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Gaurdiesfauld Youth Hostel, Unst


Bunkhouses and Hostels in Scotland

From backpacking bunkhouses to traditional blackhouses; basic youth hostels to boutique huts in the forest, explore Scotland on a budget by staying in a hostel.

What Can I Expect At A Hostel in Scotland?

Hostels in Scotland offer a budget-friendly and sociable way to see the country. No longer just for the young, but for the young at heart too, hostels welcome everyone including families, groups, clubs, backpackers and solo travellers.

Book a hostel in Scotland and you can expect:

  • a bed in an economical dormitory, or a chic and spacious private room with shared or private en-suite facilities. Some hostels can be booked out for large groups.
  • self-catering cooking facilities where you can make breakfast or an evening meal - pots, pans, plates and cups will be provided, but don't forget to bring food, especially if the hostel is remote.
  • a common room where you can meet other guests, often with a TV, books, games, and guides to the area.
  • drying facilities for wet gear - hostels are great for backpacking or long-distance hiking.
  • luggage storage facilities - your dorm bed will usually have its own locker, but it's worth bringing along your own padlock for extra security.
  • free WiFi - so you can book tours, download maps or print tickets, or plan the next stop on your trip around Scotland.

If you choose a bed in a dormitory, it will most likely be split by gender, but some hostels also offer mixed dorm rooms. Most hostels provide you with a sheet and pillow but require you bring your own sleeping bag or duvet, however; some hostels hire these out for a small charge.

Budget And Cheap Hostels

By just paying for your bed, hostels are perfect for those travelling on a budget, offering a low-cost way to explore Scotland. Budget hostels offer simple accommodation in dorm rooms and are most suitable for groups of friends, students and solo travellers looking for a bed for a night.

Going budget doesn't mean basic. Cheap hostels in Scotland can be located in some of the most stunning locations and buildings in Scotland - how about staying in a traditional blackhouse in the Outer Hebrides complete with thatched roof?

Backpacker Hostels in Scotland

Located on long-distance routes such as Scotland's famous West Highland Way or at the base of our impressive mountains, backpacker hostels in Scotland offer a step up from camping, glamping or staying in a bothy. Just take a look a this wonderful converted Victorian townhouse in Pitlochry, Perthshire. As Scotland's weather (and midges) can be unpredictable, backpackers hostels offer a comfortable bunk bed, along with drying rooms or laundry facilities, and hot showers to warm up after a long day of walking or bagging a Munro.

Bunkhouses in Scotland

If your hostel is described as a 'bunkhouse', then it's likely that everyone will be sharing the same living and sleeping space - just like Scotland's bothies, but with more facilities such as a kitchen and indoor loo! Bunkhouses are great for large groups of friends or families looking to all stay together.

At some bunkhouses, you can just turn up and claim a bed, but if you do plan to turn up at a rural or remote island hostel without booking and it's full, you might be able to pitch a tent and make use of the cooking and shower facilities

Boutique And Luxury Hostels in Scotland

Looking for a budget accommodation option for your trip to Scotland but like a little luxury? Book into a five star hostel.

How about staying in a quirky log cabin in the Cairngorms National Park, a luxury pod hostel on the the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, or in one of these exquisite timber bunkhouses on the Isle of Skye? Here are a few unusual hostels in Scotland with something just a little bit special about them.

Where To Find A Hostel in Scotland

So, how do you find a hostel which suits your needs? Location-wise, hostels can be found right across Scotland, from bustling Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness city centres to the base of great mountains like Ben Nevis, and in our two National Parks, the Cairngorms or Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.

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.

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 setting out on your adventure.