It’s time to go hostelling!
In April I went on a new road trip adventure with my friend Emma. This time we visitedScotland, but still without a car, using public transport. To help us rest properly during our 10 days of exploring, Deux Travels stayed in a variety of Hostelling Scotland youth hostels. Before our trip away it was really easy to get information and guidance about which hostel to stay in from the friendly Hostelling Scotland team. They helped us plan our trip, which made everything so much easier since we had never travelled to Scotland before.
Our first stop was at Hostelling Scotland’s recently refurbished Glen Nevis Youth Hostel, which is a 20 minute walk from Fort William. The sunshine on the hills and the river surrounded by smiling people made the walk so enjoyable.
We arrived in front of the wood ‘cabin’ around 19:00 facing the highest mountain in the UK, just in time for the beautiful sunset. Hearing the birds and feeling completely immersed in the nature helped us rest a lot.
Everything in this hostel in completely new and modern, very clean and easy to use. There’s an amazing self-catering kitchen, great bathroom facilities and a beautiful view. We decided to rest on the terrace that you can see on the above picture to connect with the environment (and the WiFi) before cooking our dinner, and enjoying our white wine to celebrate the first day of our holiday. We then met with some backpackers and tried to play Trivial Pursuit before realising we might have needed the children’s version!
The next day, after a very comfortable night, I had set my alarm for 6am to go running and exploring, while enjoying the first rays of sunshine. The landscape is very impressive around that place and it is beautiful to feel alone running next to the river with the baby sheep galloping next to me.
After that and a very nice shower, I joined Emma for a continental breakfast served by the hostel. It’s a breakfast you can purchase while you’re checking in in all of their accommodations and it’s a good option if you don’t have anything to cook. Also, there’s all the gluten free and lactose free options if necessary. You can choose from toasts, cereals, different kind of juices, fruits, ham or cheese, eggs, jam, butter… Magic!
We noticed that in the Hostelling Scotland’s self catering kitchens, previous guests had left some food behind (also some Tupperware or reusable water containers) which is now part of the community food. It’s usually written ‘Free Food’ in the fridge or on the shelves that you can use. It’s another alternative if you want to save money. There’s always some good stuff!
After our filling breakfast and having said goodbye to very nice staff, we walked away from our resting bubble to go back on the road.
Our second stay with Hostelling Scotland was in Inverness Youth Hostel, located on the hill overlooking the town and a 15 minute walk from the bus station. We stayed there for two nights.
The hostel wasn’t as new as the Glen Nevis one, but very spacious and welcoming. We shared a room with two other girls overlooking the ‘forest’ side of the hostel which was very enjoyable. During those two days we were mainly outside touring or visiting the city, but we used the self-catering kitchen for our breakfast and rested in the quiet living room which was very peaceful and nice. I appreciated the life happening in the common areas and how easy people were talking to each other. It created a very good energy and atmosphere and it’s always fun to meet strangers and to hear about their stories.
After that, we headed up towards the little fisherman town where we arrived at 16:20 atUllapool Youth Hostel. It’s so close to the bus terminal and the Ullapool Hill hike, facing the sea and so peaceful. The hostel is very cute, full of character and charm.
This night we enjoyed some reading in the common area feeling so cosy and homely, before a good night’s sleep in the comfortable bunk beds. By the way, it’s super convenient that the WiFi password is the same in all of the hostels…as soon as we arrived we connected with no effort! Also, in the common living room, there’s always some good books to borrow or board games to play with the other guests, which helps feeling even more at home.
In the morning, after my 7am morning run around town, I joined a sleepy Emma for a very random breakfast made of what was left by the community and what we had brought with us. I thought that the dining room was very lovely, decorated with fishing items representing the town very well. It was now time to hit the road again toward the NC500 to hitchhike our way to Stromness to take the 7pm ferry to the Orkney Islands. Don’t forget to check our journey through this wonderful land in the article ‘Hitchhiking through the Road 500’.
Once on the island, we took the bus X1 towards the stop closer to Kirkwall Youth Hostel. It was around a 20 minute walk from there and it was late so we were exhausted. We stopped by Lidl to buy our dinner before heading towards the check-in. The good thing about that is the simplicity of it. The hostel is all on the ground floor and it was great to have a room to ourselves! We went to the self-catering kitchen to cook our delicious meal and then spent some time in the living room writing our journals and relaxing before a good night’ssleep.
The next day was dedicated to visiting the island, before our night ferry towards the Shetland Islands. Don’t forget to soon check out for our two trips there!
After two nights on ferries and a lot of exploration, we were exhausted and it felt wonderful to arrive at Aberdeen Youth Hostel. Similar to a manor, in a street filled with massive and elegant houses, this one was very well decorated and welcoming. And again, surprise: We got our own room! After eating our takeaway and taking the nicest shower after two days of bathing in ferry sinks, we headed out towards the city centre for a night out before coming back to the hostel to sleep peacefully with the window open, with the magnificent tree in front of the building.
In the morning, we gathered all of our leftovers and the ones in the free section to compose a filling breakfast before going to visit the city. I particularly loved all the different clocks there and the mural in the café. Also, the man who helped us to check out gave us some great recommendations for what to see in Aberdeen, which was very nice of him.
Our trip is sadly coming to an end and we’re now taking the train to Edinburgh to spend our last night in Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel which was probably one of the nicest hostels I’ve ever stayed in. In our private room, we felt like we were in a hotel, with some chocolate and water bottles, comfy linens and clean and modern private facilities. We didn’t get the time to stay too long in it at it was getting late and we were starving for some nice diner to celebrate our successful holidays. But once back from our night out, we put some nice comedy stand up on the TV and relaxed in the comfortable bed before our last hours of sleep in Scotland.
To summarize, Hostelling Scotland remains full of surprises. All of their hostels areunique and they all come with their very own personality and charm. It was very enjoyable to feel like living a complete new experience every time. Their staff are warm and welcoming and always there to help with questions about tourism and sightseeing. The facilities and linens were always clean and easy to use, with murals and bright colours adding character, and to be honest we felt at home instantly! The hostels weren’t far from the city centre, and always located in a nice area. It was great to be able to use the same company all around the country – it made the travel planning so much easier!
Stay tuned for our next video on Hostelling Scotland!”