Cairngorm Bothies is to add six more “off road and off-grid” bothies by Spring in a bid to meet growing demand for staycations.
Set deep in the heart of Blelack Woods, the business already has six bothies powered entirely by renewable energy.
It’s sister company Cairngorm Lodges also has five individual, self-catering lodges on-site.
Due to the success of the bothies, owner Gordon Drummond is to spend £500,000 to add six more to the portfolio – bringing his total investment in the whole business to £1.75million since 2009.
If market demand continues, Mr Drummond, former director of the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) also has plans to spend another £500,000 on six more of the bothies bringing his total to 18 by 2023.
Holidaymakers switch off from the world
He said: “We are delighted to be expanding the Bothy Park again and will open our next six for April 2022, with work being carried out over the winter, weather permitting.
“As they are deep in the forest, we have to transport all the materials to the site, but as we are using a local builder, he knows the area well.
“Those who have stayed in the bothies over the past two seasons have said what a special experience it was, giving them a flavour of the considerations of sustainable living, integrated into nature, whilst in the spectacular setting of an ancient woodland.”
Visitors to the cabins enjoy an “off grid” experience with no wifi connection, to switch off from the everyday world.
Solar panels generate power, with the stored energy driving a water pump to purify water.
Wood burning stoves, supplied with logs from the estate, perform a multitude of tasks including heating the main living areas.
Mr Drummond said: “They are for those who want to enjoy and experience a remote setting.
“We deliberately site them as far from tie in points to existing infrastructure, such as phone, water and electric.
“You can explore and roam within the mature woodlands on what is an historic Scottish Highland estate, but please respect your surroundings.
“I will be delighted if we end up with eighteen bothies in total by 2023, as that is a good sized development which has grown year on year, subject to demand.”
Awarded for its green credentials
All bothies are created using an Abyone-based architect and builder and a Scottish manufacturer based in Dumbarton.
Earlier this year, Cairngorm Lodges picked up an Unlocking Ambition Entrepreneurial Award from Scottish Enterprise after being recognised as one of a number of “green” businesses from across Scotland.
The winners were specifically chosen for their potential to contribute to Scotland’s economic recovery from Covid-19, as well as its journey towards a net-zero economy.
Cairngorm Lodges received a cash grant together with specialist mentoring to help continue its growth.
Mr Drummond said: “I feel I will really benefit from the specialist mentoring which taps into some really skilled and collaborative sources.
“I’m also looking at new income streams for the business, specifically a new facility in which to host weddings and corporate team building events which I also hope will come on stream in 2022.”