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Finding flow at the Lazy Duck

The Lazy Duck provides accommodation and MTB guiding based near Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorms National Park. They describe themselves as an organically evolved eco haven, hosting memorable holidays that don't cost the earth since 1999.

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What is the essence of a stay at the Lazy Duck?

In essence we are the ‘home of slow living’. A six-acre site nestled in Scots Pine forest on the outskirts of Nethybridge but just 20 minutes from Aviemore. Our offer is eco-minded high quality wooden hut accommodation for couples, groups of four and a seasonal (May to October) safari tent that sleeps six.

Lazy Duck’s intent is to host as if you are at home, providing what you need to slow down with simplicity in serene nature while not roughing it. Our hospitality is delivered with well-being at its core; massage/yoga and hot tub/sauna sessions in a peaceful and calming location. Swinging idly in a hammock just being in the moment.

We hope the take away of a stay with us is the feeling of deep relaxation and reconnection with what is important to you. We offer the place and space to realise what has been lost, missing or ignored while you have been too busy to notice.

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Its easy to relax into the Lazy Duck life... photo - TravelTwo

How does mountain biking compliment what the lazy duck is about?

Our guests come from a wide range of backgrounds and interests with a significant majority being active adventurers who are keen on wild places. Experienced riders or novices can enjoy a ‘sure fire’ mountain bike adventure choosing either a half or full day ride with us accessing our local knowledge of trails, ability to read the kind of ride that guests are interested in and choosing the best weather window to ride. Our mountain biking offer caters for all levels of skill and experience on ‘doorstep delights’ that head out onto trails of all levels from short relatively flat obstacle-free singletrack to long challenging technical tours into high remote places.

Phil, Jac & Marty (Lazy Duck’s three guides) have known each other for over 20 years. Each of us racing, organising events and touring/adventuring for way more than that. Having Jac on board allows us to offer Ladies Only rides. We can cater for couples or groups of any size. We three share the same sense of adventure and fun and keenness to impart our local knowledge, either encouraging guests to push their limits or curate and guide a rolling flow for more experienced riders."

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Phil knows the best local single-track and how to ride responsibly in an area with many environmental sensitivities. photo - Andy McCandlish

What’s so good about mountain biking here? What makes it special?

The Cairngorm National Park is an absolute smorgasbord of mountain biking delights with trails of all grading and types. We have high mountain adventures, Orange Proline/Black, Red & Blue session trails, flowing ancient glen tours and family friendly loops.

There are two bike parks to compliment the never-ending, mind-bogglingly interconnected network of natural trails. Everything here can be ridden as a ‘doorstep delight’ (no car required) from Lazy Duck. If guests have a pilgrimage in mind to, say, Torridon (another mountain bike heaven) we are a two-hour drive and more than happy to guide there.

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A lazy Duck ride is sure to take in the best of the local area. Photo - Andy McCandlish

Describe a lazy duck MTB day for a guest you take out for a guided ride?

When guiding sessions are booked with us, Phil will arrange a Zoom/video chat around a month before arrival to talk through the sign-up form. This is to be sure we understand the skill level and aspirations of the group before planning technicality and length of a ride. We will then have another chat when guests arrive, going through the weather for the week and best day to ride during their stay.

We offer a package ‘flow into slow’ so I’ll describe this. Your day starts with an early yoga session followed by breakfast. A safety check/ride brief will be held before hitting the trails; either heading south/east over mountain passes on a challenging technical tour or north/west on low level fun techie singletrack.

Depending on the group, we will ride with skills development opportunities or rolling flow in mind. Back at Lazy Duck the hot tub will be at temperature and bikes taken, cleaned and stored while guests shower and enjoy a hot tub soak followed by optional leg massage. Later in the evening, we share a meal and revel in the awesome skills and amazing trails we railed on the ride.

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Hot tub with a view! photo - Andy McCandlish

Any tips for a great visit to the area for mountain bikers of any ability?

The National Park has a wide range of accessible paths in stunningly beautiful settings. We have loops that can be accessed as a family group or by hand cyclists. We also have the mountain passes and a massive range of technical trail riding.

Planning far ahead of your visit is highly recommended for accommodation, activities and eating out. If you are hiring a bike for your stay then the same advice applies, book ahead. We have a number of recommendations for eating out, bike hire and most other services you might need during your stay on our website.

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Great riding, great coffee, great bike shops. Photo - Andy McCandlish

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Post ride relaxation. Photo - TravelTwo

Phil is involved in making his area of the Cairngorms a better place to live and visit.

He has helped the local mountain bike community shape the Cairngorms Capercaillie project, a conservation project focussed on protecting the rare and threatened Capercaillie, and is a volunteer with the Badenoch and Strathspey Trail Association, as well as contributing to our Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland events in the Cairngorms.

Visit the Lazy Duck for more inspiration.

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Photo - Andy McCandlish

Inspired to have your own Cairngorms adventure?

Book your next Cairngorms vacation through our link and 5% will go straight back to maintaining the local trail network.
Book Now!

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