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Bunk Beds - a typical hostel bed - Scotland - United Kingdom

Bunk Beds - a typical hostel bed - Scotland

Quality Backpacker Hostels and Youth Hostels: "Hostel" Style Accommodation In The UK

Any visitor to the UK will discover accommodation and food (with travel) to be expensive and often poor value for money.

Some excellent places exist, but there is little consistency or guarantee. So no surprise that "tourist style" hostel accommodation, costing only 10 - 15 pounds per night, (with the use of a kitchen), is so popular. Private rooms are rapidly becoming available but book early - or come "off-season".

Warning - Scotland Hostel Reviews Tips - See who has written the hostel review and don't take one review to be true - see the place from different perspectives. Many reviews on the web are being written by hostel staff or by unscrupulous operators. Don't trust overly positive tips and reviews!

Bed & Breakfast
For those of you wanting pampering and high quality without hotel rip-off prices - check out The Best B&Bs Website

It all started in the 1930's.
UK Youth Hostels
began - providing cheap accommodation for young people - so they could get to visit countryside, away from their urban homes, which otherwise they could not afford to see. The idea was to discover places, the countryside, history and fresh air, exercise and friends. It grew into a mass activity, with adults too getting out into the countryside, on bikes, foot and hitch hiking, or by bus and train. Later by car.

There were hundreds of hostels, run by a Youth Hostel Association, in Scotland the SYHA, affiliated to an international federation (Hostelling International).

Then Privately owned hostels began to appear, and now they out number the YHA hostels in Scotland. There are hundreds of hostels in the UK, run by either the YHA / SYHA, or by private owners and businesses not affiliated to them - hence being known as "Independents".

Hostels can be small huts, huge city centre "hotels", historic castles and mansions, remote cottages, bizarre wigwams, and other crazy constructions. Standards and facilities are as variable as the people who use them.

Unique Qualities: They generally use bunk beds (but also increasingly have singles and doubles, private rooms and so on - infact any combination possible - including a shared sleeping platform, "Alpine Style"). This usually means sharing a sleeping room with others - which dramatically reduces costs, whilst giving a reasonable revenue for the room space to the operator.

Toilets and washing facilities are of course there too, in some form, and some sort of kitchen.

The big thing with hostels is an equipped kitchen, where you can cook food, meaning massive cost savings, freedom to eat when and what you choose, and often this is complemented by a budget food service from the operator.

Generally there are also communal lounges, facilities for washing clothes and drying them. In mountain or sports areas, facilities are geared for specialist users, and their equipment.

In cities, the accommodation is heavily biased towards the young backpacker / gap year / student user, with minimal cooking space. Emphasis here is on enjoying the city life, and bars and music are common. They are lively, where as country hostels can be very peaceful.

Every hostel is different - both a blessing and a dilema. But nowadays standards are upheld and enforced to some degree, by compliance with legal and self-regulating bodies. The most powerful tool though remains customer feedback and rating - so use Virtual Tourist to discover the truth about Scottish Hostels.

Don't trust overly positive reviews! Especially for city hostels.
See who has written the review and don't take one review to be true - see the place from different perspectives. Many reviews on the web are being written by staff or by unscrupulous operators.

I have worked in hostels in England, Wales and Scotland, and also hostelled in Europe and Americas. I have no vested interest or connection with any hostel business.

Back to my Scotland Tips or Homepage

Address: Youth Hostel Association

Comparison: least expensive

Directions: See Web sites below

Independent Hostels Scotland

For Good On-line maps:
Multimap.co.uk
www.streetmap.co.uk

Other Contact: www.hostel-scotland.co.uk

Price: less than US$20

Theme: Hostel

Website: http://www.syha.org.uk

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 14, 2005
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Infront Of Bruntsfield Youth Hostel - Edinburgh - United Kingdom

Infront Of Bruntsfield Youth Hostel - Edinburgh

Hundreds of Excellent Hostels Bothies & Bunkhouses: Hostel Acommodation In The UK - Useful Web Links

Why Hostel?
Read this: www.bootsnall.com/hostels/why

Below are a few useful web links for hostels and quality "budget" accommodation in the UK.

The Hosteworld and BUG Europe sites are good beceause they incluse ratings by guests, giving you some slight hint of what to expect - information to supplement the grading by Tourist Boards ( A very contentious and criticised issue - because the grading is unable to measure or appreciate much that makes a "communal" and unusual / quirky place).

Warning
Take the reviews of hostels on these sites (and that includes VT) with a big pinch of salt! The quality and accuracy of ratings is often skewed by those with a vested interest rating or getting friends / staff to rate their own businesses. However, that aside, there are very genuine and helpful comments by previous guests - well worth reading. And remember, everyone has a different perspective and standard. If in doubt - ask me!

Unique Qualities: Some useful websites:-

Hostelworld.com
Hostel.com
BUG Hostel Reviews Scotland
YHA England & Wales
Scottish YHA
IBHS Independent Hostels Scotland - "Blue Guide"
Scottish Tourist Board Accommodation

Address: UK - all over - see web links for details

Comparison: least expensive

Price: less than US$20

Theme: Hostel

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 27, 2004
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