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“A wonderfully peaceful bit of Speyside” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lazy Duck Hostel, Eco Cabins & Lightweight Camping Ground

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Lazy Duck Hostel, Eco Cabins & Lightweight Camping Ground
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300 metres off the Nethy Bridge to Tomintoul Road | At the village boundary, Nethy Bridge PH25 3ED, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A wonderfully peaceful bit of Speyside”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

The hostel is small but has everything you need and a wonderful character. It is on the edge of the village, with Abernethy Forest a mile away and Red squirrels on the feeder outside the window. Staff were friendly and very helpful. There is a cottage, hut, small campsite, the owners and their ducks on site so there are a few ground rules but they are obvious enough and it all works well. To anyone who finds Aviemore and Glenmore a bit brash, busy and overdeveloped, come here and you'll fall in love with Speyside afresh.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Stayed with a friend for one night, would recommend it! Interesting set-up and guaranteed to have a good time!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

I have stayed at the lazy duck twice as a base for snowsports at Cairngorms. The hostel is peaceful, superbly maintained (there was ten years between the two visits and the place shows no signs of wear), well equipped kitchen and the perfect place for some post boarding beers in front of the fire (inside or out). Have visited with a party of 4 and a party of 8. Although it is cosy with 8 people there is enough space for everyone. Love the quirky feel of the whole area.

There was great ti*s and red squirrels at the feeder in the morning and the views of the area were superb. David and Valery introduced us to the ducks in the morning and made us feel very welcome.

My only disappointment is that I didn't take advantage of the fresh bread and eggs to order in the morning. Looking forward to my next trip there.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2011

I'm a bit surprised by the negative review below but David's response is spot on. In short, this campsite does not dress itself to be anything it's not. And what it is, is an environmentally friendly haven. If that means you leave your car on the gravel and not on the grass then so be it!

We spent a few nights here recently (in October) in the lambing field with sheep tucked away in their own little area away from the tents. We were met on arrival by Valery who showed us around and where to find the toilet/washing/dishwashing/sheltered cooking facilities. After that, we were left to our own devices. Having said that, there was always someone around if we needed any help.

As the review below pointed out, you park in a designated parking area and carry your stuff to your camp site. This is genuinely no hardship, as the lambing field is at most 20 seconds walk from the parking area, even with kit on your back. If you're staying in the actual camping area next to the cooking shelter, you're crossing a very small grassy area directly adjacent to the car park. It's no distance at all and nothing to moan about (and we unpacked in the pitch black!)

The camping area has a lovely hammock and also a few swings to keep the kids (and me!) amused. There's also a chimnea fire with sawed tree stumps acting as seats. We lit a little fire here on our last night and toasted mallows. Wonderfully cosy and peaceful.

The camping shelter was a very welcome addition and we spent a lot of time there, especially one evening where it rained heavily. The Lazy Duck provide candles in holders giving the shelter a cosy glow, but take more light if you plan on cooking in it at night. The shelter has cooking surfaces, tables, chairs with cushions, a whiteboard on the wall for people to scribble down hiking/bike hire tips or general thoughts. There's sheves with books/magazines/newspapers and even a board game.

Now, the biggest thing about this campsite is that it's environmentally friendly and respects wildlife, which scored big marks with me. The duckpond and surrounding area is pretty much out of bounds for anything unless you have wings (as it should be!) to let the ducks relax and nest undisturbed. Recycling is a big thing on this campsite and little is wasted including water, which brings me onto the bush shower.

I loved it. Although, I didn't know what it was before I arrived. Three wooden walls, and the fourth wall is covered by a shower curtain. Coat hangers and hooks are provided for clothes. You collect a bucket of water from the room at the back of the house and have it as warm as you like. One bucket = about 2 and a half minutes shower time which, despite my reservations, is more than enough time for a wash. You fill the bag in the shower and hoist it up, lift the handle up and the water comes down with gravity. It actually made me realise how much water we waste during an average 20 minute daily shower when a 2 minute shower for me was enough to wash with, and used one full bucket.

The atmosphere of the campsite is very cosy, very friendly and you're left to do your own thing. It's just so laid back I didn't want to leave. David and Valery have thought of everything to make your stay that little bit special, whether it's the cooking shelter with the candles, the sauna with music, the little chimnea that's set up just to be lit (with pre chopped firewood tucked away in a corner) or the little paths they've created in the woods that take you up to some lovely views (complete with bench!).

My favourite moment was in the cooking shelter at night, it was dark and the candles were lit, we were cooking dinner and one of the summer helpers (I forget her name) was in her caravan practicing violin. The sound of the music was the only thing we could hear, and it was beautiful. Certainly something I won't forget for a long time. Unfortunately we didn't see her before we left to say how lovely the music made our evening, so hopefully David and Valery will read this and pass it on.

It's little things like that you're not going to get on a big commercial campsite. So, if you want peace, relaxation, being able to wind down and go back to basics, try the Lazy Duck as you'll come away feeling that little bit more appreciative of luxuries with a thought in your mind to waste less water or materials. Or, if you want to park right beside your tent, have 'proper' shower facilities, be able to burn the grass as you please, fall over other people's tent and be kept up at night by people yelling and shouting, try a large commericial campsite.

I'd go to the Lazy Duck everytime. Thanks for everything, and we'll be back!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

I couldnt speak more highly of my stay at the lazy duck from 1st - 3rd of September 2011 and have already recommended to friends and family. I have stayed in plenty of hostels before and this is without doubt my favourite to date. From the moment you go through the gate you're greeted with ducks, goats and pine forrest. Such a stunning setting - particularly worth a walk just past the hostel over the style to the bench overlooking the heather and mountains in the distance. The hostel itself was exceptionally clean and well maintained with both fires alread laid encase of a chilly eve and our own kitchen facilities. A review below mentions the lazy duck 'not as layed back as you think'; in my opinion i found it extremely laid back with the only interuption beng David asking if everything was alright, and if the person below is whinging about separating tin cans from bottles then thats just plain laziness. Thanks David & Valery, Kenny & Marisa (and ducks) for a great time, i look forward to seeing you and the lazy duck soon when i cycle from lands end to john o groats. Ashley

Room Tip: £15 a night for the hostel is excellent value in my opinion
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at the campsite and 'upgraded' for the fourth to the Lazy Duck Hostel. The campsite was lovely and small, and we liked the fact that a pitch is kept in reserve for people travelling under their own steam. The wet weather shelter, where you can cook, eat and relax was a very welcome 'extra' as we had less than ideal weather!

We made full use of all the extras available to campers: sauna, fresh eggs and homemade bread. I particularly enjoyed the bush shower - nothing to be scared of as you fill it with water as hot as you like!

David and Valery (the owners) are very flexible and clearly want to do everything they can to help people enjoy their stay. There is no small thing that they haven't thought of, and the atmosphere is gentle, welcoming and very environmentally-conscious. The volunteers who help run the place are lovely and friendly - only wish we had had more time to chat with them!

The standout moment for me was waking up to red squirrels outside the window of the hostel on our last morning. Magic!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

Spent a great couple of nights camping here. Surroundings were pretty nice too. The local pub was only a 15 minute walk which meant that we could enjoy a couple of pints before settling for the night. I would warn campers coming for a chilled out, relaxing break to be prepared to follow a lengthy amount of rules, some of which could be seen as a little pedantic. It is fair to say that many of these rules help to maintain this peaceful environment - your stay just might not be as laid back as a result. The site is very well set up, it has a campers shelter, a clean toilet and it's also very quiet.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lazyduckhostel, Owner at Lazy Duck Hostel, Eco Cabins & Lightweight Camping Ground, responded to this review, August 31, 2011
This is a valuable and courteous review albeit being directed towards the Lazy Duck Hostel. Really it should be on Trip Advisor's Lazy Duck Campsite page but never mind, the same principles apply and it invites a similarly courteous response. What the reviewer calls 'rules' we refer in our pre visit postings to as 'arrangements' and for good reason. The distinction may be slight but it is important. For someone more accustomed to being ruled by rules as distinct from being guided by arrangements though it may be not so easy but let's try.

Our 'arrangements' have been devised after years of experience of making our visitors feel safe, looked after and assisted in any way open to us to help them enjoy their visit. Agreed, for some this might just result in information overkill. Our experience this year in particular though with a more even balance of well seasoned and highly experienced campers and hostellers and those first timers who happily profess themselves as novices has been that a clear explanation from us before they come of what is of offer and what is not makes for more smiling faces by far.

Determinedly both in the pre visit correspondence and again on arrival we draw attention to what visitors CAN do and what is on offer rather than what they cannot. They can expect the intimacy of a 4 pitch site. They can expect a fifth pitch to be offered to someone who walks or cycles in unannounced; we will not turn them away. They will have smallholding livestock - sheep, ducks, hens in the field over the fence from them. They should feel free to light the chimenea fire, use the hammocks in the trees, 'suffer' the adventurous bush shower and then award themselves a Certificate for Courage, wallow in the 2 person sauna, eat at the picnic table, light the candles in the Shelter, ask for home baked bread, help themselves to polytunnel produce in support of a children's charity, use our internet connection free and access the computer provided and arrange for any children to help feed the waterfowl at breakfast time.

And yes, without any apology from us, they are asked not to scorch the precious grass with careless use of their cooking stove and they are also asked to venture no closer to the waterfowl pond than the 'Welcoming Seat'. The pond banks can be slippery for children and the ducks have their right to space as well as the rest of us. They are asked to recycle waste most carefully and follow other requests for their own safety and enjoyment as well as for the well being of other guests. This includes minding the noise level after 11.00pm
These are 'arrangements' for civilized living in an elemental environment, the sort of place you though didn't exist any more.

The reviewer is generous in highlighting what he likes at The Lazy Duck and we are appreciate this. We agree the pre visit posting on our 'arrangements' could be viewed by some as lengthy, rather like this response. Let's just agree shall we that with three season visitors filling our few tent pitches constantly from all over the World, the safest way of ensuring a good time is had by all is to let you all know in advance just how we have learned to live with guests in this smallholding/hostel/camping ground/holiday cottage/woodman's hut six acres. "Say it as it is" said the wise man of the North. Then, as we say in the pre visit posting, please decide for yourself whether or not The Lazy Duck is the place for you. Most reviewers seem to go along with that one happily enough.

All the best,

David, Valery & L. Duck
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lazy Duck Hostel, Eco Cabins & Lightweight Camping Ground

Address: 300 metres off the Nethy Bridge to Tomintoul Road | At the village boundary, Nethy Bridge PH25 3ED, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Aviemore and the Cairngorms > Nethy Bridge
Amenities:
Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Nethy Bridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 6 acre oasis in the Cairngorms National Park where 8 bed hostel, 2 off grid 2 person eco cabins and a 4 pitch lightweight camping ground nestle by the waterfowl ponds and views straight to the mountains with nothing but moorland and forest in between. The Lazy Duck is close to mountain bike trails, skiing and snowboarding, climbing and plateau treks, rafting, kayaking, fishing, golfing and plenty of whisky distilleries. Landmark Forest Adventure Park, Highland Folk Museum, Highland Wildlife park and the leisure pool at the Aviemore Centre are all within easy reach and of top class quality for visitors Small is beautiful at The Lazy Duck. Been Active? Come home to slow living with our hot tub, sauna & Swedish massage service ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lazy Duck Hostel, Eco Cabins & Lightweight Camping Ground Nethy Bridge, Scotland

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