If you want quirky, cool, elemental living then the Lazy Duck is the place for you – just a short drive from Aviemore, with a variety of accommodation options that includes a waterside lodge, an eco-cabin, a lambing bothy and even a funky small hostel-cum-bunkhouse, as well as four tent-only pitches for camping purists. It's a compact, friendly site, covering six acres – hulking Scottish pines soar all around while the Cairngorms provide an epic backdrop. The name, incidentally, comes from the resident Aylesbury ducks – just spend a few minutes watching them round the pond and you'll see why!
The Lambing Bothy, Woodman's Hut and The Duck's Nest each sleep two people in romantic seclusion. The Hut is completely off-grid, with just candles and some low-level battery-powered lighting; the Bothy and Nest have limited mains supply – while all three have wood-burning stoves for warmth! The hostel hut sleeps eight and is similarly basic, but perfect for groups of friends or extended families looking to kick back for a while and enjoy nature.
Linen and towels provided in the cabins, as are logs for the wood-burners; in the hostel there are sleeping bags but no towels. There is fresh water and use of a fridge-freezer – and if you just can't do without the outside world, there is a phone-charging point and limited internet access too. Outside, there are hammocks in the heather, a Tarzan swing made out of an old boat buoy, a wood-fired hot tub soothed by essential oils, an infra-red sauna with chill-out tunes and a private warm-water bush shower each for the campground and huts – a brave attempt to bring a small slice of the Outback to the Highlands.
As for things to do, the site is close to the long-distance Speyside Way in Nethy Bridge, and also to the year-round delights of Aviemore. There are mountains and walks in all directions, and a hotel lounge bar within walking distance – plus lots of distilleries to visit if you want to travel that bit further afield. All in all it's a pretty special place to enjoy a low-impact, slow living Highlands holiday.
The Owner Says
Organically evolved over four decades, these small scale, increasingly sustainable places to stay all have their own space in a six-acre family homestead. Been active? Come home to slow living. Immersion in one of our range of elementally pristine accommodation, from a spot on our lightweight, four-pitch campground, one of three cosy mountain huts for couples or our hut hostel, sleeping up to eight, is good for the soul. And our wood-fired hot tub and infra-red sauna are pretty popular with guests, too.
What’s special about our place?
Each of our accommodation has its own unique charm – if you have trouble choosing then let us know and we can help you decide. One of our favourite spots on our six acres has to be our welcoming bench at the duck pond. It's such a lovely thing to sit and watch the goings on on the pond, noticing the quirky interactions between species.
What’s special about our area?
We are proud to be located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, an area of immense diversity and beauty in landscape and wildlife. When not chilling out back at the Duck, guests can choose from exploring the high peaks of the Cairngorm Plateau, the ancient Caledonian forest or join the Speyside Way, the long-distance trail which follows the famous River Spey. Not to mention fishing, whisky distillery visits, reindeer trekking, zip lining, folk museum-ing and many more interesting attractions, as sedate or exhilarating as required.
Best local places to eat and drink?
Ooh, we have a few favourite places to eat and drink around here. The Nethy House Cafe (07963 217 793) in the village is great for hot soup and cake, and the Mountview Hotel (01479 821 248) has great service and delicious dinners. Both are within walking distance. In nearby Boat of Garten we love Anderson's Restaurant (01479 831 466) for its lovely atmosphere and amazing flavours (not forgetting the interesting ice cream flavours!). And in Grantown on Spey we are lucky to have High Street Merchants (01479 872246), an effortlessly elegant, modern coffee shop.
Why stay with us?
Come and be welcomed by our friendly team to our homestead in this ancient forest clearing. Leave your worries behind and let slow living soothe your soul and refresh your spirit.
Opening TimesOpen all year; camping May–October.
Family FriendlyBreathe, unwind, relax. This is the perfect place to introduce your kids to the pleasures of laziness.
The Lazy Duck is on the Nethy Bridge–Tomintoul road, in the forest at the edge of the village – beside the Fhuarain burn andwaterfowl ponds in a forest clearing homestead, looking south to the ‘northern corries’ of the Cairngorms in the heart of the National Park. From the centre of the village, find the Nethy Bridge Hotel and follow the Lazy Duck sign in the pub garden, pointing straight up the road to the village boundary.
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