Skye, amazing walks and swims, and the lack of light pollution means dazzling displays of the aurora borealis when conditions are right.

From campaigners and carers to community leaders and artists – anyone working for the common good in Scotland is invited to apply, simply explaining how they would benefit from a stay. The only costs are the price of housekeeping.

Image: Taigh Whin

2. The Dreaming, Wales

After she lost a baby at 17 weeks, singer-songwriter turned activist Charlotte Church found healing in the wilderness of Wales. Now she has turned Rhydoldog House – a seven-bedroom mansion and barn surrounded by 47 acres of woodland in the Nant Caethon valley in mid-Wales – into a wellness retreat so that she can share that healing with others.

It opened its doors this spring with two three-day retreats a week, where participants are helped to foster their connection with nature through forest bathing, sound healing ceremonies and cold-water immersion. There is one pay-as-you-can space on each retreat, drawn at random from those who apply via the website.

Image: Elliot Cooper

Free holidays
3. Kingham Cottage, England

This two-bedroom converted farm building in the pretty village of Combe Down, just outside Bath, is owned by the charity After Umbrage, which provides free short breaks for those caring for loved ones with life-limiting and terminal conditions. It’s also available for carers who’ve lost the person they were caring for (up to 12 months following their bereavement).

A four-night stay might include long bubble baths in the free-standing bathtub, breakfast on the sunny terrace, walks in the countryside and cultural visits to nearby Bath. Applicants just need to fill in a form on the website and have it signed or stamped by a GP or hospice.

Image: Akos Nemes
Main image: Elliot Cooper

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