If you have always wanted to visit Scotland but have a limited budget then you will be pleased to know that there is a very affordable alternative to expensive hotels. The Scottish Youth Hostels Association, along with its affiliates, runs a network of self-catering hostels throughout Scotland offering budget access to the entire country.

‘’But’’, I hear you ask, ‘’aren’t youth hostels those smelly wooden huts with bunk beds?’’ Once upon a time they were but not any more! Today’s youth hostels are modern, comfortable buildings with full facilities, often with family rooms and Scotland has a vast range of hostels from basic to amazing! They offer varying facilities from economy dormitories to private rooms with en-suite facilities and are ideal for families, groups and individuals of all ages.

They can be found in locations as diverse and scenic as the Isle of Skye (you must visit the ‘’Fairy Pools’’), Gairloch (go on a whale-watching trip) and many of the Hebridean islands, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands (recently voted the three best areas to live in Scotland) as well as being scattered randomly throughout the country.

The Scottish Youth Hostels Association even has a five-star rated hostel right in the middle of Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and another in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, as well as first-class hostels in other cities. But be warned – not all SYHA hostels are easy to get to, some are located in very remote areas. Glen Affric Youth Hostel is eight miles from the nearest road!

And there’s more! The Scottish Youth Hostels Association offer a series of activity holidays ranging from Munro-Bagging to Winter Skills to Tai Chi all of which are led by qualified instructors so whatever you are seeking from a holiday in Scotland be it exploring the cities or an experience in the wilderness there is a hostel which will fit the bill for you – and that bill won’t be expensive.

Membership of the Scottish Youth Hostel Association is surprisingly cheap and you don’t even have to be a member to stay in one! A one-off payment for a one-night stay in a hostel is about the same as a couple of cups of coffee. A bargain certainly!



Main image courtesy Bill Kasman
Youth Hostel Image from Rude Health/Geograph UK CC-BY-SA 2.0 


Bill Kasman

Bill Kasman

A Scotsman born and bred I love to roam Scotland’s hills and wild places taking photographs and writing about my travels around the country and all things to do with my homeland.

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