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A weekend off-grid in the Cairngorms (West)

The Cairngorms National Park is one of the true wildernesses of Scotland.

As the biggest National Park in the UK, it’s safe to say that there’s lots to do and see here. Whether that’s hiking, skiing, mountain biking or exploring nature and spotting wildlife – it’s hard to find a better adventure playground.

In fact, it’s such a big place that it can be difficult to decide what to do or where to go – so we wanted to share our recommendations for spending a few days in this epic National Park.

Where to stay?

The Lazy Duck‘s Woodsman Hut – an eco-cabin nestled amongst the pine trees – has to be one of the best bucket list destinations in Scotland. It’s completely cut off from the outside world and offers the perfect opportunity to switch off and unwind if you are on your own or a couple.

Everything about the eco-cabin is built with a love for nature. In the morning, you can heat rainwater on the woodstove to take a hot water bush shower, while a log fire keeps you warm throughout the night. Oh, and the nearby streams also happens to be your fridge!

For a proper into the wild experience there are few places like The Lazy Duck – a real off-grid retreat in the heart of the Cairngorms. 

Its owners – Sarah and Phil – also made us our very own breakfast hamper, which included home-made bread, jam and freshly laid eggs. And what better place to enjoy it than out on our veranda looking over the snowy mountains?

To top it all off, there’s the wood-fired hot tub and a skylight that lets you fall asleep under the stars. For those that want a little extra luxury, there are also other cabins on the grounds which offer a few more home comforts, all unique and magical in their own right. 

For bigger groups and families, the nearby Strathspey Lodge can host up to 10 people and has something to cater for everyone; table tennis, bikes, a games room, a whole library of books and one of the most beautiful lounge areas you can find to sit and relax by the fire with a nice dram of whisky.

What to do?


Not far from both locations is Lochan Uaine, otherwise known as the Green Loch. As you’ll see from the photos, it’s pretty clear how it got that name. You can only reach the loch by foot and there’s a great circular route you can follow to get there.   

To start, head off on the blue trail from the Visitor Centre at Loch Morlich.The hike takes around 2 hours and is fairly steep in some sections, so make sure you have good walking shoes.

For those who would rather a gentler stroll, head towards Glenmore Lodge (opposite the camping site) and drive down the road as far as you can. From here, follow the marked track through the forest, until you find your way to the Green Loch.


After the walk, Loch Morlich is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch. There aren’t many places where you can sit on a sandy beach, look out on the loch and still be in the middle of a forest. It might just be one of our favourite places in Scotland.

And if you are feeling brave enough, why not join the crazy few who go wild swimming here? 


This area of Scotland is well known for its red-tailed residents and throughout many of the forests there are opportunities to see these iconic species. Once in danger of going extinct, red squirrels are slowly returning to large parts of Scotland.


A visit to this part of Cairngorms would not be complete without meeting the reindeer that call it their home. Every day, the Reindeer Centre takes a group of people out to see the herd of 150 reindeers in their natural habitat. For us, there was nothing better than meeting these majestic animals. And who would have thought, they all love a cuddle! 

The Centre only runs one trip a day at 11.00am, and we’d recommend arriving at 10.00am to make sure you get a spot. The whole experience takes a few hours, but it’s definitely worth it. 

If you have any questions about the trip or are looking for any more suggestions in the area, just let us know. 

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