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 and it’s a great way to see Scotland without breaking the bank.
‘’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! Many of 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 in both rural and urban locations.
The Scottish Youth Hostels Association even have four-star rated hostels 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 the only way to reach it is by hiking over the hills!
And there’s more! The Scottish Youth Hostels Association offer a series of activity holidays suitable for all levels of experience and fitness ranging from Munro-Bagging to Winter Skills to Tai Chi all of which are small groups led by qualified and experienced instructors and are a great way to learn new skills, so whatever you are seeking from a holiday in Scotland be it exploring the cities, an experience in the wilderness, or learning new skills, there is a hostel which will fit the bill for you – and that bill won’t be expensive.
Membership of the Scottish Youth Hostels Association is surprisingly cheap and you don’t even have to be a member to stay in one! Costs vary but a one-off payment for a one-night stay in a hostel needn’t cost more than a couple of cups of coffee – a bargain certainly. And the Scottish Youth Hostels Association hasn’t forgotten Man’s Best Friend! For a small extra charge many of Scotland’s Youth Hostels are only too happy to welcome your canine companion but do check with the hostel first since the number of dog-friendly rooms is limited.
All things considered a tour of Scotland via its wonderful network of youth hostels is definitely worth thinking about.
FOR MORE ON SCOTTISH YOUTH HOSTELS VISIT THE SYHA WEBSITE