19th century hunting lodge in Cairngorms could become hostel

The C-listed Derry Lodge. Picture: Flickr

The C-listed Derry Lodge. Picture: Flickr

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PLANS have been submitted to convert a dilapidated 19th-century Cairngorms hunting lodge into a hostel.

The remote Derry Lodge would become a “walk in, walk out” hostel for walkers and tourists.

The C-listed building, a former shooting lodge, is a well-known feature to ramblers, situated at the starting point to walks through to Glen Derry and the mighty Lairig Ghru pass.

Walkers’ guides describe the Lairig Ghru as the best known hill-pass in Scotland. The 19-mile “truly classic” walk climbs to an altitude of 2740 feet and crosses through the central Cairngorms, one of the wildest areas in the country.

READ MORE: Walk of the week: Ben Macdui

Derry Lodge is surrounded by ancient Scots pines and is three miles from the nearest road, at the Linn of Dee, near Braemar.

The proposals, from the National Trust for Scotland, are to eventually convert the building into a 20 bedroom hostel with space for two staff, retaining its period dining and drawing rooms.

Developers Bell Ingram Design claim it offers the ideal spot for walkers, tourists and outdoor lovers before and after taking to the hills.

They add that the plan would “address issues around adolescents using the location as a drinking den”.

In a design statement, the firm said the plans were for a “well-managed mountain hostel”, adding: “The concept for the hostel use has been developed in such a way as to have minimum impact on the listed building and natural environment.

“Guests [would] arrive on foot with basic facilities, which would limit the requirement for vehicle movement and deliveries.

“The project seeks to demonstrate how a historic building of modest size can be sympathetically upgraded using traditional materials and techniques; improving the presentation of the structure and resolving building fabric issues.”

The nearest parking would be at the Linn of Dee car park.

READ MORE: The big, fat health benefits of regular hillwalking

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