Scottish hostel network back in action after Covid closures
Do you fancy a travel adventure, a post-lockdown escape that won’t break the bank?
Well, throw a few sweaters in a backpack and put on your hiking boots.
One of Scotland’s best-loved institutions is back in full swing after more than two years of disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Hostelling Scotland, the brand name of the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA), has announced that its accommodation network has reopened to visitors.
The charity, established nearly a century ago, manages a wide variety of own and affiliated properties across the country, providing comfortable accommodation for families and individual travelers on a budget.
Locations stretch from the Highlands to the Lowlands, islands to cities, with a range of facilities on offer – including multi-bed dorms and private rooms, shared public spaces and self-catering kitchens, and on-site cafes and bars. place in some cases.
Canine companions are even welcome at a number of hostels.
Bookings are already pouring in for some of the most popular destinations, with some places filling up fast.
There’s been a rush for rooms on the NC500 route and the Isle of Skye this month, as well as for the award-winning, secluded and eco-friendly Loch Ossian hostel at Rannoch Moor.
Bosses are thrilled with the getaway craze this spring and say the trend looks promising for the summer months.
Margo Paterson, Managing Director of Hostelling Scotland, said: “The past two years will long be remembered as the most difficult in our history.
“As CEO of this wonderful and much-loved organization, I am so proud of all the hard work and dedication shown by our teams and grateful for the support and generosity shown by everyone.
“We are delighted that guests can once again enjoy the social aspects that are at the heart of the hostel – cooking up a storm in our self-catering kitchens, enjoying a glass of wine or a local beer with friends and a good night’s sleep in a private room with bathroom or a bed in a shared dorm.”
Hostelling Scotland has over 8,000 lifetime members, with 29 own hostels and 26 affiliated hostels in its network.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, up to 380,000 guests used the premises each year, bringing around £25m to the Scottish economy.
The main objective of SYHA when it was founded in 1931 was to provide hostels where, for a small fee, hikers – especially young people – could obtain a night’s accommodation and experience the landscapes, heritage, culture and the wildlife of Scotland.
Its philosophy remains the same today, but the accommodation has adapted to meet the expectations of today’s travellers.
Destinations such as The Islands, Glen Nevis, Oban, Achmelvich and Torridon are once again proving a popular choice for young explorers, couples and families.
Demand is also growing at hostels across the city as group travel begins to return, while a rise in dog-friendly WoofHostels and the exclusive private rental option through RentaHostel provide accommodation options. alternatives and extend the hostel’s appeal to a wider audience.