6. Scotland

Former youth hostels of Great Britain

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright March 2017, Stephen Craven; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Hostel name: Aberdeen
Grid reference: NJ922057
Nearest town: Aberdeen, Aberdeen
NJ9205 : Aberdeen Youth Hostel, Queen's Road by Craig Wallace
The SYHA Hostelling Scotland youth hostel, at 8 Queen's Road.
The building is a granite villa, dating from 1895, now Category C listed. LinkExternal link

A large tree in front. Probably a sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), with a distinctive spiral of bark on the trunk.
by Craig Wallace

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2021
Notes: 8 Queen's Road

Hostel name: Achininver or Acheninver
Grid reference: NC042056
Nearest town: Polglass, Highland
[image id=2144979 text={description}]
Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: The SYHA called it Achininver but the place name on the map is Acheninver. Now an independent hostel.

Hostel name: Achtascailt
Grid reference: NH093878
Nearest town: Dundonnell, Highland
NH0987 : Achtascailt Youth Hostel, Dundonnell, 1963 by Donald MacDonald
Achatascailt SYHA with the long shadows of evening
by Donald MacDonald

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Barns
Grid reference: NT216392
Nearest town: Peebles, Scottish Borders
NT2139 : Barns by Callum Black
Georgian Mansion by the River Tweed.
Built for James Burnett in the 1770's, along with a stone stable block which stands close to the old tower.
by Callum Black

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Blackness Castle
Grid reference: NT056801
Nearest town: Blackness, Falkirk
NT0580 : Former SYHA Youth Hostel at Blackness Castle by John Martin
Between 27 March 1937 and 30 April 1947 the Scottish Youth Hostels Association operated a hostel on the upper floor of the guardroom block at historic Blackness Castle, on the Firth of Forth. The facility was temporarily lost at the beginning of the war, but was soon restored.

Please contact if you have any tales to tell of old hostels like this.
by John Martin

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1937 to 1947

Hostel name: Broadmeadows
Grid reference: NT417303
Nearest town: Selkirk, Scottish Borders
NT4130 : Broadmeadows Youth Hostel by Walter Baxter
Broadmeadows, opened in May 2nd 1931, was Scotland’s first youth hostel. It was originally a row of four cottages and was converted into a hostel by the late William Stewart Morton. It stands in a secluded woodland setting and has a bed capacity of 20.
by Walter Baxter

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1931 to ?

Hostel name: Cannich
Grid reference: NH338314
Nearest town: Cannich, Highland
NH3331 : Cannich Youth Hostel by Richard Sutcliffe
Cyclists about to depart from the youth hostel.
by Richard Sutcliffe

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Carbisdale Castle
Grid reference: NH574954
Nearest town: Culrain, Highland

NH5795 : Carbisdale castle near Invershin by Dr E H Mackay
Built by the Countess of Sutherland between 1906 and 1917. It has been a Youth Hostel since 1945.
by Dr E H Mackay

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1945 to 2011

Hostel name: Coldingham
Grid reference: NT916663
Nearest town: Coldingham, Scottish Borders

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Corrour
Grid reference: NN356664
Nearest town: Fort William, Highland
NN3566 : Corrour Station House hostel - under new management by Karl and Ali
The SYHA have given up on Corrour - note the lack of their sign under the cornice compared to pictures taken in 2011. The new team open up on 1st August.
by Karl and Ali

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2012
Notes: Now an independent hostel

Hostel name: Craig
Grid reference: NG774638
Nearest town: Lower Diabaig, Highland
NG7763 : Craig by John Ferguson
Ex Youth hostel taken over by the M.B.A.
by John Ferguson

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: Now an independent hostel

Hostel name: Dumfries House
Grid reference: NS539205
Nearest town: Auchinleck, East Ayrshire
NS5320 : The Laundry at Dumfries House by M J Richardson
Designed by John Adam in the 1760s and extended in the 19thC. Later it was used as a youth hostel until the 1960s. It has now been restored and will be used as a home for the Prince's Drawing School and the Glasgow School of Art for studios, gallery space and classrooms for courses related to the arts.
by M J Richardson
Shared Description

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: still extant

Hostel name: Edinburgh Bruntsfield
Grid reference: NT249721
Nearest town: Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2006
Notes: 7-8 Bruntsfield Crescent

Hostel name: Edinburgh Eglinton
Grid reference: NT238735
Nearest town: Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2006
Notes: Eglinton Crescent - still extant

Hostel name: Falkland
Grid reference: NO253072
Nearest town: Falkland, Fife
NO2507 : Road to car park, Falkland by Bill Kasman
The road to the public car park leaves Back Wynd. This road also provides vehicular access to the public library, the community hall and the recycling facilities. The white building was previously a Scottish Youth Hostels Association hostel then a privately-run hostel and is now a children's nursery.
See Falkland article LinkExternal link
by Bill Kasman

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Ferniehirst Castle
Grid reference: NT652179
Nearest town: Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
NT6517 : The keep of Ferniehurst Castle by Nigel Brown
At the time this photograph was taken the castle was being run by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association; staying there was a memorable experience! For an outline of its history see NT6517 : Ferniehirst Castle.
by Nigel Brown

NT6517 : Ferniehirst Castle by Walter Baxter
Ferniehirst Castle, dating from the late 15th century, stands above the east bank of the Jed Water and is the seat of the Lothian branch of the Kerr family. The castle was attacked by English armies in the 16th century and in 1593 it was almost completely destroyed by James VI to punish Sir Thomas Kerr for his loyalty to Mary Queen of Scots. The castle was rebuilt in 1598 and occupied for 200 years until it fell into disrepair. Restoration work took place in the 19th century and the Youth Hostel Association leased the castle between 1933 and 1984, apart from the war years when troops were billeted here. A major restoration project was carried out between 1984 and 1987 by the 12th Lord Lothian, and the castle is open to the public throughout July, except Mondays. The gable wall on the left is the only surviving remains of a coach house and stables. (Source: Ferniehirst Castle information leaflet and booklet).
by Walter Baxter

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1933 to 1984
Notes: Castle now open as a tourist attraction

Hostel name: Fintry
Grid reference: NS621861
Nearest town: Fintry, Stirling
NS6286 : Fintry Youth Hostel, Stirling by Roger  Kidd
This was one of Scotland's earliest hostels, opening in 1935. This was popular with weekenders from Glasgow. The hostel closed in 1981, being by then structurally unsound and was demolished. (Details from John Martin)

Scanned from an unbranded rather grainy colour negative, circa mid 1970s. August.
by Roger Kidd

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1935 to 1981
Notes: now demolished

Hostel name: Garramor
Grid reference: NM666914
Nearest town: Morar, Highland
NM6691 : Former SYHA Hostel by Elliott Simpson
As well as everything mentioned in NM6691 : View of Garramore House from the entrance drive, Morar, this was a great youth hostel in the 1980s
by Elliott Simpson

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 1995

Hostel name: Garth
Grid reference: NN757476
Nearest town: Fortingall, Perth and Kinross
NN7547 : Garth Youth Hostel by Catherine Smith
Garth House east of Fortingall, Scottish Baronial style, when a Youth Hostel in 1970.
LinkExternal link
by Catherine Smith

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Gearrannan
Grid reference: NB192442
Nearest town: Isle of Harris, Western Isles (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
NB1944 : Youth Hostel, Gearrannan by Colin Smith
Gatliffe Trust hostel in the blackhouse village at Gearrannan. Refurbished buildings now have chimneys and windows.
LinkExternal link
by Colin Smith

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: Run by the Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust (SYHA affiliated) until its lease expired and is now a totally independent hostel. 1991 to 2011 are the dates the hostel was run by the Gatliff Trust. The Trust used the anglicized name Garenin.

Hostel name: Glasgow (Woodlands Terrace)
Grid reference: NS575662
Nearest town: Glasgow, Glasgow
NS5766 : Youth Hostel, 11 Woodlands Terrace, 1988 by Mark Anderson
The Youth Hostel was here in 1988, but it moved to Park Terrace: NS5766 : Glasgow Youth Hostel.
by Mark Anderson

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1948 to 1992
Notes: Replaced by hostel nearby on Park Terrace

Hostel name: Glen Doll
Grid reference: NO278763
Nearest town: Acharn, Angus
NO2776 : Glen Doll Lodge by Richard Law
The former SYHA hostel in Glen Doll, now a private residence; it's not visible in this photo, but there is scaffolding erected against the left (west) end of the building, and clearly some work is underway.
by Richard Law

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Glendevon
Grid reference: NN989046
Nearest town: Glendevon, Perth and Kinross
NN9804 : Glendevon Youth Hostel by David Gruar
A simple and friendly hostel which looks as if it was purpose-built in the early days of the SYHA, around the 1930s. (This is an unconfirmed guess.)
by David Gruar

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1951 to 2007
Notes: still extant

Hostel name: High Glencoy
Grid reference: NS001353
Nearest town: Brodick, Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire
NS0035 : Fields in Glen Cloy by Nigel Brown
Looking towards the houses of High Glencloy. At the time this picture was taken, the nearest house was a hostel run by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.
by Nigel Brown

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Inverbeg
Grid reference: NS344 979
Nearest town: Inverbeg, Argyll and Bute
NS3497 : Former Inverbeg Youth Hostel by Colin Park
From my research, I believe that this building is no longer there.
by Colin Park

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1931 to 1993

Hostel name: Inverey
Grid reference: NO078895
Nearest town: Inverey, Aberdeenshire

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2008

Hostel name: Inverness
Grid reference: NH667448
Nearest town: Inverness, Highland
NH6644 : Inverness Youth Hostel (former) by Michael Westley
Distinguished building on corner of Old Edinburgh Road and Culduthel Road, was in early 80s a youth hostel. Views from here overlooking the river are fantastic.
by Michael Westley

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1945 to 1998
Notes: Viewhill House, now derelict, fire damaged

Hostel name: John O'Groats
Grid reference: ND348721
Nearest town: Canisbay, Highland
ND3472 : Empty house, Canisbay by Richard Webb
This was the John o' Groats youth hostel, I had hoped to stay here.
by Richard Webb

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: now a private house

Hostel name: Kendoon
Grid reference: NX615883
Nearest town: Glenhoul, Dumfries & Galloway
NX6188 : Kendoon Youth Hostel by Oliver Dixon
A "one-star" hostel, one of a vanishing breed. There is an inexorable trend to close down small simple hostels of this type and open new "City" hostels with wall-to-wall carpeting, ensuites and internet access for so-called "backpackers". Furthermore such country hostels as this are only open nowadays for a limited period each summer. Imagine the chagrin of a walker or cyclist arriving here unbooked to read the notice on the door telling him that the nearest hostel which is open all year is in Glasgow!
by Oliver Dixon

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Killin
Grid reference: NN570339
Nearest town: Killin, Stirling
NN5733 : Killin Youth Hostel, demolished by John Martin
Killin Youth Hostel was opened in a former doctor's house, Tighndhuin, in 1942, and ran without disruption until early in 2008, amassing some 320,000 overnight stays.

Tighndhuin was demolished earlier in 2011 in favour of a development of 14 new homes on the site.
by John Martin

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1942 to 2008
Notes: now demolished

Hostel name: Kingussie
Grid reference: NH758008
Nearest town: Kingussie, Highland
NH7500 : Kingussie Youth Hostel by Stephen McKay
This building, originally built in 1870, operated as a youth hostel between 1943 and 1995 but, in common with many other SYHA hostels, eventually succumbed to economic reality as the demand for traditional basic accommodation for young people declined. It is now an upmarket restaurant and guest house.
by Stephen McKay

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1943 to 1995

Hostel name: Kinloch Castle
Grid reference: NM402996
Nearest town: Kinloch, Isle of Rum, Highland
NM4099 : Kinloch Castle by Ashley Dace
The hostel section.
by Ashley Dace
Shared Description

Open as a hostel (Scottish National Heritage – but advertised through SYHA) from ? to ?

Hostel name: Kyleakin
Grid reference: NG752263
Nearest town: Kyleakin, Highland
NG7526 : Former Youth Hostel by Dave Fergusson
The hostel closed in 2007. Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association have expressed an interesr in purchasing it, much to the annoyance of the local community, who feel that it could be put to better use as far as tourism is concerned. Kyleakin is fast becoming a backwater as tourists appear to be bypassing it.
by Dave Fergusson

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2007

Hostel name: Loch Ard
Grid reference: NN466023
Nearest town: Kinlochard, Stirling
NN4602 : Loch Ard Youth Hostel by Richard Sutcliffe
Loch Ard House was the SYHA youth hostel from 1949 until 1995.
by Richard Sutcliffe

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1949 to 1995

Hostel name: Loch Lochy
Grid reference: NN293971
Nearest town: Laggan, Highland
NN2997 : Loch Lochy Youth Hostel by Richard Webb
Seen from the forest, across wet farmland. This former SYHA Youth Hostel is now under independent ownership and has been renamed the 'Great Glen Hostel'. It is open all year.
LinkExternal link
by Richard Webb

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Loch Lomond
Grid reference: NS368834
Nearest town: Arden, Argyll and Bute
NS3683 : Loch Lomond Youth Hostel by George Rankin
Loch Lomond Youth Hostel is an impressive country house set in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, with views of Loch Lomond. The house retains many original features including a sweeping staircase with vast stained glass windows and Ballroom.
by George Rankin

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Melrose
Grid reference: NT54939
Nearest town: Melrose, Scottish Borders
NT5433 : Melrose Youth Hostel by James Denham
The hostel in Melrose, Roxburghshire, is situated in a magnificent Georgian mansion house.
by James Denham

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Minnigaff (Newton Stewart)
Grid reference: NX411662
Nearest town: Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway
NX4166 : Newton Stewart Youth Hostel by Leslie Barrie
Formerly known as Minnigaff Youth Hostel. Category C-listed former school, built c1900.
by Leslie Barrie

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2015

Hostel name: Raasay
Grid reference: NG553378
Nearest town: Raasay, Highland
NG5537 : Raasay Youth Hostel, Creachan Cottage, Raasay by P L Chadwick
Located a couple of kilometres north of Inverarish, the hostel is only open for a few months of the year, normally from mid-May to the beginning of September.

NG5537 : Raasay Youth Hostel - detail, Creachan Cottage, Raasay.
by P L Chadwick

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2013
Notes: Alan Evans Memorial Hostel, Creachan Cottage

Hostel name: Stranvar House
Grid reference: NN528202
Nearest town: Balquhidder, Stirling
NN5220 : Stronvar House, Loch Voil by Colin Smith
The imposing Stronvar House, in Scottish Baronial style, still looks in good order from a distance. The golden-coloured weather vane is original, dating from 1850. It was refurbished, re-gilded and then re-erected on 21st September 2001 by G D Armitage (Clocks and Bells) Ltd of Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire. They are the recognised experts in this work and also re-gilded the spike on the other tower.

The vane is the same pattern as on all other David Bryce (the Architect) designed houses. [Many thanks to Colin Gompertz, "The Laird"].

The house is still occupied by 'the Laird'. It was a Scottish Youth Hostels Association property between 1954 and 1973-1974. [Thanks - John Martin].

See LinkExternal link
by Colin Smith

Open as a SYHA hostel from 1954 to 1974

Hostel name: Strathpeffer
Grid reference: NH478574
Nearest town: Strathpeffer, Highland
NH4757 : Strathpeffer Youth Hostel by Richard Sutcliffe
This ceased to be a Youth Hostel in 2002.
by Richard Sutcliffe

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to 2002
Notes: Elsick House, now private housing

Hostel name: Stromness
Grid reference: HY252087
Nearest town: Stromness, Orkney
Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: Drill Hall, Hellihole Road

Hostel name: The Snoot
Grid reference: NT422135
Nearest town: Hawick, Scottish Borders
NT4213 : The Snoot by Oliver Dixon
Former SYHA youth hostel occupying an old church. Now presumably a private dwelling.
by Oliver Dixon

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Uig
Grid reference: NG396629
Nearest town: Uig, Highland
NG3962 : SYHA Hostel in Uig by Dave Fergusson
This 62 bed hostel used to be Uig Hospital.
by Dave Fergusson

Open as a SYHA hostel from ? to ?

Hostel name: Wanlockhead
Grid reference: NS875130
Nearest town: Wanlockhead, Dumfries & Galloway
Open as a /SYHA hostel from ? to ?
Notes: Still extant as "Lotus Lodge"


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