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Staying at Youth Hostels


My husband and I are planning a 2-week visit to Scotland in June and thinking about staying at one or two Hostels. We are outdoorsy and love to drive and wander, so we'll rent a car and take our time. We were thinking maybe 2-3 days in the Edinburgh area, and then north. We love hiking so we're looking at the Hostel in Glencoe and also the one near Ben Nevis. We'd also like to see the Isle of Skye and Inverness. I'd love any thoughts you might have about our plans, and also any input regarding Hostels. Your favorites?

Posted by
409 posts


I stay in Hostels a great deal - I even met my husband in one in Killarney, Ireland 4 years ago! Neptunes. I stay there twice a month now when I'm in Killarney for Toastmasters. I've stayed in hostels in Ireland, England, Scotland, Italy, Croatia, Germany.....

As an American, I didn't really "get" hostels when I first came here, but they are fantastic in Europe! Almost all have private rooms available which are much cheaper than a hotel or B&B (as under 16s aren't allowed with non-relatives so they mostly have "family rooms.!). The majority of the ones I've stayed in have "drying rooms" for hill walkers and cyclists, so you can hang out your clothes to dry out of the bedrooms. Plan to see lots of boots, there! I am a member of HostelWorld, where my credit card is on file, etc. So when I book a hostel I can book it, put only 10% down, and pay the difference at check in. VERY handy when I'm not sure I'll make a connection - but I DO call them when I'm going to be a no-show! It's the right thing to do!

As far as YOUTH Hostels - I'm not in that category (I'm 57) but there ARE some hostels that have age limits. I've only been told NO at one; most that say "under 35" or something have never stopped me registering.

I've none specifically to recommend on your route, as I've only stayed in hostels in Edinburgh town..... but TripAdvisor and HostelWorld both have review sections to give you feedback.

Oh - and most you need to bring your own towels, but many have towels you can rent.... and bring a padlock in case they have lockers to use!

Expat living in Waterville, Ireland.

Posted by
1302 posts

Consider Loch Ossian too.
Theres a decent , longish walk from Glen Nevis ,up past Steall Waterfall and onwards to Loch Ossain.
Theres even a limited train service back to Fort Willaim too, think Ossian is 9 miles to nearest public road
As for "youth" hostels its a far more a mix of ages in my experience .
If you are thinking of climbing Ben Nevis the direct route from the hostel door is brutally steep , certainly would get your heart pounding

Posted by
1317 posts

Check out the bunkbarn at Inchree (between Ballachulish and Fort William at the foot of Glencoe) and also the SYHA hostel in Glencoe itself - there are two hostels in Glencoe, almost next door to each other. I've stayed at the SYHA one, comfortable and well equipped, but not the independent hostel. Both are not far from the Clachaig Inn, which is handy. The Clachaig is a 'must-do' if staying in Glencoe!

On Skye I recommend the Skyewalker Bunk barn at Portnalong.

The Ben Nevis Youth Hostel is situated in Glen Nevis and there is a footpath from there (steep!) which joins the 'tourist route' to the summit of the Ben (unrelenting ascent!). The tourist route is straightforward but you need to be well equipped - we once set out on a warm September day from Glen Nevis in shorts and t-shirts, but by the time we got on the summit I was wearing every stitch of clothing we had with us (and we were well equipped) and I even had to beg a pair of mittens from my wife. By the time we got back down we were back in shorts and t-shirts again!

Hope you have a great trip!


Posted by
123 posts

Elder York Hostel on Elder Street in Edinburgh is a fabulous location because it is an easy walk from last tram stop at York Place, next to St Stephens bus terminal, and near Waverly station.
Location is critical in Edinburgh unless you love dragging luggage up and down hills over cobblestones.
Some of the other hostels in Edinburgh are a trek from public transport.
Elder York is next to a few wonderful cafes. Cafe Nero is a lovely hang out.
There is construction across the street but that isn’t 24/7, neither are the buses.

Elder and York are lovely neighborhoods in New Town. I can’t overstate how nice New Town is. We rented a flat recently on York Place, and will definitely stay there again.