Updated: Nov 23
Read about that time when we stayed in a hut in the middle of the forest...
If you’re looking for somewhere that makes you feel closer to nature, but don’t want to give up on all your creature comforts then read on to hear about our ConservationWise trip in February 2018 to the Cairngorms!
We headed to the small village of Nethy Bridge in the north of the Cairngorms National Park in search of a hidden gem; The Lazy Duck.
The eco-campsite is surrounded by remnants of an ancient Caledonian forests and features three self-catering eco cabins (The Woodman’s Hut, The Lambing Bothy and the Duck’s Nest), a hostel for up to eight people and & a wee four pitch campsite.
We stayed in the secluded Woodman’s Hut. Made from sustainable larch bark wood clad, it has to be the off-grid eco-cabin to rival all eco-cabins. Inside, it is heated by a toasty wood stove, and has a tiny but full functioning kitchen and an incredibly cosy Hebridean box bed with a stargazer window (I could have easily spent the whole weekend in there!). Once you do manage to drag yourself out of bed, make sure you pull the curtains back slowly as you'll likely see some of your four-legged neighbours; deer, red squirrel or even a capercaillie or pine marten. Outside, the wee porch (complete with chiminea) has stunning views over the vast moorland and, beyond that, the snow-capped peaks of the Cairngorm mountain range.
Just outside the cabin, you’ll find the rainwater barrel bush-shower, which certainly freshens you up in the morning. Close by the cabin is your wooden out-house, featuring a compost toilet, gorgeous birdsong and the wind whistling between the trees… and your legs!
You could easily stay in and around the cabin for the duration of your stay, soaking in the peace and tranquillity, and who could blame you! But, if you pop on your walking boots, you can find plenty of nearby walking trails; it’s a short walk to the Poets Seat, which offers further stunning views over the moorland and towards the Cairngorm mountains, or, opposite the entrance to the Lazy Duck you can pick up the ‘Explore Abernethy’ Wilderness Trail. The two lochs trail is also a short car journey away, and offers breath-taking views over Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie.
After a hard day of relaxing, we made use of the wood fired hot tub, which started under the stars and ended in snow, before heading back to our cosy cabin in the woods – the perfect way to end a perfect weekend break!
We LOVED our stay, and left feeling closer to nature and thoroughly refreshed, we only wish it could have been for longer.
In the words of David, one half of the Lazy Duck’s founding team, ‘be prepared to move out of your comfort zone before moving back into it as you re-adjust’.