Saunas have been a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle across northern Europe and beyond for centuries - and now its set to grip Scotland in a way it probably never has before.
Billed as Scotland’s first loch-side wood-burning sauna experience, a new addition to Loch Tay opening this weekend is set to bring a piece of the Nordics to the rolling hills and lakes of Perthshire.
The Hot Box - part of a new development at Taymouth Marina in Kenmore - is one of the UK’s largest saunas, stretching some 40 feet (12.19m) and boasting panoramic views across the loch and the adjacent hills.
The health benefits of saunas are well-known, not least for skin cleansing, improved circulation and immune system and recovery from physical exertion.
Part of a traditional sauna cycle includes being plunged into cold water, much like they do in Sweden, Finland and Russia.
In much the same way, guests of the Hot Box will get to enjoy the crackling heat of the wood-burning stove before being encouraged to brave a reinvigorating dip in the waters of Loch Tay or by pulling one of the cords on the water barrels suspended above the patio outside.
Naomi Strickland, partner at McKenzie Strickland Associates and a director at Taymouth Marina, said: “The Hot Box is a project that has been an absolute joy to plan and create and we are incredibly excited about its launch. The health benefits of saunas have been known for hundreds – perhaps thousands – of years, from detoxification to improved cardiovascular health.
“The really unique and exciting part about The Hot Box is the wonderfully reinvigorating dunk that can be had in that rather large pool in front of it, which you’ll know as Loch Tay! We can’t wait to see who’s going to be brave enough to spend a session in The Hot Box before hitting the loch for an instant cool-off!
“If that sounds too much for some people, we have suspended water barrels on the decking which will give guests just enough of a splash of cold water to get that instant re-invigoration.”