Over many trips to Scotland, we have stayed in a large proportion of the bunkhouses suitable for mountaineering weekends etc.
These reviews were first compiled in 2009 from recollection, and updates etc. are always welcome. In particular, where a bunkhouse is either of limited use, or unattractive, there may not have been a repeat visit.
Circumstances may have therefore improved since the review. If you have stayed at a hostel more recently, or disagree with the comments, or if you can add information about any new places to stay, please submit the information HERE
The reviews are on the basis of the needs of a mountaineer….. i.e. a drying room, somewhere to cook,and somewhere to sit and sort gear.
Some Hostels address a different market.The grading system is based on the question “would you stay again?”.
The Grades are:-Can’t wait // Happy to // OK // Only if necessary.
The “Blue Guide” has been used for many years to locate bunkhouses.
Some phone numbers are given for establishments which may not be in that Guide
The Bunkhouses are grouped with “Islands” first then in 4 sections corresponding approximately to the MWIS forecast areas.
|HOSTEL||Reviewer||Date of last visit||MOUNTAIN AREA||COMMENT||GRADE|
|Sligachan Bunkhouse, Skye||Club Trip||May 2012||Skye||A pleasant former house about 10 mins walk from Slig PH. Has a separate comfy sitting room with a coal fire, plus a new toilet/shower unit just constructed. The kitchen layout is poor, as if more than one group is cooking, people move across each other and collide. Chaotic cooking when bunkhouse is busy….. needs a rework of the kitchen are. Otherwise good.||Happy to.|
|Aldersyde Bunkhouse Lamlash Arran||Frank||August 2007||Arran||Don’t go there – look for website reviews||only if absolutely deperate|
|Rum (Kinloch Castle)||Andrew||May 2009||Rum Cuillin||Operated by SNH in the former servants quarters of the big house. Nice bed linen and use of a comfy sitting room. However, it fails on the basics as there are insufficient toilets and the kitchen is far too small. Given an OK grade on the basis that there is nowhere else on the island, and the community campsite nearby looks very poor.||OK|
|Ullapool (Lael) Forest Way b-h||Andrew||October 2012||Ullapool, far north.||Small bunkhouse with 2 x 4-bed ensuites plus sitting/kitchen room. Owned by local mountaineer and very well constructed and laid out. A good comfortable alternative to Ullapool YH||Can’t Wait.|
|Achnasheen Ledgowan Bunkgouse||Andrew||October 2010||Glencarron, Fannaichs, Slioch.||The small bunkhouse is quite spartan with only minimal cooking facilities, small dining table and no comfy seats. However guests have the use of the superb lounge and the drying room in the Ledgowan Hotel, a Victorian building of some grandeur, and the staff /owners are extremely helpful and accommodating||Can’t Wait.|
|Achnashellach Gerry’s bunkhouse||Andrew & Richard K||2003||Glencarron, NW Highlands||Homemade kit e.g. double glazing, water supply. For a more reliable experience go a few miles to Ledgowan at Achnasheen.||Only if necessary|
|Crask Inn Bunkhouse||Frank||Sept 2010||Ben Hope, Ben Klibreck||About 100m from Crask Inn, adequate kitchen, no drying room but good sized lounge with fireplace. V friendly food in the Inn is superb and cheap. No website 01549411241||Grade – Happy to|
|Great Glen Hostel. On A82 3 miles south of Invergarry Tel 01809 501430||Andrew||July 2011||Ben Nevis area / Glen Shiel||Formerly Loch Lochy YH and now operating privately with all the same amenities eg good kitchen, dining room and comfy lounge. Slides comfortably into the upper echelons||Can’t Wait.|
|Invergarry||Andrew||November 2008||West Highlands||One of the very best. Constructed as a large modern bungalow with owners living in a roof dormer. Huge modern kitchen, great lounge and separate dining room. Clean and well run. Excellent||Can’t Wait.|
|Invergordon Ballintraid b/h||Andrew||2007||Ben Hope, Ben Klibreck||A good jumping off point for the Far North. More like being a house guest than a bunkhouse. Cluttered toilets too few for the number of guests.||Only if necessary|
|Inverness Eastgate b/h||Andrew||August 2009||Northwest Highlands||Not the mountaineer market !!.. On 2nd and 3rd floors in city centre. Car park 200 metres. Cramped kitchen. Some defective plumbing. Tired decoration, with tacky wall graphics (possibly offensive). Insists on your credit card number even when you pay cash on the basis they don’t trust you not to commit damage. The only place in Scotland I have ever been asked this. Number retained on written paper probably contrary to PCI Compliance Guidelines.||Only if necessary|
|Invershin||Andrew||September 2011||Ben Hope, Klibreck, Seanna Braigh||3 or 4 twin-bed rooms in annexe behind the Invershin Hotel. Clean and recently decorated. NO SEATING NO KITCHEN. We had to ask for a kettle on the corridor floor for a breakfast brew. A life-saver in 2011 as Carbisdale Castle YH across the river was closed for refurb. The price was an expensive £20 so it’s difficult to see how this will fare once the YH re-opens||Only if necessary|
|Kinlochewe Bunkhouse||Frank||April 2011||Glencarron, Slioch, Torridon||Comments – One room with 12 beds, 4 sets of 3 bunks with a large locker for each bunk, 2 good showers, drying room, adequate kitchen but no sitting room. No kids under 12. Part of Kinlochewe Hotel which does V good food, take away bacon butties for breakfast. http://www.kinlochewehotel.co.uk/bunkhouse.html||Grade – Happy to|
|Plockton Station||Andrew||October 2010||Glencarron.||Clean and generally OK. Good quality English beer in nearby pub.||OK|
|Ullapool Ceilidh Place,||Andrew||July 2010||Ullapool Beinn Dhearg etc||Tatty annexe to an Ullapool hotel. Small room with 2 bunks, no lounge or sitting area, no cooking facilities of any kind. A poor second to Ullapool YH||Only if necessary|
|Aviemore Bunkhouse (Old Bridge Inn)||Andrew||2006||Cairngorms||Very poor. No sitting room. Tiny kitchen wholly inadequate. Drying room full of owners bed linen. Basically only a sleeping place for pub customers.||Only if necessary|
|Boat of Garten Fraoch Lodge bunkhouse||Andrew||2005||N Cairngorms, Aviemore area||Run by mountaineer. Main accommodation is in Victorian house with very comfy sitting room||Happy to|
|Newtonmore Craigellachie bunkhouse||Andrew||November 2010||N. Cairngorms, Craig Megaidh etc||A top drawer bunkhouse run by a mountaineer. Good facilities and drying room. Not surprisingly, it’s often booked up.||Can’t Wait.|
|Laggan Pottery Bunkhouse||Andrew and Richard K + Club||2003/2005/ Club Trip 2011||Monadliath||Modern and spacious. Noisy self-closing doors led to loss of sleep.Not ideal on Club Trip 2011||OK|
|WEST HIGHLANDS AREA|
|Bridge of Orchy (hotel)||Andrew||2003||Blackmount||Now closed|
|Bridge of Orchy (Station)||Andrew||March 2009||Blackmount / Corrour||Small rooms in former station buildings. Pleasant & helpful||OK|
|Corpach (The Smiddy)||Andrew||May 2009||Lochaber, Western Highlands||A firm favourite. Divided into several units, and often a small group gets exclusive space. Pleasant seating and kitchen. Well located||Can’t Wait.|
|Corpach (Farr Cottage)||Andrew||February 2006||Lochaber, Western Highlands||Used (once) for YMC winter weekend. Insufficient toilets. Costly bar and a ban on bringing your own table wine.||Only if necessary|
|Glencoe bunkhouse. On old road next to Glencoe YH||Andrew||November 2011||West Highlands||Everything is very basic. The only seating is backless benches either side a table. Only one small sink for 16 people. No shelves for food storage. No hooks either in the shower or in the bunkrooms. Serves a purpose for Groups, but why go here when all amenities are available at the YH right next door ?||Only if necessary|
|Glenfinnan Sleeping Car||Andrew||2004||Road to the Isles||The use of an old railway carriage is novel but very cramped. Especially the corridors with a large rucksack||Only if necessary|
|Roy Bridge Grey Corrie Lodge,||Andrew & Richard K||August 2009||Grey Corries, Nevis, Megaidh||Serves the purpose albeit too worn…e.g. one oven and one shower not working. Small rooms. Could do with a thorough overhaul||OK|
|Tulloch (near Fort William)||Andrew||2005||Laggan, Easains, train to Corrour||Clean & very pleasant. Cooked meal available. Evening meal with alpine hut atmosphere.. Often full||Can’t Wait|
|Strathfillan Wigwams, near Tyndrum||Andrew||1995||West Highlands||Like a large wooden tent. Not much room for the money, as I remember it||Only if necessary|
|SOUTH-EAST HIGHLANDS AREA|
|Braemar Lodge||Andrew||February 2009||Glenshee / Southern Cairngorms||Round the back of a small hotel. Decent drying room, towels provided, nice and clean. The front door opens into the sleeping area. (Seems to have been assembled wrong way round !) The only seating is chairs round a table. (No lounge area). There are no windows in the table & chairs area, and nothing on the walls.||OK|
|Braemar (Rucksacks)||Andrew||2007||Glenshee / Southern Cairngorms||Friendly traditional bunkhouse. Handy for Fife Arms.||Happy to.|
|Grandtully (near Aberfeldy / Pitlochry)||Andrew||November 2010||Killin – Glen Lyon plus A9 northbound||Village hotel nicely redecorated and converted, bar still open on the premises. Tel 07849 689386 Decent kitchen, pleasant experience||Happy to|
|Killin Braveheart bunkhouse||Andrew||2007||Ben Lawers etc||Small (bijou, perhaps). Fair value.||OK|
|Killin. Culdees bunkhouse||Andrew||2003||Ben Lawers etc||Rather a “New Age” atmosphere. Located high up on a hillside some miles east of Killin.||OK|
|Pitlochry Backpackers||Andrew||2010||Central highlands||Backpacker rather than mountaineer market. Can be closed in Winter.. do check. Comfortable lounge with free brews, and reasonable kitchen.||OK|
|Spittal of Glenshee Gulabin Lodge||Andrew||Winter 2007||Glenshee, Grampians||Clean & Pleasant. Does cycle hire for e.g. access to Carn An Righ. Rooms are 3-level and could be very cramped if full.||OK|
|Wester Caputh, near Dunkeld||Andrew||2007||En route to Gorms||Friendly and generally fine||Happy to.|