Inspired by the Finnish art of sauna (usually in sauna tents on frozen lakes with ice holes cut as plunge pools!) we decided to investigate a Scottish version. Something as much of the landscape as these small Finnish tents were, surrounded by nature and heated with wood.
We were lucky to stumble upon a wee company in Callander making and building yurts in Scotland. Inspired by their travels to the Middle East, Paul set up Red Kite Yurts. Paul 's partner who lived in Finland inspired the sauna and so the sauna yurt was born.
The structure itself is a work of art, the wood is all sourced locally. It is predominantly made from larch to give the 'sauna aroma', while the crown is made from steam bent ash wood. The canvas is made in England and stitched in Perthshire and the wool insulation comes from the Scottish hillsides. The whole process feels like the yurt is of the landscape as it nestles beneath the West Kip summit.
Paul is the best person to talk to about sauna, telling stories of standing on the benches to get a swirling sauna experience as the air moves in a spiral around the yurt cone, or how to harvest birch branches to stimulate the skin the Finnish way.
The yurt offers a steam sauna with lower temperatures (45 degrees), heating through steam for a more humid sauna. This allows you to stay in the sauna for longer, dipping in and out of the spring water plunge pool.
The only bit of the structure to come from afar is the sauna stove from Finland. The heat created by burning our own pine wood harvested on the farm as part of our sustainable woodland management.
While the sauna is shared between the Eastside guests each cottage enjoys their own private sauna time. Bookings made on arrival and sauna up to temperature and ready to go on your sauna evening.
A wee shout out
I'd like to take this opportunity to do a wee shout out for Paul and the whole team from Red Kite Yurts. If you need to hire or buy a yurt for weddings, festivals, saunas or accommodation then we can't recommend these guys enough. Real craftsmen that genuinely care about sourcing and old fashioned things like customer service, they're also just lovely people.