Hostels with private rooms

Accommodation with private rooms

For many private rooms are a necessity when it comes to travelling in hostels. While some of the more hardcore backpacker crowd might disagree it’s becoming more and more accepted that a lot of hostels now offer these rooms. The reasons for having a private room vary however the perks remain the same throughout.Cell B bunks from social media

Why are private rooms so popular?

As the word implies private rooms offer a deal more privacy over the standard dorm room, invaluable for the light sleepers who can’t sleep without total silence. Families also benefit from having a little bit more room.

Private rooms offer peace of mind, with your own key you can come and go as you please without having to worry about locker space.

Balholm private room

All the benefits of a hotel with hostel prices

Private rooms offer affordable accommodation similar to a hotel but with all the benefits of a hostel.

Use of the self catering kitchens and social areas makes the whole experience much more personal. Just because you’re in your own room doesn’t mean you have to stay in it!

The friendly atmosphere of hostels is what keeps people coming back year after year, meeting new people and hearing their experiences is still as easy to do as in a dorm. Socialise over breakfast or by the fire in the evening. All the while knowing you can retire to your cosy private room when your ready for bed.

Ballater hostel private room

Treat yourself to a bit of luxury

While bunk beds are tried and tested its always nice to treat yourself every now and then.  With many private rooms offering double beds they’re perfect for getting a good nights sleep. Just what you’ll need after a day out exploring some of the UK’s best spots.

Accommodation for School Groups: Hostels and Bunkhouses

Accommodation for School Groups

Whether you are looking for somewhere to stay in one of our major cities or for accommodation with outdoor activities and instruction, Independent Hostels provide perfect accommodation for school groups.  The hostels and bunkhouses listed on this page welcome school groups of all shapes and sizes many specialising in providing accommodation for school trips.  So if you are looking for outdoor activities in Wales, or accommodation for school residentials in a UK city, looking on this page is a great choice.

You can contact suitable hostels using the contact forms on the hostel pages or by doing a group accommodation request.

children enjoying thier accommodation for school residentials

Accommodation for Schools in British Cities

For school trips to cities we have a number of hostels in most major cities, including London, which welcome school groups.  These are all centrally located within easy walking distance of museums, theatres, shops and many other attractions

Our hostels and bunkhouses are experienced in providing accommodation for school residentials and they can help you with such matters as health and safety, safeguarding and booking  appropriate outdoor activity instruction.

LOTC accreditation

Some of the accommodation has LOTC accreditation and are experts for providing  “Learning Outside the Classroom”.   An example of these are Glenbeg Bunkhouse near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands,  Hagg Farm Outdoor Education Centre,  John Hunt Base,  Thornbridge Outdoors, all in or very near to The Peak District National Park.  Humphrey Head Group Hostel overlooking Morcambe Bay on the southern edge of the Lake District.

Many of the hostels and bunkhouses that provide accommodation for school groups have classrooms on site so you can consolidate field trip learning. Many also have all the technology required to run a lesson but please talk to your chosen hostel about this to ensure you know what is available.

Most of our hostel and bunkhouse accommodation has self catering kitchens so you can even bring your own cook or allow older children to cater for you if you wish.  Many also provide catered options including packed lunches, hearty breakfasts and evening meals.  Once again please check with the individuals hostels to be sure that they meet your requirements.

Accommodation for Schools in the National Parks.

If you are looking for outdoor activities for your school group in North Wales, The Peak District, The Lakes or the Highlands of Scotland then you will find a good choice  of  hostels providing activities. Independent hostels and bunkhouses are also often chosen for geography or geology  field trips  as they can be found in locations that offer your school group easy access to interesting geology, geography and cities to cover all of the curriculum.  We also have accommodation for school groups in less well know parts of the country such as North Lincolnshire and rural Herefordshire  as well as coastal locations and even one on Brownsea Island in Dorset!

 

Accessible accommodation : Hostels and bunkhouses

Accessible Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

Independent hostels and bunkhouses have a variety of levels of access for the disabled.  Often there is a bedroom or toilet designed for use by a disabled person, with some hostels being accessible throughout the building.

Traditionally all accommodation with some level of accessibility was included in the guide with a wheelchair symbol.  From summer 2021 onwards we are only using this symbol where we have full information on the accessibility, as well as pictures.

Accommodation with accessibility details are shown on this page with links to the information.  Some are fully accessible but others with different levels of accessibility are also included for those with less complex physical requirements.

We are adding new places everyday, so keep checking back for updates.

We recommend that you talk directly with the accommodation staff to make sure that your needs can be properly met.

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Pods and Glamping : England, Scotland and Wales

For those wanting a dose of luxury in their camping experience, glamping is the perfect solution. It’s a wonderful alternative for those who would like to be closer to nature, but not too close!

Whether you’d like the enchanting atmosphere of a tipi or the simple home comforts of a camping pod, there’s a range of options to suit every taste. Glamping is popular for many different types of holidays and get togethers, adding a very unique spin to any trip.

For example, the beautiful new camping pods at CYP Holidays Callander Hostel in the magnificent Highlands are perfect for adding a luxurious, but homely feel to any camping holiday.

Each come kitted out with their own individual kitchens and bathroom areas, so you’ll never be at the mercy of the weather!

And they’re perfectly situated so you’ll always have the benefit of a stunning view!

Peak Pilgrimage: Accommodation in Hostels & Bunkhouses

The Peak Pilgrimage was set up  2015  to mark the 350th anniversary of the plague that afflicted the villagers of Eyam. The brainchild of a team from Eyam church, the route takes you through some of the best parts of the Peak District.  As you meander from church to church and pub to cafe you can reflect on the glory of nature and creation while collecting stamps and sticky Bible verse from the churches you pass.

You are strongly advised to buy the route’s guidebook which can be purchased from the Peak Pilgrimage website.

Peak Pilgrimage View

The route is 34 miles long and is designed to be walked by everyone.  In fact, walkers from 8 to 80 have enjoyed the walk.  It takes between 2 and 7 days to complete.  There is a great choice of independent hostels to stay in on your pilgrimage.  Nowhere is the walking more inspiring and restorative than in this section of the Peak District National Park.

Walkers on the Peak Pilgrimage

The Peak Pilgrimage route is almost entirely on footpaths through beautiful but easy walking countryside, popping into occasional villages, visiting churches and passing lots of enticing pubs and cafes.

There are some waymarks along the Peak Pilgrimage route to guide you. These require permissions from landowners so it will take some time to do the whole route and there may be permanent gaps. Please look out for waymarks to help you but don’t rely on them! Read the Guidebook and look at maps in it as your primary navigation aid.

The opening of the Peak Pilgrimage in 2015 arose national interest.  It featured on BBC’s Countryfile on 12 July 2015,  Then on 24th March 2016 Clare Balding walked the last 7 miles from Curbar Gap to Eyam as part of her Radio 4 program, Ramblings.

You can take the route in either direction.  Both Eyam and Ilam are worthy of a day’s visit and both have a choice of independent hostels near by to stay in.

One of the plague plaques at Eyam

Eyam is famous for the sacrifice of it’s people in 1665. Led by their rector they refused to flea in the face of the plague which was brought to the village from London in some cloth delivered to the village tailor.  You can learn about all about the plague at Eyam Museum and visit Eyam Hall with its courtyard cafe.

Dovedale, Ilam at the end of the Peak Pilgrimage

Ilam is another idyllic tiny Peak District village, stepped in history and surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Derbyshire Dales.  There’s the National Trust owned Ilam Hall and the picturesque Swiss style cottages.  Ilam is an easy level walk to Dovedale the most famous of all the Derbyshire Dales and the iconic Stepping Stones over the River Dove.

 

The Tarka Trail: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

 

tark trail map

The Tarka Trail is a 180 mile figure of eight route in North Devon. The central crossing point is at the historic river-port town of Barnstaple.  Based on the route travelled by Tarka the Otter in the novel by Henry Williamson, it takes you across unspoiled countryside, dramatic sea cliffs and beautiful beaches.

 

The first section of the Tarka Trail, the disused railway line between Barnstaple and Bideford was established in 1987. Later sections of the Two Moors Way and the South West Coast path were added and the complete figure of eight was officially opened in 1992 by Prince Charles.

Tarka Trail

Suitable for walkers, cyclists, families and buggies, the southern loop incorporates a magnificent 30 mile long off-road cycle path.  The longest, continuous off-road cycle path in the UK.

With a selection of independent hostels and bunkhouses along the trail, you will have a choice of great value accommodation.  As well as being flexible, many offering single night stays, independent hostels are geared up for outdoor people.  So muddy boots, wet coats and bikes are all catered for.

 

Much more detailed information on the Tarka Trail can be found on it’s official website.  There is also very informative guide book on the off road cycle path on the southern route.  More details can be found here.

 

Pembrokeshire Coast Path: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

What is the Pembrokeshire Coast path?

Opened in 1970, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path was the first national trail in Wales. It is an exhilarating and inspirational walk as it passes an incredible 58 beaches and 14 harbours! Handily, the entire length of the route is covered by the Pembrokeshire coastal bus service. This is because, a fair proportion of the route crosses areas that are scarcely populated. This regular bus service is very popular with walkers ferrying them to and from their overnight lodgings and means you are never too far from civilisation.

Fishguard on the pembrokeshire coast path. Looking down on the port there are colourful houses and pretty boats
Pretty views in Fishguard

Why walk the Pembrokeshire Coast path?

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path runs for 186 miles along the most breath-taking coastline in Britain. Stretching between St Dognaels in the north to Amroth in the South, the route crosses a wonderful variety of coastal landscapes. You will walk along rugged cliff tops, descend to sheltered coves, cross wide open beaches, and meandering estuaries. As well as offering a wonderful variety of breath-taking scenery, the area is rich in bird life and coastal flowers. If you are lucky, you may also spot seals and wild ponies.On avaerge the Pembrokeshire Coast Path takes 10 to 15 days to complete.

Two curious ponies on the pembrokeshire coast path near the Azure sea
Two curious ponies on the Pembokeshire Coastal Path

How long does the Pembrokeshire Coast Path take to complete?

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path (also known as the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path) is quite a challenging route.  It takes on average 10-15 days to walk from end to end.  The ascents and descents amount to 35,000ft, which is roughly equivalent to climbing Everest.  So, a certain amount of pre-walk training is recommended.  The route is very well way marked, but as always it is a good idea to take a guidebook and map.

A picture from the harbour out at sea. looking into shore
Solva Harbour on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Wye Valley Walk

The Wye Valley Walk is a 136 mile route that takes you from the Welsh border town of  Chepstow to Hafren Forest  in Mid Wales (the nearest town is Llanidloes).   It’s a walk of great interest and contrasts which combines superb river and hill walking.  You will weave through the magnificent scenery of the Wye Valley AONB before crossing the rolling countryside of Herefordshire and heading up into the hills of Mid Wales into Hafren Forest. There are marker posts for the start/finish at Chepstow Castle and Rhyd-y-benwch car park in Hafren Forest.

Wye Valley Walk

For most of the route you follow the banks of the river Wye, but at intervals some hill climbing is necessary.  However, these ascents are rewarded with some spectacular views.  As such it is not an extreme route and should be suitable for any reasonably fit walker.  This is not at all a boring route, you will pass through densely wooded gorges; riverside meadows; broadleaved woodland; cider orchards, parkland and farmland; hills, mountains and open moorland.

Along the route there are a number of independent hostels, offering a warm welcome, hot showers and a comfortable bed to weary walkers.  Some may help with luggage transfer, others may serve breakfast and evening meals and send you off with a packed lunch.  Many will have pubs near by serving food or local shops selling provisions.  All will have self-catering facilities for you to prepare your own food or to sit down and devour a take away.   Do read their details and /or talk to them to see what they offer.

As you plan your accommodation remember to leave a little extra time for the many stunning views and highlights along the route. The walk takes you past the historic border towns of Monmouth, Hereford and Hay-on-Wye, as well as the architectural highlights of Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, Goodrich Castle, Hereford Cathedral (home to the Mappa Mundi) and Gilfach Medieval longhouse.

At Hafren Forest the Wye Valley Walk meets to Severn Way, so you can easily extend your walking holiday if time and energy permit.

For more in formation on the walk try these links:

The official Wye Valley Walk website.

For details of a diversion near Monmouth click here

Cape Wrath Trail: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

 

The Cape Wrath Trail runs through the Scottish Highlands and along the west coast of Scotland. It is approximately 200 miles in length and is considered to be one of the most challenging long distance walks in the UK. It starts in Fort William and finishes at Cape Wrath, the most north- western point of mainland Britain.

The route is unmarked and there is no official line. It is a superb route for very experienced long-distance backpackers. The Cape Wrath trail leads you across most of the north west coast of Scotland via Morar, Knoydart, Torridon and Assynt, winding through its most beautiful glens and mountains. It typically takes between two and three weeks to walk.

There is a selection of hostel/bunkhouse accommodation along the route.  Careful planning  is needed to combine these with, Bothies, B&B’s and maybe even wild camping .

More information can be found on the Cape Wrath Trails Guide’s website  and on their Facebook group

Snowdonia Way: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

 

The Snowdonia Way is a long distant route that takes you the entire length of Snowdonia (Eryri). It stretches from Machynlleth in the South to Conwy in the North.  There are two alternative routes.  Snowdonia Way’s main route is 97 mile long and is mainly low level.  It will take you along valley tracks, hillside paths and through forested slopes.  There are some steep ascents and descents but the route avoids the peaks. This means it can be walked by those who want a journey through the landscape, with stunning views of the mountains from the valleys.  This is the only low level long distance route through Snowdonia and it allows you to see Snowdonia is all its magnificence.

If you want to climb some mountains on the way, a high level route has been devised. This route intersects with the standard Snowdonia Way route regularly. So you can switch between routes when you feel like it or when the weather dictates. If you opt to walk the whole high-level route from beginning to end, it is a 122 mile journey.  You will climb some of the area’s  most famous peaks including Snowdon, Cadair Idris, Cnicht and the Glyders.  But you will also go up some lesser known peaks, which you may have all to yourself.

All along the route, including the mountain alternatives, there are independent hostels and bunkhouses offering  friendly, low cost accommodation to walkers. More information about the route can be found at Snowdonia Way’s own website

 

St Cuthbert’s Way: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses

St Cuthbert’s Way is a 60m route that crosses the border between Scotland and England.  It starts in the Scottish border town Melrose and finishes on Holy Island off the Northumberland coast. The Way was inspired by the life of St Cuthbert, who began his ministry at Melrose in 650 AD, eventually becoming the Bishop of Lindisfarne.  His final resting place and the original pilgrimage shrine is on Holy Island.

Scenery on St Cuthbert's way

 

St Cuthbert’s Way is not over challenging and takes between 4 and 6 days.  With an ever changing variety of scenery and spectacular views, you won’t be bored.  You will pass Roman hill forts, signal stations and roads, walk along the banks of the beautiful River Tweed and enjoy the fantastic scenery from the Eildon Hills. The Way culminates with a memorable walk along the causeway to Holy Island, which is only passable at low tide.  For a truly unique finale many walkers remove their boots and walk barefoot through the shallows in the footsteps of St Cuthbert along the Pilgrims Way.  Be sure to check tide times when you plan your walk.

Upland walking on St Cuthberts Way

The route provides a useful link over the Cheviot Hills between the Southern Upland Way (at Melrose) and the Pennine Way National Trail (at Kirk Yetholm), with  St Oswald’s Way  and the Northumberland Coast Path.

Comfort at Wooler hostel for walkers on St Cuthbert's Way

 

You will find independent hostels and bunkhouses along the route.  In the spirit of a true pilgrimage these offer companionship and comfort to weary walkers at a very reasonable prices.

For more information on the route go to the St Cuthbert’s Way official website.  As it starts in Scotland the route is also featured on Scotland’s Great Trails website.

Don’t forget to check the tide times for your arrival at Holy Islands.

Small Hostels: Small hostels, bunkhouses and bothies in Scotland, England and Wales

Small Hostels are perfect for those wanting to travel as a small group or family wanting somewhere affordable to stay.  Whilst some of them are group only most offer accommodation to individuals prepared to share facilities with others.  All of the small hostels sleep less than 10 with most sleeping 8, 6 or even as few as 4 people in total.  There are small hostels in the Independent Hostel Guide across the country from Exmoor to the Shetlands and in England, Scotland and Wales.

But what makes a small hostel different from a holiday cottage? Well most are available to individuals including: Dacres Stable Camping BarnShepherds Crook BunkhouseHamilton Backpackers and Bunkorama so whilst there may not be many of you, you can still have the full hostel experience of meeting new people in communal areas.

All our small hostels have well equipped kitchens, comfortable bunk beds, hot showers and some have wood burning stoves.   Maentwrog Bunkhouse & The Wild Wool Barn are newly renovated farm buildings sleeping 4 and 6 respectively in bunk rooms, Castle Creavie Hay Barn Hostel, like Maentwrog and Middle Ninfa Bunkhouse is located on a working farm.

Our small hostels may not sleep many but they are far from small when it comes to space both inside an out – with many having outside BBQ or firepit areas. As often quirky, always stunning, locations to stay where not so many people have trod the path before you they are second to none.

Small hostels are great for having the full hostel experience on a smaller scale!

The Pennine Bridleway: Hostels and Bunkhouses

 

The Pennine Bridleway is a 205 mile (330 Km) long National Trail running through the Pennines.  It stretches from Derbyshire to Cumbria. This relatively new route was officially opened in 2012 by Martin Clunes.  Specifically designed for mountain bikers and horse riders. It is of course also perfect for walkers.

Earby Hostel mountain bikers
Happy cyclists after a night at Earby Hostel

The Pennine Bridleway follows a variety of surfaces including minor roads, aggregate tracks, grassed stone tracks, stone setts and worn flags. While some of these have been newly created specifically for the Pennine Bridleway others are drovers’ roads or packhorse trails that have been in use for centuries.

Pennine bridleway

The route takes you through a wonderful variety of landscapes from open moorland to steep-sided wooded river valleys.  It passes thorough both the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.  You will pass a number of reservoirs which bring another dimension to the route. These were originally constructed to service the canals and the needs of the developing industrial cities of the north. More interest is provided by the evidence of the industrial heritage of the South Pennines.  You will see derelict mills, dismantled railways, soot blackened gritstone walls and tall ivy-covered chimneys.  It’s a route of contrast. It’s an adventure and a challenge and brings a great sense of achievement to those that complete it.  For more details see the Pennine Bridleway’s own website.

All along the route there are a selection of independent hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns offering low cost overnight accommodation.  Many have secure bike storage and drying rooms provide or hire out bed linen.  Some provide breakfast and evening meals, others will point you in the direction of local shops and pubs.  Read each hostel’s feature to be sure they are suitable for you.

Photos kindly supplied by the Pennine National Trails Partnership and Earby Hostel

St Oswald’s Way: Hostel and Bunkhouse Accommodation

St Oswald’s Way is a 97 mile long distance walking route. Opened in 2006 it stretches from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in the north down to Heavenfield on Hadrian’s Wall in the south.  The route will take you through some of the finest scenery Northumberland has to offer.  St Oswald’s Way is a walk of variety and history with plenty to keep you interested. From Lindisfarne you follow the coastline as far south as Warkworh passing iconic castles, rugged coastline, spectacular beaches and islands on the way.

St Oswald's Way. Hostel & Bunkhouse Accommodation
Lindisfarne at the start of St Oswald’s Way

The route then takes you inland along Coquet valley to Rothbuy and on to the finish at Heavenfield. On this stretch of the walk you will pass hills and moorland, picturesque villages, forest and rolling farmland.  St Oswald’s Way links three historic sites associated with the early 7th century Northumbrian King and Saint whose name it takes. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne where he founded a monastery that became the ‘cradle of Christianity in England’, Bamburgh which was his royal capital and Heavenfield where he camped before his victory at the battle that made him King.

St Oswald's Way, Hostel and bunkhouse accommodation
Bamburgh, St Oswald’s royal capital

The route is well served with independent hostels and bunkhouses offering great value accommodation.  With walkers in mind, one night stop overs are easily booked and packed lunches can often be provided (with a little notice). You can either self cater in the communal kitchens or your hosts will recommend local cafés or pubs for your meals.

Seahouses Hostel on St Oswald's Way, Northumberland
Seahouses Hostel. Providing overnight accommodation for walkers on St Oswald’s Way.

Far less touristy than the honeypot destinations, Northumberland and St Oswald’s Way have so much to offer.  Stunning scenery, dark skies and a well signed new route which takes you from the iconic coastline through sheltered river valleys up to the atmospheric high moorland. All this without crowds of fellow walkers.

St Oswald's Way. Hostel and bunkhouse accommodation
The stunning deserted landscape crossed by St Oswald’s Way as it heads inland.

Much more vital information is available from St Oswald’s Way official guidebook , St Oswald’s Way official website and the Long Distance Walkers website.