Standing alone on the fringes of a seventy acre pinewood the intimately designed Woodman's Hut with verandah makes a rare hideaway for a couple. It looks south across the neighbouring one hundred acre moor to Bynack Mor and Cairngorm Mountain. The larch, pine and oak built hut is a throw back to the heady days when timber was extracted from these woods and sent to the River Spey for floating to the coast.
This hut is smaller than those lived in by the Canadians, Newfoundlanders ( Newfies) and Finns, the last of a long line of hardy men who worked the woods as far back as the 17th Century. Today, all is peaceful with red squirrels, otter, curlew, capercaillie, crossbills, crested tit, roe deer and high flying osprey as the hut's near neighbours. Eighty yards away through the wood are the 4 Star graded 8 bed Lazy Duck Hostel and the two person waterside lodge, The Duck's Nest. Further away still is the tiny 4 pitch lightweight camping ground.
In these six acres you will find grazing Soay sheep, a flock of white Aylesbury ducks and many attractive small waterfowl frisking or idling on the pond. 'The Welcoming Seat' overlooking the water invites you to linger here; you may muse at the 'Poet's Seat' a few minutes walk higher up on the moor with a panoramic view and then, if you wish, explore the further 'Lettoch' moor, this one topped by a rare juniper forest and a near 360 degree vista.
Hear the silence. Sense the forest. Drink deeply of the air from the high tops.
traditional Scottish box bed with stargazer window, hot outdoor shower, compost loo,
A Cairngorms National Park Design Award winner,this hut is unique and stands alone well away from the hostel, cottage, camping ground and main house.
Much of the building relies on timber felled and milled here at Badanfhuarain in 2010 when a two hundred and sixty year old Scots pine was damaged by snow and the hard decision made that it had to come down. Larch slabs from Castle Leod, Strathpeffer and storm damaged oak all have a place in the hut thanks to craftsmen Rob and David.
A hot water outdoor shower clings to the east wall and a state of the art, sweet smelling composting toilet hides among the nearby trees. Kettles heat water on the closed woodburning stove.
Cooking is by a double ring gas stove with oven and grill. Lighting is by T light candle lanterns and background 12 volt warm white electric. By design,there is no mains electric or TV. There are books and a game or two though and a simple radio.
Guests are advised to bring a good head torch both to reach the hut in the dark and perhaps for reading in bed, - and their favourite music making or playing equipment. Warm Knockando Woolmill rugs are available to make early morning or evening sitting on the storm lantern lit veranda a cosy experience. A good malt helps.
A small safe peat burning pot stove is provided for minimalist outdoor cooking. Protection of the forest means we are unable to permit other BBQ equipment to be used.
Washing water gathered from the roof into a re deployed whisky barrel supplies the hut via an unbelievable brass tap over the stone sink. Drinking water is supplied from the house.
The traditional king size box bed with windows to the forest, the mountain and to the canopy of stars above - says it all.
Towels, bed linen, all kitchen and dining requirements provided. WiFi and phone top up - 2 minutes walk
Wood fired hot tub frequently available. Infra red sauna - please enquire about rates for either and book by 10.00am on the day. Try perhaps a Swedish massage in the secluded Well Being Studio. Please enquire for details. Pre booking essential.
Other Quality Awards
awaiting inspection when VisitScotland can invent a new category for huts. Everything else is 4 star graded
Scottish Thistle Award
The Woodman's Hut Nethybridge
The Lazy Duck
Cairngorms National Park