An Independent Hostel offers not only affordable accommodation but also the option of a very unusual place to stay. If you’re looking for something a little different and individual for your next holiday, SIH Hostels are located in beautiful locations across Scotland, and many offer very unusual accommodation. Our Hostels are privately run by individuals who are really passionate about their local area and take great pride in giving their guests the warmest of welcomes. Add to the mix some truly unique accommodation options and we think you’ve got the perfect budget break. Here are some ideas below!
The Shepherd's Bothy, Iona Hostel, Hebrides: Hand-built along the lines of the traditional original design, the Shepherd’s Hut is on four big cast-iron wheels, and clad in blue corrugated tin, weighs in at a ton and a half and is a truly magnificent thing. It is well insulated and beautifully decorated with electricity. It is tucked away among the rocky outcrops behind Cnoc Buie (yellow hill), the little hill behind the Hostel surrounded by young willow, birch, hazel and oak. It’s a lovely secret spot, quiet and secluded yet within three or four minutes walk from the Hostel where Shepherd's Hut guests can use the toilet and kitchen facilities and socialise if they wish. www.ionahostel.co.uk
Lazy Duck Hostel, NethyBridge Cairngorms: A tiny mountain hut hostel with up to 8 beds, The Lazy Duck stands beside waterfowl ponds in a 6-acre homestead looking south, across a 100-acre moor to the Cairngorm Mountains. With covered garden & barbecue, the mountain hut style accommodation is fresh, colourful and snug with woodburning stove, radio, CD music system and books. Also onsite are off grid huts for two people and camping. Free range eggs, fresh baked bread, wood fired hot tub and a 2-person infra red sauna all add to the enjoyment of a unique location. www.lazyduck.co.uk
Glenfinnan Sleeping Car: Located on the romantic “Road to the Isles”, the Glenfinnan Sleeping Car is a converted heritage railway carriage with comfortable accommodation for up to 10 people. Guests can visit the famous Glenfinnan Monument at the mouth of Loch Sheil where Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived in 1745 to drum up support for the doomed Jacobite Rising or search for the cave where he hid from the Hanoverian troops. The famous train sequence from Harry Potter was filmed at the viaduct close by and the beautiful white sandy beaches of Arisaig and Morar as seen in movie classic, ‘Local Hero’, are just a few miles up the road. Glenfinnan Sleeping Car is a perfect base for backpackers, walkers and cyclists using public transport. www.glenfinnanstationmuseum.co.uk.
Sleeperzzz.com: Rogart, Sutherland: For train enthusiasts we have another opportunity to stay in unique and fun accommodation on a first class train in the scenic Scottish Highland village of Rogart, beside a working railway station. The location is remote and beautiful area of the far North East and wonderful country for castles and whisky www.sleeperzzz.com
The Gearrannan Hostel (Taigh Dhonnchaidh), the Isle of Lewis: Step back in time with a holiday in a living museum; a restored blackhouse in the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village in the Isle of Lewis. These centuries-old blackhouses were occupied by crofting families as recently as the 1970s. The Isle of Lewis is rich in natural beauty, history and legend; the Atlantic ocean is just yards from the blackhouses and the Standing Stones of Callanish and the ruined Carloway Broch are just a short drive away. The accommodation offers bunkhouse style beds for 13 people with excellent facilities www.gearrannan.com.
The Corn Mill, Sutherland: Experience a crofting lifestyle and landscape in the cosy Corn Mill Bunkhouse, sleeping 14 people in singles or groups, located in the Strathhalladale area of Sutherland. Owned by Sandy and Debbie Murray, the Mill was built in 1800 by Sandy’s ancestors and was in use until 1926, milling oats for the crofters of Halladale. The historic setting is perfect for families and stag and hen parties with laser combat and clay shooting on offer on site. www.achumore.co.uk
The Bunkhouse at The Round House, Newtonmore: This architecturally innovative Hostel is set in the fields of a working farm in the Spey Valley in the Cairngorms National Park. The imaginative design allows accommodation for 8 people, groups only, with a fully fitted kitchen and TV lounge with spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. The Cairngorms National Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise all the year round; ideal for rock climbers, hikers, hill walkers, mountain bikers and skiers. www.myhighlandbunkhouse.com
Glebe Barn, Isle of Eigg The Glebe Barn is a charming and characterful conversion of a 19th century Lochaber Barn on the Island of Eigg in the Inner Hebrides. The accommodation is simple but attractive with a relaxed, homely ambience. The views are simply breathtaking. The geology of Eigg is outstanding and the hostel has a small laboratory, with bench space for 8, containing a microscope and other field equipment with an ever growing exhibition of specimens. www.glebebarn.co.uk
Abernethy Bunkhouses (Groups Only) is converted train station that served Nethy Bridge until 1963. Now it's a popular hostel for groups that want to explore the Cairngorms, take a walk on the Speyside Way, ski in the hills or are looking for a gentle day touring the distilleries! Relax with a BBQ on the old train station platform after a day enjoying the countryside of the glorious Scottish Highlands. www.nethy.org