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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Ten Scottish hostels for a super staycation

This list is over 4 years old
 

Scotland has loads to offer people on the hunt for a holiday closer to home, and now spring is here, it's the perfect time to plan a staycation.

From culture packed city breaks to the great outdoors, there are loads of possibilities for those looking for a weekend away. And with the Pound struggling to match the value of the Euro and climate change a growing worry, it's not surprising some Scots are shunning package deals in favour of longer holidays at home.

You don't have to fork out for a luxury hotel, there are scores of unique and increasingly luxurious hostels offering accommodation at affordable prices.

Hostelling Scotland, which was known as the Scottish Youth Hostels until recently, has been operating for 87 years and has charitable objectives at its heart.

The registered charity runs more than 60 hostels across the country. TFN looks at 10 of the best.

Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel

Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel

A five star youth hostel which is located in the heart of Scotland’s capital, 10 minutes on foot from Waverley Station.

The hostel has a family friendly atmosphere and welcomes guests of all ages. Continental or cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served in the dining room and there is a small self-catering kitchen for those on a tight budget.

For those looking to enjoy the legendary Edinburgh nightlife, there is a bar area with plasma screens and the hostel is perfectly situated for a night out in the city centre or Leith.

Oban Youth Hostel

Oban Youth Hostel

A beautiful Victorian building sitting on the seafront with stunning views over the Firth of Lorne and over to the Inner Hebrides, this five star youth hostel is a perfect choice for groups, families and individual hostellers.

It has a choice of two buildings, the original Victorian building and a modern lodge to the rear. Both offer a very high standard of accommodation with shared and private en-suite rooms.

Often referred to as the gateway to the isles, Oban has a host of attractions for visitors including Oban Distillery, McCaig’s Tower, St Columba’s Cathedral and the War and Peace Museum. For the more adventurous, Oban offers a range of outdoor activities from scuba diving to kayaking and sailing.

Glasgow Youth Hostel

Glasgow Youth Hostel

Situated in the West End of the city, with panoramic views over Kelvingrove Park and Glasgow University, this youth hostel is a 15-minute walk from Ashton Lane, which has a wide range of bars and restaurants, and is easily accessible from the city centre.

In the event of rain – which is more than likely on a visit to Glasgow – guests can head to the nearby Botanic Gardens to view tens of thousands of exotic species of plants from across the world.

The hostel is set in a stunning Victorian townhouse in Park Terrace, with plush pads in the area selling for more than a million pounds.

Aviemore Youth Hostel

Aviemore Youth Hostel

A short walk from Aviemore town centre, within the Cairngorm National Park, Aviemore Youth Hostel is the ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts, families, schools and groups looking to explore the beautiful surrounding area. Just nine miles from the Cairngorm funicular and snow sports area, guests can experience some of the best skiing in Europe when the snow sets in.

The youth hostel offers a range of shared and private rooms along with great facilities including a well-equipped self-catering kitchen, large dining area and a spacious lounge with stunning views of the surrounding woodland where red squirrels and other wildlife jon you while you eat.

Sitting at one end of the Snow Road, covering approximately 90 miles over the Cairngorms, this hostel is a great starting or finishing point for anyone wishing to explore one of Scotland’s most scenic routes.

Achmelvich Beach

Achmelvich Beach

A youth hostel full of character, Achmelvich Beach is located on the stunning NC500 and sits just 300 metres from the legendary white sands of one of the UK’s finest beaches.

Rooms at the hostel vary in size and include shared or private rooms and one family room. There is a small self-catering kitchen and spacious dining area for guests to prepare and enjoy some of the fine local produce available in the area.

From perfect white sands to crystal clear waters, hill and coastal walks, Achmelvich Beach is the perfect escape for families and individual hostellers.

Aberdeen Youth Hostel

Aberdeen Youth Hostel

The newly renovated Aberdeen Youth Hostel is located in a quiet residential area on the west side of the Granite City and offers guests a contemporary living space and a range of shared and private rooms.

New facilities created include a TV room with wood burning stove to curl up in front of, a large self-catering kitchen and modern dining area.

The hostel has good public transport links with regular buses to the city centre stopping right outside.

And with over 300 castles, stately homes and ruins dotting the Aberdeenshire landscape, it’s no wonder the region is known as Scotland’s Castle Country.

Stirling Youth Hostel

Stirling Youth Hostel

Sitting in the heart of the historic quarter of the city and only a short walk from the castle, the hostel is next door to the Old Town Jail, which was condemned in 1847 as the worst jail in Britain.

The hostel is far more luxurious thankfully, with private bathroom facilities and free wifi throughout the building.

For a great view of the city and central Scotland, head to the nearby Old Town Cemetery, which offers panoramic views and great picture opportunities in front of the castle and the Wallace Monument.

Rowardennan Lodge

Rowardennan Lodge

Sitting on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond, complete with its own jetty, Rowardennan Lodge has recently been awarded four stars by Visit Scotland.

On the West Highland, close to Scotland’s most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond, Rowardennan Lodge is popular with walkers seeking some comfort after a hard days trek. Other activities in the area include water sports and fishing, and there are plenty of low level walks through the amazing scenery surrounding the hostel.

Loch Ossian

Loch Ossian

According to The Great Outdoors magazine, if there is one thing you need to do in your lifetime it is to stay at Loch Ossian Youth Hostel.

Surrounded by munros and only accessible by rail, bike or foot, this small, homely eco-hostel is an excellent base for hill walkers, sitting on the banks of Loch Ossian with truly exceptional views. If you’re lucky you may meet a local stag that has become a regular visitor to the hostel.

Accommodation at Loch Ossian is only available in multi-share but groups and families have an option of booking a shared room for exclusive use.

Glenbrittle

Glenbrittle

Located on the Isle of Skye, sitting just over a mile from the beach and close to the magical fairy pools, Glenbrittle is a great youth hostel for relaxing and a perfect base to enjoy the wonders that island has to offer.

The hostel has a long tradition of providing a warm welcome to walkers and climbers tackling the famous Cuillin Ridge and offers a mix of shared accommodation and private rooms, a well-equipped self-catering kitchen, large drying room, laundry facilities and secure cycle storage.

There are plenty of opportunities to experience the wildlife and natural beauty of Skye with coastal and low level walks to suit all abilities and weather conditions.

For a traditional taste of Scotland, the Talisker Distillery is about seven miles from the hostel, however it might be a tricky walk back if you have too many drams.

 

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