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Gaurdiesfauld Youth Hostel, Unst

Accommodation

Bunkhouses and Hostels in Scotland

Are you looking for good value accommodation? Great scenery? A chance to meet fellow travellers?

Hostelling in Scotland is a great choice for your break. We've got everything you need to know about hostels - all the benefits, and recommendations for families, pet-friendly, city centre breaks, and hidden gem hostels.

See below for all of the hostels in Scotland, or read on for more information.

What is a hostel and why should I go hostelling?

Hostelling can be really flexible - there's lots of options from a bed in a shared dorm, all the way up to hiring the entire venue!

There's lots of facilities too - everything from drying rooms to self-catering kitchens, bike storage to laundries.

It's a great way to meet fellow travellers, share tips and holiday stories, and experience the true Scottish culture.

7 things you need to know about hostelling in Scotland

Torridon Youth Hostel

Hostelling is for everyone

The name might be Youth Hostel, but these hostels are very much open to all ages!

Hostelling isn't all about shared rooms - most hostels offer private rooms, many with en-suite accommodation just the same as hotels, B&Bs or self-catering.

Find out more on hostel room types

Hostelling includes your dog

Many hostels are now dog-friendly, so you can share a room with your best friend.

Hostelling Scotland's dog-friendly hostels offer:

  • Treats on arrival
  • Water stations
  • Drying rooms

Jump to Dog-friendly hostel recommendations

Hostelling supports communities

Hostelling Scotland is a registered charity and has existed for over 90 years.

They have a youth and charity programme, which gives Scottish breaks to people who wouldn't normally get the opportunity.

They also support initiatives including Respitality, which give breaks to unpaid carers.

Hostels support their local communities in different ways from beach cleans and litter picking, to recommending local attractions, activities and places to eat to their guests.

Find out more about Hostelling Scotland

Hostelling includes food & drink

Many hostels hold an alcohol license. Look out for local craft beers, cider and wines.

They also come with facilities for a self-catering break, so you can cook up some great local produce.

Find out more about food & drink in hostels

Hostelling Scotland offers member benefits

You can become a member of Hostelling Scotland and get discounts, promotions and access to the friendly Hostelling community.

But you don't have to be a member - anyone can book a stay.

Find out more on becoming a member of Hostelling Scotland

Hostelling can be exclusive

Many hostels allow you to book the whole venue through RentaHostel - a great option for local clubs or extended family and friends.

Find out how to rent a hostel

Hostelling can be romantic

Hostels can even be hired out as a wedding venue - Rowardennan Lodge and Lochranza are particularly popular for their beautiful settings.

What to expect at a hostel

Edinburgh Glasgow, and Inverness city-centre hostels

Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel

Edinburgh Central

This hostel has a great socialising space in the recently refurbished lounge and café bar, filled with delicious food & drink.

Book a stay at Edinburgh Central

Glasgow

Admire the views over Kelvingrove Park at Glasgow Youth. It's not quite in the city centre, but it is in the heart of the busy West End, with trendy bars and restaurants nearby.

Book a stay at Glasgow

Inverness

This is a great budget option if you're exploring the capital of the Highlands. Look out for the Innes & Gunn beer on tap, or freshly ground coffee in the lounge and café bar.

Book a stay at Inverness

Find out more

See all city-centre hostels in Scotland

Dog-friendly hostel recommendations

Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel

Rowardennan

Once a hunting lodge, Rowardennan sits right on the banks of Loch Lomond so it has amazing views from many of the bedrooms, and the lounge.

Book a stay at Rowardennan Lodge

Braemar

Braemar is an impressive former shooting lodge which sits in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. This is a great base for exploring the countryside, castles and distilleries around Royal Deeside.

Book a stay at Braemar

Find out more

There are 17 dog-friendly hostels to choose from

Cool Hidden-gem hostel ideas

Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

Loch Ossian

Looking to get away from it all? Loch Ossian sits high on Rannoch Moor, surrounded by Munros. It's an eco-hostel only accessible by rail, bike or on foot.

Take a short 20-minute walk from Corrour Railway Station to experience the unspoiled natural beauty of this area.

Book a stay at Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

Achmelvich Beach

Want a beach holiday? Achmelvich hostel is 300 metres from one of the best beaches in the UK.

Soak up the crystal-clear waters from the sand or explore further with sea kayaking and snorkelling.

Book a stay at Achmelvich Beach Youth Hostel

Papa Westray

This community-run hostel is based on one of Orkney's smallest islands, home to an RSPB wildlife reserve perfect for birdwatching. Papa Westray has unspoilt beaches and is rich in archaeology with the Knap of Howar, restored St Boniface, and chambered cairns on Holm of Papay.

Book a stay at Papa Westray Hostel

Find out more

Find more unusual hostels in Scotland

Family-friendly hostels

Hostelling is a great budget-friendly option for families. Think safe, clean and affordable accommodation with self-catering facilities for cooking, and local knowledge available from friendly staff.

Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel

Cairngorm Lodge

Take the family to the heart of Cairngorms National Park with a stay at this hostel. You'll be surrounded by forest trails, and close to the highest sandy beach at Loch Morlich.

Book a stay at Cairngorm Lodge

Lochranza

Enjoy a break at this island-based hotel on Arran. See if you can spot the local wildlife from the hostel garden, before heading out for activities including mountain biking, pony-trekking and watersports.

Book a stay at Lochranza

Gairloch Sands

This hostel is perfect for the beach, and you can bring along the dog too! Gairloch Sands is an affordable option on the popular island of Skye.

Book at stay at Gairloch Sands

Oban

You can easily explore many of the west coast islands from this hostel in Oban. Take the ferry out to Mull, Coll, Tiree, Iona and more. The hostel is also great for cycling - there's a secure bike store and you're on the Caledonia Way Cycle Route.

Book a stay at Oban

What's new and how has hostelling changed?

Glencoe Youth Hostel pod accommodation

More hostels have become dog-friendly - Broadford, Kirkwall and Rowardennan have all joined the WoofHostels.

Glencoe Youth Hostel is now home to a glamping pod. The accommodation pod offers privacy within the hostel grounds, a proper bed, ensuite toilet and shower, and an outside porch.

8 hostels with great things to do nearby

Port Charlotte Youth Hostel

Port Charlotte

This hostel is based in a former distillery warehouse in the centre of the village. Islay itself is home to nine whisky distilleries, beautiful beaches, the Museum of Island Life, plus you can take the ferry out to explore other islands including Jura.

Book a stay at Port Charlotte

Glen Nevis

This 5-star hostel sits near the bustling town of Fort William. That makes it perfect for all the exciting activities that the UK's Outdoor Capital offers including Ben Nevis, the West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way.

Book a stay at Glen Nevis

Glen Prosen

A converted primary school, this hostel has a large welcoming lounge with a wood-burning stove. Glen Prosen is part of the Angus Glens, so you'll be surrounded by green forests, tumbling rivers and heather-clad hillsides perfect for hiking, cycling and wildlife.

Book a stay at Glen Prosen

Helmsdale Lodge

This former school gymnasium has been sympathetically refurbished, keeping its original charm. It's a great base for exploring north east Sutherland, with easy access to cycling, walking or the North Coast 500. Check out the local Heritage Trail which stats at the Timespan Museum & Arts Centre in this small harbour village.

Book a stay at Helmsdale Lodge

Islesburgh House

This 5-star island hostel sits in the centre of Lerwick and is consistently rated one of the best in the world by Hostelling International visitors. On the Mainland, explore the historical sites of Jarlshof, Clickimin Broch and Mousa Broch. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, spot wildlife and experience the culture and traditional music.

Book a stay at Islesburgh House

Ratagan

This hostel is small and intimate, with a lochside location and views towards Skye. It's a popular choice if you want to explore the outdoors, with a number of low-level scrambles and ridge walks nearby. The garden is perfect for launching kayaks into Loch Duich, plus Eilean Donan Castle is just 8 miles away.

Book a stay at Ratagan

Sail Loft in Portsoy

Book this self-catering bunkhouse accommodation in Portsoy and enjoy access to the outdoor decking area with seating, a walled garden and BBQ, and even a hot tub! Portsoy sits in the north of Aberdeenshire, a beautiful coastal spot with beaches, marine life, watersports and golf courses.

Book a stay at Sail Loft

Torridon

This hostel sits on the west coast on the North Coast 500. It's obviously a great base for hillwalkers and climbers, but you'll also find archery, kayaking and mountain biking activities nearby.

Book a stay at Torridon

How To Book A Hostel In Scotland

Scotland's two main hostelling organisations are Hostelling Scotland (or the Scottish Youth Hostel Association) and Scottish Independent Hostels - through which you can book your bed. Some hostels are also independently or privately operated. You'll find great info on youth hostel booking on both of these sites.

Most hostel beds and rooms can be booked in advance, and we recommend doing so whenever possible to avoid disappointment. Some hostels are also seasonal, so make sure to check the opening details before you book a cheap hostel and set out on your adventure.