Spiritual background

Welcome to Anam Cara

'A Retreat Centre in the Scottish Highlands'

Entrance to Anam Cara

Training courses and workshops in


Anam Cara is a Gaelic expression meaning "soul friend". It symbolises a spiritual friendship that is not affected by time, distance, or separation.

In the old Celtic tradition, the Anam Cara is someone with whom you could share your innermost self, mind and heart. This soul friendship is an act of recognition and belonging, helping us return to the hearth of our Spirit.

We have chosen this name as a symbol for the 'circle of belonging', that inner friendship which embraces nature, divinity, spirit and human world as one.


Anam Cara lies 600 feet above sea level and overlooks the city of Inverness with stunning southerly views towards the Monadhliath Mountains. We are only three miles from the city centre yet surrounded by farm and woodland. The scope for walking is endless. The centre is set in seven acres of land which offers a delightful network of paths through a rich and varied landscape with extensive wooded areas and a sheltered fruit and vegetable garden embodying permaculture principles.

Living arrangements

Workshops and retreats are fully residential with nutritious, wholesome, vegetarian meals provided and special diets catered for on request. We use organic produce as availability allows - an ever-growing proportion of which is produced in our own garden. All meals are prepared by our experienced cooks, with participants assisting in the 'Helping Hands' wash up rota. During working retreats, meals will be prepared as a community exercise.


The guest living space is comprised of three large wooden clad caravans, which are literally set into the hillside each with marvelous southerly views. The caravans accommodate up to five people in two single, one double and one twin room all with electric heating. A recently refurbished toilet/shower room adjoins the caravans. The turf roof 'pavilion' offers comfortable communal space for both relaxation and eating. All food is prepared in our galley kitchen adjacent to the pavilion.

Workshop facilities

The main venue affectionately known as the 'Tufty' is a purpose built octagon, constructed from locally grown timber with large patio windows looking south over Inverness and the mountains beyond. The log burning stove, oak floor and turf roof creates a unique and lovely space, augmented with a well stocked spiritual library.

Anam Cara has a range of additional buildings tucked away in various nooks around the croft. We have recently completed a wood fired sauna which is now an additional facility comprising a large sauna, shower/changing room and a spacious relaxation room. The sauna lies adjacent to the 'healing barrel' formally a whiskey mash barrel. This delightful grass roofed conversion serves as a therapy room which is available for hire. Both buildings are situated in the Healing Well Garden, a quiet retreat space of shady decking overlooking a natural spring with its aquatic abundance. Water may be drawn from the well for those seeking the benefits and blessings of a water 'ablution'.

Our shrine room is used for daily meditation, which retreatants are welcome to attend. As one of the older buildings at Anam Cara, the trees and shrubs have, over the years, created a quiet secluded venue which is available for use at all times.

Our Earthlodge awaits discovery in an isolated nook of the 'raspberry wood' and this venue is most often used for shamanic ritual and ceremony. The building is buried into the hill side with thick stone walls, forest pole frame and grass roof, which is a common feature at Anam Cara! The new addition of a rocket stove brings much warmth to this quiet atmospheric space.

Price structure

We endeavour to keep the cost of our coursesas low as possible, which we hope you will find reflected in our prices. Please note course fees are inclusive of all meals and accommodation. A number of concession rates are also available on request.

Concession rates: Some concession rates for unemployed and low waged available at 20% discount. Please enquire.

Shamanism Workshops and Shamanic Training

Shamanism is the most time tested mind/body healing method that we know of today dating back at least 40,000 years. It was practised in all five continents including the Celtic and Pictish peoples of ancient Britain. The shamanic methods and practices the world over are strikingly similar and not bound by race, culture, belief, or lifestyle.