The UK is covered with castles in all shapes and sizes and there are a surprising number of independent hostels and bunkhouses within walking distance of a castle.
Who doesn’t love a castle? Their antiquity seems to have a power over us and draws us to them. The UK is covered with castles in all shapes and sizes and there are a surprising number of independent hostels and bunkhouses within walking distance of a castle. Some, like
Totters in Caernarfon are literally next door nestling in the shadows of the historic castle walls, others like Castle Rock Hostel in Edinburgh are a mere street away and the majestic view of the castle greets you from the windows and as you leave the front door. While Craig Y Nos Castle in the Brecon Beacons National Park has a hostel in its grounds and hostel guests are welcome into the castle for hearty meals, cosy evenings by the wood burning stoves and a free history tour.
Castle Rock Hostel with Edinburgh Castle just down the road
Castles spark the imagination in everyone. The thick walls and narrow stone stairways instantly transport you to medieval times. The era of knights in shining armour. Children love nothing better than to explore the ancient rooms, race around the ruins and grounds and see the weapons on display. Overseas visitors are often overwhelmed by the sheer age, number and variety of castles we have in the UK. Surely one of the best social media posts is one of you in front of an iconic castle. One of the firm favourites is Alnwick Castle in Northumberland which was Hogwarts in in the Harry Potter Films and Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey. With
Alwnick Youth Hostel a few minutes’ walk from the castle, offering family friendly 4* self catering accommodation, there is no excuse not to visit.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland with Alnwick Youth Hostel just 8 minutes’ walk away.
There are so many iconic castles with independent hostel accommodation nearby. Independent hostels provide great value, self catering accommodation for individuals, families and groups. With communal kitchens, dining and relaxing areas they are great places for meeting people and are wonderfully flexible as there is normally no minimum length of stay. Why not plan your tour of castles and stay in independent hostels along the way?
Here are just a few ideas:
Totters hostel in a 200 year old 5 floored town house next to Caernarfon Castle, Wales
Craig Y Nos Castle Hostel and B&B in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. With a hostel in the grounds, guests are welcome into the castle for hearty meals, cosy evenings by the wood burning stoves and a free history tour.
If you are travelling to the Brecon Beacons from The Midlands you might well decide to divert to the market town of Ledbury and visit the impressive Eastnor Castle, which has plenty to do for all the family and which like Craig Y Nos is a 19th century revival castle. Should you want to stop over there
Woodside Lodges Bunkhouse provides ideal accommodation.
Inveraray Castle, on the western shore of Loch Fyne, Argyll, Scotland is just a 7 minute walk from
Inveraray Hostel. This cosy hostel, sleeps 22 across 10 rooms and is just one and a half hour’s drive from Glasgow airport.
While you are visiting Scottish castles you might want to take extend your tour to include visiting the ruins of Muness castle on the Isle of Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Isles. Self catering hostel accommodation can be found at
Gardiesfauld Hostel which is just 1.5 miles away.
The iconic Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast has
Seahouses Hostel and The Hides close by.
While the majestic ruins of 800 year old Kendal Castle in the Lake District is just 15 mins’ walk from
The stunning Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness is the third most visited castle in Scotland (after Edinburgh and Stirling). The closest accommodation is
Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge
Tretower Court & Castle in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales is a short drive or a scenic walk of 3 miles away from
Star Bunkhouse .
For those of you wanting to visit the South of England why not visit the seaside town of Swanage, stay in
Swanage Auberge Bunkhouse and visit the ruins of Corfe castle?
If it’s a visit to a Royal castle you are dreaming of,
Ballater Hostel and Braemar Lodge Bunkhouse are just a short scenic drive to the Queen’s Scottish residence at Balmoral.
These are just a few ideas. Listed below are all the hostels and bunkhouses in the independent hostel network that are close to a castle. If you love visiting castles, try staying at independent hostels for great value, friendly, self catering accommodation.
Accommodation near Castles
Ballater Hostel, Bridge Square, Ballater, AB35 5QJ
Ballater Hostel lies in the centre of Ballater, near Balmoral, on the east side of the Cairngorms National Park. Traditional dorms & private rooms, along with a large open plan kitchen/dining/communal area make a great space to relax . Drying room and cycle storage available. 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!
8 Blackfriars St., Edinburgh, EH1 1NE
The High Street Hostel is one of Europe’s best regarded and most atmospheric hostels. It is hugely popular with world travellers. Located just off the historic Royal Mile in a 470 year old building, it is your perfect base for exploring all the city’s many attractions and of course its wonderful nightlife.
Providing excellence in location, ambience and facilities, the hostel is highly recommended by more than ten of the world’s top backpacker travel guides. Come along and see for yourself!
Lower Hardingsdown Farm, Llangennith, Gower, Swansea, SA3 1HT
Overlooking the salt marshes, just 5 miles from Hardingdowns Bunkhouse, this solitary castle is perfect for a peaceful picnic.
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9 Gyllyngvase Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4DL
Relaxed, friendly and clean, Falmouth Lodge Backpackers is just two minutes’ walk from the Blue Flag Gyllyngvase beach and the South West Coast Path. Only eight minutes’ walk into town with its exotic gardens, art galleries, Maritime Museum, Pendennis Castle, and the harbour. Free parking and WiFi. Complimentary tea, coffee and breakfast. Well-equipped kitchen and cosy lounge.
Pyllau Gloewon Farm, Tal-y-Bont, Conwy, Gwynedd, LL32 8YX
Conwy Valley Backpackers is situated on a peaceful organic farm in the heart of the beautiful Conwy Valley, with excellent access to Snowdonia. Centrally heated with a fully equipped self-catering kitchen, log fires and hot showers. Secure bike/canoe storage. Grazing for horses and tourist information are available. Local activities range from fishing and hiking to white water rafting and mountain biking. Surf Snowdonia is within walking distance and Zip World is a short drive away.
Cumulus Outdoors Residential Centre, Cobbler’s Lane, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2PX
Cumulus Outdoor Residential Centre is situated in the small seaside town of Swanage on Dorset's Jurassic Coast. The purpose built centre sits in 6 acres of private grounds and has 4 separate accommodation units which can be hired individually or together. The smallest unit sleeps 16, the others sleep 32, 38 and 43. The centre is popular
with groups of friends/families, schools, youth groups, DofE & corporate groups. A whole range of outdoor activities are available for your group if required. Dogs welcome with prior arrangement.
105 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG
Royal Mile Backpackers is a small and cosy hostel with its own special character! Perfectly located on the Royal Mile, the most famous street in Edinburgh, Royal Mile Backpackers is the ideal place to stay for the independent traveller.
The comfortable beds and cosy common areas will make you feel at home and the friendly staff are always on hand to help you make the most of your time in Edinburgh.
Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, SA71 5EZ
FSC Orielton is a Field Studies Council centre set in a Georgian mansion close to Pembroke. Accommodating groups of all sizes up to 130, the centre is perfect for schools, clubs, conferences and family celebrations. It sits in 48 hectares of private grounds, including woodlands, meadows, ponds and streams. A wide range of outdoor activities can be provided both on and off site. The stunning Pembrokshire coastline with its beautiful beaches is just a short drive away.
Plas Porth Yr Aur, 2 High Street, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 1RN
Totters is practically built into the historic castle walls. In the games room of the cellar you will see medieval arches that are part of the castle walls
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4 Florence Rd, Portsmouth, Southsea PO5 2NE
Southsea Rocks Hotel has a variety of rooms from great value hotel rooms with en suite options to cool hostel dorms.
There are social areas, an outdoor courtyard to sit in the sun and space for guests to enjoy take outs from local restaurants. It is within walking distance of the castle, common and aquarium and is a great base for exploring other attractions including Portsmouth’s historic dockyard, Charles Dickens’ birthplace and The Mary Rose Museum.
18 Chapel Street, Mumbles, SA3 4NH
Opened in summer 2019, The Chapel House is Swansea’s only boutique hostel. Catering for travellers from around the world, it is nestled between the Castle and the Lighthouse, in the heart of the Mumbles.
Just 5 minutes away from Swansea centre and The Wales Coast Path. Within walking distance of great surf, walking and climbing. The perfect base for those seeking adventure on the Gower!
24 Richmond Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 7HE
Located on a small working farm, just 3 miles east of Richmond, Yorkshire. Brompton on Swale Bunkbarn offers a welcome break from walking or cycling the Coast to Coast. A pot of tea for weary walkers upon arrival and safe storage for bikes makes this bunkhouse especially welcoming. Close to the Yorkshire Dales, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Easby Abbey, Richmond Castle & Ellerton Lakes. Dogs are welcome to stay but must be kept on a lead around the yard as there are ducks, hens and geese.
Woodside Lodges, Falcon Lane, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 2JN
This 19th century revival castle is just two miles from Woodside Lodges Bunkhouse which has small bunkhouse units, Scandinavian lodges, a campsite and camping pods.
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8 Culduthel Road, Inverness, IV2 4AB
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.
Steps Bridge, Dunsford, Devon, EX6 7EQ
In secluded, native woodland on the eastern edge of Dartmoor, the cabin has been a hostel since the 1930s. While the hostel remains closed, Blytheswood will reopen later in 2021 with a self-contained cabin available for bookings of two nights or more and hopes in the future to offer shared hostel style accommodation for cyclists and walkers once more. Walk straight from the door to Heltor and Blackingstone Rock or along the river to Fingle Bridge and Castle Drogo. Cross stepping stones to Dunsford village. Near Moretonhampstead and Exeter. On the LEJOG cycling route.
Pont-y-Pant, Dolwyddelan, North Wales, LL25 0DQ
At the heart of Snowdonia, Dolwyddelan has the perfect location for outdoor pursuits, but did you know about its amazing castle !
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45 High St, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2LX
Family run, Swanage Auberge is a refuge for climbers, cyclists, walkers & divers at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast. In the centre of Swanage, a stone’s throw from the South West Coast Path, there is excellent walking, mountain biking, diving and rock climbing close by. There is a fully equipped self-catering kitchen and a packed lunch service if required. Parking for 2 vehicles is available on a first come first served basis & free on-street parking is close by.
The Hall, Milden, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 9NY
The Tudor Barn offers unique group accommodation on an environmentally friendly working farm in rural Suffolk. Sleeping 23 (singles/doubles/4 posters & truckles) in 4 private rooms + the huge space of the Tudor Barn where you can also feast & relax. The perfect base for group celebrations, reunions or activity breaks. Bikes and Tudor costumes are included. Larger parties can also stay at the Old Brooder Bunkhouse on the same site (also in this guide).
Craig Y Nos Castle, Brecon Road, Penycae, Powys, SA9 1GL
Walk among the ghosts of the past, through the hallways that once inhabited the children of the TB sanatorium, and continue onward into the past as you gaze into the faded grandeur of the famous diva Adalina Patti's elaborate architectural style!
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34 - 38 Green Batt, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1TU
Walk the walls off Hogwarts, imagine yourself dressed in the beautiful gowns on downton abbey, relive the excitement of Robin Hood… all at Alnwick Castle.
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Preston, Chathill, Northumberland. NE67 5ES
Nestled in the hamlet of Preston, The Joiners Shop Bunkhouse is just 5 miles from the Northumberland coastline & 7 miles from Alnwick famed for its (Harry Potter) castle & gardens.
The charming 19th century building sleeps 18 in heated sections of 2s, 3s & a 5. Fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining area, lounge with fire & hot showers. Close to NCN Route 1.
118-120 Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4HE
Kendal Hostel, a Georgian townhouse in the historic market town of Kendal, is next to the well known Brewery Arts Centre and only a stone’s throw from the town centre. Facilities include 13 bedrooms for up to 65 guests, kitchen, lounge, dining room, bike shed and free WiFi. Single/double/family/group rooms plus mixed & single sex dorms.
Grant Road, Grantown-on-Spey, Moray PH26 3LD
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.
Eastern Slade Farm, Oxwich, Gower, Swansea, SA3 1NA
Eastern Slade Barn is a luxury farmhouse conversion on a working farm on the Gower Peninsula. The Gower has glorious beaches, castles & a network of traffic free lanes, ideal for mountain bikes. The Coastal Path passes through the farm. Port Eynon seaside village is a 30 min walk, while Oxwich Bay with its castle, beach & hotel serving tasty meals is just a 20 min walk. Camping is also available and weddings/birthdays can be accommodated.
Igloo Hybrid, 4-6 Eldon Chambers, Wheeler Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2NS
On Market Square, right in the centre of Nottingham, Igloo offers great value and comfort. Decorated using up-cycled furniture and street art murals, with a self-catering kitchen, free WiFi, power showers, lockers, lounge, outdoor courtyard and laundry facilities. The Pods & Annexe offer further rooms with the same standard. The Igloo SHED is our newly addition with ensuite room.
Upper Neeston Farm, Dale Road, Herbrandston, Milford Haven, SA73 3RY
Environmentally sensitive barn conversions close to the Milford Haven Waterway in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Ideal for divers, climbers, walkers or family get-togethers. The four independent 5* lodges have fully fitted kitchens and have access to garden/patio, laundry/drying room, secure storage and ample parking.
45 Ford Street, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, Devon, TQ13 8LN
A small, friendly eco-hostel in the centre of Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor National Park. Popular with cyclists, hikers, bikers, wild swimmers, artists and photographers, A beautifully converted stone stable, with solar-heated showers, kitchen, courtyard, BBQ and secure bike shed. High open moorland, rocky tors, ancient burial sites, stone circles, woods and clear rivers close by. Moretonhampstead has shops, cafés, art galleries and pubs. On the Cicerone LEJOG, Dartmoor Way and CTC cycle routes.
Penbryn Reception, Aberystwyth University, Penbryn, Penglais, SY23 3BY
Aberystwyth University Bunkhouse is on the Wales Coast Path, close to beaches, dramatic walking and white knuckle mountain biking. Aberystwyth has all the attractions of a Victorian seaside town with the added adventure of an ancient castle and thriving nightlife. Accommodation is in single rooms with shared self-catering kitchens and bathrooms. Meals available. Ideal for education trips, conference, or those looking for a base for a family seaside holiday or outdoor group trip.
13 Beaufort Square, Chepstow, NP16 5EP (Car park NP16 5LL)
The Green Man offers reasonable priced rooms, self catering kitchen, bar and communal lounge in a fabulously renovated historic building with the oldest part dating back to 1290!
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Y Cefn, Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, LL41 4PS
Stay 900 feet above sea level, among the rugged rocks and rural grassland of the Snowdonia mountain tops, that collage together to create a landscape as picturesque as it if was an oil painting...
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Old Red Lion, Bailey Street, Castle Acre, Norfolk, PE32 2AG
Castle Acre has a very special atmosphere and an historic hostel with a peaceful welcome. The village of Castle Acre was an important Norman Town and you still pass through the medieval wall via the bailey gate to reach the village green with its pub, cafe and shop.
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The Hall, Milden, Lavenham, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 9NY
Comfy, farm self-catering in rural Suffolk. Sleeps 22 in five bedrooms, including a restored Shepherd’s Hut. Mix of oak bunks/conventional beds. Relax in cosy sitting room; BBQ, ping-pong, croquet & badminton; explore the farm, picnic in a meadow. 20 bikes included in hire or kayak down the River Stour. Go Ape, visit castles, coast, historic towns & houses. Larger groups can also book the Tudor Barn (also in this guide).
Dalmally Road, Inveraray, Argyll, PA32 8XD
This cosy hostel, sleeps 22 across 10 rooms and is just one and a half hour’s drive from Glasgow airport.
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Church Place, Findhorn, Forres, Moray, IV36 3YR
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.
17 Tregrehan Mills, St. Austell, Cornwall, PL25 3TL
Welcome to this quirky, camino inspired eco hostel up-cycled from an old stable block to include mixed bunk rooms, a courtyard kitchen & a communal lounge.
It’s just a short leafy lane from the Eden Project situated on National Cycle Routes 2 & 3, two miles from the Northwest Coast Path at Carlyon Bay and close to the historic Saints Way pilgrimage trail. Walkers and cyclists are welcomed and pick-ups from the station or parking can be arranged.
6 Glenshee Rd, Braemar, AB35 5YQ
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.
Auchlishie Farm, Kirriemuir, Angus DD8 4LS
A brand new family owned bunkhouse situated in Kirriemuir, at the gateway to the Glens of Isla, Prosen and Clova.
The bunkhouse offers excellent facilities to the outdoor enthusiast wanting to experience and enjoy the proximity to the Cairngorms National Park.
An architect designed, purpose built bunkhouse with full kitchen, shower and drying room facilities. Cosy duvets, pillows and bed linen provided, towels available to hire.
Pantyrathro International Hostel, Llansteffan, Carmarthen, SA33 5AJ
Explore the local culture with your dog at the dog friendly Pantyrathro International Hostel !
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10-14 Castle St, Swansea SA1 1JF
Coiltie Farmhouse, East Lewiston, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, IV63 6UJ
This 18th-century Highland farmhouse provides warm & friendly hostel accommodation. Ideally situated within walking distance of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, on the Great Glen Way and with pubs, restaurants and supermarket close by. Residents-only bar offers over 50 Scottish beers and 25 Scotch whiskies. Hiking tours, fishing, watersports and mountain biking can all be arranged locally. Free parking. Pet-friendly (some rooms only - please contact us). Bike storage available except in Jul/Aug.
Houghton North Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, NE15 0EZ
Houghton North Farm, partly built with stones from Hadrian’s Wall is in the beautiful Northumberland countryside right on the Hadrian’s Wall trail, 15 miles from the start. This spacious new build is perfect for groups, individuals or families. The bunkrooms are located around the central courtyard. There is a self-catering kitchen (continental breakfast included). The TV lounge has a log fire and WiFi. Long-term parking, baggage transfer and packed lunches are available on request.
14 Charlton Street, Llandudno, LL30 2AA
Llandudno Hostel is a Victorian 4* boutique, award-winning hostel where individuals, families & groups (including schools) are welcome all year. Set in the heart of the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno, it’s your perfect base for shopping & exploring many local attractions, including blue flag beaches, dry slope skiing, Zip World, Surf Snowdonia, bronze age copper mine, traditional pier, museums & fishing trips.
15 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW
Relax and socialize in the comfort of Castle Rock Hostel.
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9 Palace Street, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 1RR
Llety Arall Hostel is a community enterprise which offers flexible accommodation for individuals, couples, families and groups in the heart of Caernarfon. Recently refurbished to a very high standard, it sleeps 22 in 8 rooms en suite rooms. Facilities include a well equipped kitchen and a community room which is large enough for meetings and communal events. Llety Arall is located in Stryd y Plas (Palace Street), within the town walls and not far from Caernarfon Castle. Your perfect base fro exploring Anglesy and Snowdonia.
Uyeasound, Unst, Shetland, ZE2 9DW
Gardiesfauld Hostel is on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Isles with spectacular cliffs sculpted by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and secluded, sandy beaches on the east with rocky outcrops where seals and otters appear. On the picturesque shore at Uyeasound, this refurbished hostel has good facilities and a relaxed atmosphere. There is a kitchen, dining room, lounge, conservatory and rooms with en suite facilities as well as a garden when you can pitch a tent or park your caravan.
Radcliffes Lodge, Coble Quay, Amble, Northumberland. NE65 0FB
Opening on 17th May 2021, Radcliffes Lodge is a purpose built boutique hostel overlooking the Marina in the vibrant harbour town of Amble on the Northumberland Coast. Sleeping 48 across 9 en suite rooms, with plenty of communal areas, the lodge oozes quality and style. With the Coast & Castles cycle route and the Northumberland Coastal Path on the doorstep the Lodge is perfect for walkers, cyclists, independent travellers and groups of friends and families.
Lawrenny Millennium Hostel, Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire, SA68 0PW
Once a Victorian village school, the Lawrenny Hostel is superbly placed for exploring South Pembrokeshire. Warm, clean and comfortable, with modern facilities, the accommodation is ideal for individuals or groups, training courses or events. The adjoining village hall is also available to rent and there is a community shop, pub and an award-winning tearoom nearby.
Slack House Farm, Gilsland Brampton, Cumbria, CA8 7DB
Slack House Farm is a working, organic farm overlooking Birdoswald Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. On the NCN 72 cycle trail and bordering the dark-skies of Kielder and the Northumberland National Park. Half a km from Hadrian’s Wall National Trail. The bunkbarn is adjacent to the farm’s cheese dairy. It is heated and has basic self-catering facilities and an outdoor cooking/barbecue cabin. Breakfasts, farmhouse suppers, ready meals and packed lunches available.