The hostels on this map of the Northern Highlands of Scotland are in the northern most counties of the Scottish mainland, Caithness, Sutherland, Ross & Cromarty and Inverness-shire. Providing self catering accommodation for those on the Lands end to John o Groats routes and for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the wilderness and mountains. Drying rooms and cycle shed make these hostels ideal accommodation for walkers and mountaineers. Sutherland contains many splendid mountains providing some of the best mountain scenery in Scotland. There are also beautiful glens and this was once clan country, with a history of the Mackay, Rose and Sutherland Clans. A drive around the North Coast 500 road route is a great way to see this area.
Explore the North Highlands of Scotland by map
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Inchnadamph Lodge has been tastefully converted to provide luxury hostel accommodation at a budget price. There’s a large self-catering kitchen, a games room, a lounge and a dining room. Food is usually available at the Inchnadamph Hotel just across the river. Based at the foot of Ben More Assynt, and overlooking Loch Assynt explore one of the wildest areas in the Highlands from the door.
Stay on a first class train in Rogart in the heart of the Highlands, halfway between Inverness and John O’Groats! Two railway carriages have been tastefully converted. One sleeps 9, and one is subdivided to sleep 4 and 2. There are two beds per room, a kitchen, dining room, sitting room, showers & toilets. All bedding is included. There is also a showman’s wagon sleeping 2/3. Close by you will find a shop, post office and pub with restaurant.
The Lochside Hostel
Perched right on the banks of Loch Ness, the Lochside Hostel has amazing views up and down the loch and can give you direct access to the water’s edge. Why not go for a dip in Scotlands largest water body? Take a walk to watch for wildlife? Or even hunt the elusive Nessie!? The Great Glen walking route passes the front door and the End to End cycle route is nearby. Drumnadrochit is just 12 miles away with boat. Recently opened by MacBackpackers an award winning tour company who also own 3 hostels in Edinburgh, a great stay awaits!
Helmsdale Hostel is closed pending refurbishments. Watch this website for updates. Set in the scenic coastal village of Helmsdale (halfway between Inverness and John O’Groats) on the main Land’s End to John O’Groats route. The hostel is popular with ‘end to enders’ and walkers exploring the Far North Marilyn hills. It is also an ideal stop when travelling to and from Orkney.
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.
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.
BB’s is the most northerly hostel on the mainland. Located in the village of East Mey on the highly praised NC500, the eco bunkhouse has bespoke pods, one double and one twin room. Enjoy a free breakfast, including locally sourced produce and home baking. A selection of frozen, home cooked, vegetarian meals are also available and evening meals can be provided for large groups. A perfect base for walking, cycling, surfing, fishing and stargazing. Gill’s Bay ferry terminal is just a few minutes’ drive.
Morags Lodge Loch Ness
A multi-award winning 4* hostel with a range of rooms to meet all needs and budgets in the bustling village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness. Your perfect base to explore the Loch Ness area and an ideal stop off on the Great Glen Way. Surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and set in wooded grounds the hostel boasts 24 hour self-catering facilitates, excellent home-made cheap meal options, a rustic bar, free WiFi, bike hire and ample car parking.
Ledgowan Lodge Hotel & Bunkhouse
Ledgowan Lodge bunkhouse is adjacent to the hotel. Perfectly located, it is within easy driving distance of the Torridon and Fannich Mountain ranges while Fionn Bheinn Mountain is on the doorstep. The bunkhouse sleeps ten adults in five separate rooms. There are cooking facilities for self-catering, but most guests turn to the hotel for its hearty meals, real fires and lively conversation after their day of highland adventures. Camping is also available.
Bunkhouse @ Invershin Hotel
The bunkhouse is situated within a small hotel in the north Highlands and consists of 4 rooms which share a shower room and toilet. Guests can enjoy all the hotel facilities; the cosy bar with it’s roaring fire and real ale. Cyclists, walkers, bikers, fishermen, munro baggers, families and lone travellers are all welcome. There are no self-catering facilities available, however breakfast and a small selection of home cooked meals in the evening are available.
Kintail Lodge Bunkhouses
Kintail Lodge stands at the foot of the Five Sisters of Kintail, on the shores of Loch Duich. In the grounds of the hotel there are two bunkhouses which are popular with walkers, climbers and fishermen. The Wee Bunkhouse has a cosy room with bunks to sleep 6 people. The Trekkers’ Lodge sleeps 6 people in two twin rooms and two single rooms.
Cornmill Bunkhouse is situated on a traditional croft. The mill was built in the early 1800s and was active until 1920s. It is now 4* accommodation for individuals or groups. Guests are reminded of their historic setting; the smaller bunkroom has a patio door looking onto the workings of the old mill with its large wooden cog driving wheels. Activities can be organised for groups including Laser Tagging & Shooting. Hen and stag parties welcome.
Gerry’s Hostel is situated in an excellent mountaineering and wilderness area on the most scenic railway in Britain. It is on the Cape Wrath Trails, The T.G.O Challenge Route and is 0.5 miles from the Coulin Pass at Craig. It sleeps 20; 10 in a large dormitory with comfy beds, the rest in 5/6 bed family rooms. Meals and draught ale are a 15 min drive away. Your perfect base for many activities including walking, climbing, fishing, cycling, golfing and wildlife watching.
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.
Knoydart is a remote peninsula on the west coast of Scotland reachable only by boat or long hike. A community enterprise, the bunkhouse runs on green principals and is just 2 mins’ walk to the beach and 10 mins’ to Inverie with its pub, post office, shop and ferry. There are 4 bedrooms and comfy communal areas. Bed linen and duvets provided. Ranger service and deer stalking available. Bring your own food and torch!
The Ceilidh Place Bunkhouse
The Ceilidh Place, in the centre of Ullapool, is a unique small complex, consisting of a music venue/performance space, restaurant, hotel, bar, bookshop, coffee shop, gallery and bunkhouse. There are regular ceilidhs, concerts & plays. The bunkhouse (group only) does not have self-catering facilities but the coffee shop is open from 8.30am to late evening, all week including weekends. Rooms are also available in the hotel. The village of Ullapool is a small exciting port and fishing town, with ferries from the Outer Hebrides. Hill walkers and families especially love staying here.
Sail Mhor Croft
Sail Mhor Croft is a small rural hostel which is perfectly situated at Dundonnell on the shores of Little Loch Broom and on NC500 route. The mountain range of An Teallach, which has the reputation of being one of the finest ridge walks in Great Britain, is right on the doorstep and the area is a haven for walkers of all experience. Whether you wish to climb the summits, walk along the loch side, visit a beautiful sandy beach or just soak up the tranquillity.
Kyle of Tongue Hostel & Holiday Park
Kyle of Tongue Hostel is a stone lodge, magnificently situated on the romantic shores of the Kyle of Tongue on the north coast of Scotland. It has supreme panoramic views of Castle Varich, Ben Hope and the queen of Scottish mountains - Ben Loyal. Beautifully furnished, like a boutique hotel, but with all the friendliness of a hostel. There are comfortable private bedrooms, roomy shared dormitories and relaxing communal areas. Camping also available.
Great Glen Hostel
Nestled between mountains and lochs 20 miles north of Fort William and 10 miles south of Loch Ness, the Great Glen Hostel is your ideal base. Perfect for touring the Highlands, bagging Munros or paddling rivers and lochs, it is only a short walk to the Great Glen Way. The hostel provides comfortable, well appointed accommodation in twin, family and dormitory rooms and has a store where you can buy your essentials.
Walkers, climbers and mountain bikers enjoying the Torridon Mountains and wilderness areas will be warmly welcomed at the Kinlochewe Hotel and Bunkhouse. Perfectly situated on the North Coast 500 road route & within 20 miles of over 20 Munros, the bunkhouse boasts a well-equipped self-catering kitchen, an efficient drying room, toilets and hot showers. There is one dormitory with 12 bunks. The hotel bar serves excellent home-made food.
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.
Badrallach Bothy and Campsite
On the tranquil shores of Little Loch Broom overlooking one of Scotland’s finest mountain ranges, Badrallach Bothy and Campsite offer a fine base for walking and climbing. Fish in the rivers, hill lochs and sea or simply enjoy the flora and fauna. Hot showers, spotless 4* accommodation, an unbelievable price, and total peace makes the Bothy and Campsite a firm favourite. There is also a 4 star cottage and you can hire bikes, kayaks and boats.
Sanachan Bunkhouse, in Kishorn, is the perfect base for walking, climbing, kayaking, cycling & sailing in Wester Ross. After a fun filled day, your group can return to a warm fire, comfy bunks, hot showers and simple living. There is parking for six cars and beds for fifteen, split between two rooms (bring a sleeping bag).The bunkhouse is well equipped for self catering, with enough tables & chairs for everyone, laundry/drying, outside recreation and BBQ.
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.
Saddle Mountain Hostel
Saddle Mountain Hostel is a small and friendly four star hostel in Invergarry, between Loch Ness and Fort William and at the junction with the road to Skye. The hostel sleeps 24 people in 5 rooms. It has a large kitchen, dining room and lounge, free WiFi, a purpose-built drying room and bike storage. Great location for Munro bagging, walking, cycling, scenic tours, water sports, fishing, and wildlife watching.
Black Rock Bunkhouse
Situated in beautiful Glenglass and sheltered by Ben Wyvis, this comfortable bunkhouse is an ideal base for touring the Highlands. The bunkhouse is at the eastern end of a hikers’ route across Scotland and on the Lands End to John O’Groats route. The village has a general shop, Post Office, bus service and an inn (serving good bar meals and breakfasts) 250m away. There is also a camping ground. All areas of the bunkhouse are easily accessible by wheelchair and suitable for the disabled.
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.
Thurso is the northern-most town on the UK mainland. The cliffs are alive with guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and puffins, while the sea is home to seals and porpoises. The 4* hostel has en suite facilities in all rooms, (some have TVs). Using their own backpacking experience, the owners ensure you will enjoy a level of comfort and service second to none. Surfing, pony trekking, fishing, quad biking, coastal walks and boat trips are all available in the area.
Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge
This 18 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 it offers the perfect base for enjoying the spectacular scenery. Horse riding, fishing, watersports and mountain biking can all be arranged locally. Free parking and free WiFi. Bike storage available except in Jul/Aug.
This map shows the location of hostels in the Northern Highlands of Scotland. They are all part of Independent Hostels UK, the largest network of hostels and bunkhouses in the UK.
The Northern Highlands are a geographically vast and diverse area. From the Cairngorms National Park to the sea cliffs and Flow Country of Caithness. From the huge valley of the Great Glen to the sea lochs and islands of the West coast. From the imposing mountains of Sutherland to the beautiful sandy beaches and surf of the North coast. All of these are linked by the common denominator of stunning scenery and some wonderful winding roads. The North Coast 500 route is an increasingly popular way to see the best that the area has to offer. Many others come to walk in the some of Scotland’s most scenically imposing mountains, such as Foinaven, Suilven and the hills of Torridon. Some walk through on the long distance Cape Wrath Trail (which requires wild camping on some nights). Others still cycle through it on the last few days of LeJoG, or the beginning of JoGLE. See the quaint village of Cromarty on the Black Isle, visit historic Dunrobin Castle, stay in the bustling port at Ullapool or try fine dining in some of the great local restaurants in lpaces like Applecross and Lochinver. In an area this big, there are literally too many things to see and do for us to mention here.
The hostels in the Northern Highlands of Scotland are well equipped for those taking part in outdoor pursuits, and are well used to catering for walkers, cyclists and those who have been out on the water. Those in the towns offer an affordable alternative to budget hotel chains for those on a tight budget, or those who just want to stay somewhere less impersonal. Independent hostels are privately owned, like B&Bs, but are different in every other way. They typically offer a mix of private rooms (many en suite) and beds in shared dormitory rooms. They provide self catering facilities and a warm and buzzing communal atmosphere. They will generally have WiFi, drying rooms, laundry facilities, bike storage, and sometimes catered food for those who want it.