So ingrained is the sauna tradition in Finnish culture that it is said there are more saunas in Finland than there are cars.

Saunas also feature on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, alongside the Argentinian tango and Indian yoga.

With an estimated three million saunas in a population of 5.5 million people, they are treated as a necessity rather than a luxury in Finland, with even the pattern of life for Finns said to revolve around them.

Now one former Helsinki resident is spearheading a campaign to establish a non-profit public sauna in Glasgow and ascertain what an authentic sauna culture would mean for the city and its residents, bringing the beloved tradition that is so integral to life in Finland over to Scotland.

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Sauna Appreciation Glasgow is the brainchild of Will Brown, who developed a profound love for the small therapeutic hot rooms from his time spent living in the Finnish capital.

The Glasgow-native is also keen to advocate the mental health benefits of people coming together for a sauna in a way that is not common on these shores, unlike his experiences abroad.

He told The Herald: “The sauna is a really special space. I was living in Helsinki in winter and it was pretty brutal. Those extra, shorter days made it quite hard.

“I started going to saunas with some of my friends I had met out there and it became a really nice space where we could just meet up and talk and just hang out. There’s the social aspect which is really nice but there was also something about just being in saunas that feels good.

“They say there’s about two-and-a-half million saunas in Finland, and there’s only five million people that live there, so there’s basically one sauna per two people. 

“And they also say that there’s more saunas in the country than there are cars.

“I’ve stayed in friends’ tower blocks and on the top floor of the tower block there’s a public access space with a sauna in it and a living area that anyone in the building can rent out.”

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After setting up the community of interest in December of last year, Mr Brown has been busy getting the growing a support base of organisers, funders and potential future users of Glasgow’s first public sauna.

He said: “The mission is to establish a public sauna in Glasgow and also to kind of work out what an authentic sauna culture means for the city as well.

“I lived in Finland for a while and I got to experience the sauna culture there. It’s really nice, it’s kind of built around being equals in the sauna space and talking about things that really matter. 

“And I was kind of keen too to take inspiration from that and not just copy and paste it onto a Scottish context and try and work out if there’s a version of that would kind of naturally emerge here.

“I’ve been talking about it in the sense of creating an authentic, affordable and accessible sauna. Basically a sauna that anyone can go to, not just middle-class ‘wellness’ people. It would also be a sauna that people pay a fee to use and all the money raised is used to pay the staff who are running it, and the money can be reinvested into other charitable ventures.”

Mr Brown added that the community of interest is looking to lease a portable sauna to get the campaign off the ground, with a long-term ambition of building a permanent site in Glasgow.

He said: “We’ve got a converted horsebox sauna that someone that we know is willing to lease us for a period of time that would be to get us started. Basically it’s now about finding a site for it, preferably in a nice space with some trees around it.

"It’s a case of having enough space for a the sauna, some other small shed-type structure to get changed in and then to have a couple of old whisky barrels that you could hold water in so people could do cold water plunge dips. That’s it. In terms of the actual site itself we are really open to where it’s going to be. The idea is to do it in steps. This is obviously kind of new.

"There’s not really any saunas in Glasgow apart from those in gyms, so the idea is to do it small-scale using a temporary infrastructure and then build out in different areas around the city. The long-term ambition would then be to build a permanent site, with preferably access to an outdoor cold water dip area.”