There are many welcoming bunkhouses and hostels in the Cairngorms and along the Moray Coast. The locations of these are shown on the map below with clickable links to take you to information and photos. The bunkhouses and hostels offer self-catering accommodation in stunning locations. They are ideal for touring, with single nights’ stays welcome, making them a great way to explore the area or take in the linear routes such as the Moray Coast cycle trail or walk. For those wanting winter sports hostels, bunkhouses and bothies in the Cairngorms are a great choice.
Explore Cairngorms, Moray and East Scotland by map
Click on the markers
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Rattray Head Eco-hostel
Rattray Head Eco-Hostel, a former lighthouse shore station, sits among huge dunes on an isolated 11 mile long sandy beach. Come and relax in this gorgeous, most easterly part of mainland Scotland, and enjoy one of its driest, sunniest, midge-free areas. The 1892 granite building has been renovated to form a modern, dog-friendly coastal retreat. The North Sea Cycle Route (Sustrans 1) is 17 miles inland.
Sharing a car park with the Speyside Way, the converted Nethy Station offers all that a group of 12-26 could expect from a bunkhouse. It is well equipped and fully central heated. Most rooms have triple bunks and there is a 2 bunk room with unusual access, known as Narnia, as you get there through a wardrobe! Self catering or catered options. Stag and hen groups welcomed. The bunkhouse is only 200 yards from the local shop, butcher and pub.
In the centre of Birnam just 10 mins’ walk from Dunkeld, this refurbished Victorian manse offers a mix of self-catering hostel and B&B accommodation. Your perfect base to discover the mountains, waters, rich culture and heritage of Big Tree Country. Jessie Mac’s has doubles, bunk rooms and family rooms, all en suite. One double has wheelchair access.
Ballater Hostel (formerly Habitat @Ballater) lies in the centre of Ballater, near Balmoral, on the east side of the Cairngorms National Park. Ballater Hostel has traditional dormitories and private rooms, along with a large open plan kitchen/dining/communal area with wood burning stove. Either book the whole hostel, a room or just a bed, with no minimum stay. Excellent facilities, comfortable beds and a warm and friendly welcome awaits you – the kettle is always on!
Inverness Student Hotel
The cosy and friendly Student Hotel enjoys panoramic views of the town and the mountains beyond. Your perfect place to unwind, just yards from the city’s varied night-life and a few mins’ walk from bus and train stations. Relax in the fabulous lounge with real log fire and drink as much free tea, coffee & hot chocolate as you like. Visit the beautiful ancient pine forest of Glen Affric or the Culloden Battlefield. Famous Loch Ness lies just a few miles upstream and of course has its own special wild animal.
Cullen Harbour Hostel
Cullen Harbour 4* Hostel is ideally situated on the shores of the Moray Firth, at one end of the Speyside Way and on the National Cycle Route 1. The accommodation is extremely well appointed and next door is a holiday cottage sleeping 4. Your perfect base for a whole range outdoor activities with.
The Sail Loft Bunkhouse
Overlooking the beach and across the Moray Firth this new bunkhouse in Portsoy has a stunning location. Converted from a former sail making loft and associated cottages, The Sail Loft is a modern and well equipped facility providing self-catering accommodation for 25 persons in a mixture of single accessible, twin, triple and bunk rooms. It also boasts secure cycle storage, cycle wash-down facilities and an outdoor wood fired hot tub.
Glenprosen is the most intimate of the Angus Glens on the southernmost edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Two Munros; the Mayar and Driesh link Glenprosen to the Cairngorms plateau. Prosen Hostel is also close to the upgraded East Cairngorms footpath network. Converted to the latest and greenest specification, the 4* hostel offers cosy, quality accommodation for 18. With 4 rooms, sleeping 4, 4 and 6 in bunks and a family room sleeping 4. You can also hire the nearby village hall.
Part of the award-winning Craggan Outdoors activity centre, Ardenbeg offers good value, well appointed bunkhouse accommodation with the extra benefit of a large private garden with BBQ, picnic tables & a children’s play area. The property is situated on a quiet residential street in Grantown-on-Spey, the historic capital of Strathspey, just a 15 mins’ drive from Aviemore and all its amenities. For adventures even closer at hand you can organise a whole host of activities through Craggan Outdoors.
Pitlochry Backpackers Hotel
Located in the centre of beautiful Pitlochry, this friendly, cosy hostel is an old Victorian hotel literally bursting with character and providing dorms and en suite private rooms. Comfy beds come with fitted sheets, duvets and 2 fluffy pillows and private rooms have fresh towels. The bright spacious lounge has comfy sofas and as many free hot drinks as you can drink. There’s free WiFi, games, musical instruments and a free pool table. A great place to meet like minded people. You won’t want to leave!
Findhorn Village Hostel
Findhorn Village Hostel is just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Moray Coast. Great wildlife sites and the Speyside distilleries are within reach. The hostel provides newly renovated self-catering accommodation for groups or individuals. There are shared bunkrooms, a two person room and an en suite family room. A new annex (6 beds) has a small kitchenette and en suite shower rooms.
Welcome to Scotland’s hiking and mountain biking holiday destination. Stay in the 4* homely hostel, dine in the on site cafe (seasonal) and explore the biking and hiking trails. You can book the whole hostel for the exclusive use of your group. Biking facilities on site include a bike park, graded, grin enducing, down hill tracks, family-friendly valley routes, and a bike shop for hire and repairs. For hiking there are four way-marked trails on site, a path to the
Braemar Lodge Bunkhouse
Surrounded by the beauty and tranquillity of Deeside, Braemar Lodge Hotel and Bunkhouse are just a two minute walk from the village. Braemar Lodge Hotel, a former Victorian shooting lodge, is set in extensive grounds. The great value bunkhouse provides comfortable accommodation for up to 12 people within the hotel grounds. The bunkhouse is equipped with two shower rooms, one of which is suitable for wheelchairs. There’s a generous, fully equipped, self-catering kitchen, but you are welcome to sample the excellent hotel meals. All bed linen and towels are supplied.
Gulabin Lodge nestles in Glenshee at the foot of Beinn Gulabin and is the nearest accommodation to the Glenshee ski slopes. The 4* lodge offers excellent accommodation for individuals, families and groups. On site there are many activities including a ski school and equipment hire, mountain bike hire, guided trips and much more. Meals can be provided for groups and also transport to and from airports and stations.
This map of the Cairngorms, Moray Coast and East Scotland show the locations of all the hostels, bunkhouses and bothies that are members of Independent Hostels UK.
The Cairngorms National Park with its native woodland, lochs and high mountains is remarkable accessible part of the Scottish Highlands. In the Cairngorms National Park you will find wild landscapes and isolation only a few hours drive from Edinburgh. Even a drive up the A9 dual carriageway is glance into the wilderness. The ancient Caledonian pine forest and mountains of the Cairngorms provide miles of natural habitat for the Red Squirrel and the Golden Eagle. The mountains of Cairngorm, Lochnagar and many more Munros and Corbetts are ideal for the day walker and climbers. Long distance walks like the Speyside Way, the Deeside Way, the Cateran Trail and the Dava Way give the opportunity for a longer walking holiday. Here you can immerse yourself in the Wilderness experience. For those interested in touring the Cairngorms National Park by car there are lots of attractions and town to visit. Grantown-on-Spey, the historic capital of Strathspey, is worth a visit as is Aviemore the ski capital of Scotland. You can stop off in Braemar in the heart of Royal Deeside or visit Balmoral Castle. Travel down the Spey valley or Glenmore. Visit Glenshee, Nethybridge or Newtonmore. The Cairngorm National Parks provides an ideal base for year round activities including water sports on the lochs, pony trekking and fishing. In winter there is the skiing and ice climbing. In Spring, Summer and Autumn the ski runs make challenging cycle trails for the adventurous mountain biker. For the family, there are off-road trails such as the Deeside Way and Old Logging Way. The moray coast has attractive fishing villages, still immersed in the fishing trade, wide sandy beaches and interesting coastal geology. There are several long distance paths including The Moray Coast Trail. The Moray Firth is famous for its year round population of bottle-nose dolphins which can often been seen jumping out of the water. All along the coast Otters and many birds can be seen. he more southerly part of this map cover Anugus, a maritime county. Augus is a country of small towns like Forfar, Kirriemuir, Arbroath, and rich fertile farming county with views of the Grampian moutnains. This area of East Scotland is ideal for exploration, why not use the self catering accommodation on the map above to plan your adventure.