Scottish Highland Hostels
Scottish Highlands hostels are another alternative for budget-friendly accommodation in the Highlands. Hostelling has become very popular with all age groups, and it is very common to see a hostel catering for youth, family groups, backpackers of all ages, and elderly travelers all simultaneously. The Scottish Highlands are full of hostels and each one has something unique and special about it. Hostels are perfect over-night accommodations for dedicated outdoors people like hikers, backpackers, hill walkers and cyclists. They are also great for those needing a quick stay in a clean environment. Hostels offer a unique opportunity for shared hospitality, as they are usually self-catering, and the kitchen and lounge will frequently be the place for folks to become friends and share a meal together. Hostel accommodation can also be found in some of the most interesting and varied places—a converted bothy, a renovated stable, a hut in a pine forest, converted railway carriages and lighthouses, and traditional fishermen’s and crofter’s cottages. You won’t find luxury in a hostel, but you will find a great price, clean beds, warm showers, and fully-equipped kitchens for self-catering. If you are eager to get to know the Scottish Highlands, but your pocketbook is a bit stretched, then a Highland hostel is the place for you. You will meet other people who love travelling and who are there to experience the land and its people. The wonderful thing about hostels is that they cater for everyone, whether you are travelling in a group or alone; have travelled a lot or very little. Your hostel stay will be warm and friendly, and you will have the peace of mind knowing you did not spend a mint for your overnight accommodation. It is interesting to note that many hostels now provide private room and even en suite options, so they really do try to provide something for everyone.
Amenities will vary from hostel to hostel, but there are some basic things you can expect. In general, sheets will be provided, although in some hostels, you may have to hire them. Towels are often not provided, so check on this before you go. You will need to bring your own toiletries, also. Most rooms will be fitted with bunk beds, sleeping 2 to 4 people—this applies to private and en suite rooms, as well. Many hostels provide laundry facilities, and almost all of them offer a common room with television and radio, books and magazines, and possibly Internet connections. There will be plenty of equipment for cooking your own meals, and some hostels provide excellent cafeterias, such as the one at Carbisdale Castle near Ardgay. Most hostels are open 24 hours a day, and those that aren’t will probably offer you a key or a code for a keypad at the door so you can access your room at any time. Each hostel will have its own policies, and will follow a certain routine for welcoming guests. Many hostels will offer activities or will book activities for you. This kind of information will be found upon arrival. Some hostels do accept well-behaved pets, but it is advisable to check the individual hostel’s policies on this. Finally, many hostels now provide wheelchair access and other modifications to accommodate guests with disabilities.
Hostelling in the Scottish Highlands is not just for the very young, but for the young at heart. It is a great way to travel cheaply and still enjoy warm hospitality, clean accommodation, and comfortable surroundings. Be sure to book your stay in advance, as the increasing popularity of hostelling means that you cannot be guaranteed a place to stay without a reservation. Whether arriving by car, bicycle, or on foot, you will find a warm welcome waiting for you in the hostels of the Scottish Highlands.
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