Hostelling with Children: Joshua the Scottish Hostel Explorer

Hostelling with Children: Joshua the Scottish Hostel Explorer

Hostelling with Children :The plan was to spend some days at three different hostels to give Joshua, our grandson aged nine years, a good experience of Hostelling. This is how we set about creating a very happy and successful holiday for all three of us.  Lets go for a lighthouse and a village hostel and we know he likes trains so a third hostel in a railway carriage should make the experience for Joshua.  Bookings made in good time, deposits paid and off we went on a journey of discovery.

Hostelling with Children Rattery Head Hostel
Hostelling with Children Rattery Head Hostel

Hostelling with Children at RATTRAY HEAD ECO-HOSTEL  in Aberdeenshire.

“The bunk beds felt safe”. Joshua always takes a top bunk of course. He is nine years old. “I liked meeting people from Germany”. Thank you Brigetta and Heidi for being friends with Joshua. We met at Rattery Head Hostel and shared the Lighthouse Keepers accommodation. The accommodation was comfortable. We had our own family room and separate bathroom.  The shower was excellent. We shared kitchen and lounge with Brigetta and family

Joshua at Rattery Head Lighthouse
Joshua at Rattery Head Lighthouse

The beach and the sand dunes here are spectacular. Following fun on the beach we headed for the New Deer Show and watched over one hundred vintage tractors parade in the show ground. We missed the livestock show by one day. Pity because I think that cows producing great volumes of methane gas are preferable to tractors spewing out carbon monoxide. I have always had an affinity with cows since working on Rosehall Farm near Keith in Banffshire. Bring on the cows!

 

Hostelling with Children at CULLEN HARBOUR HOSTEL in Moray

The Harbour Hostel at Cullen is a favourite with the Sutherland Clan. We spent time in the harbour when the tide was out. Explored the super beach and gave Linda’s Chippy big licks. Fish ‘n Chips. Joshua says “The beach is practically in the back garden”. Playing on the beach in the harbour was his favourite activity. He joined local children at the end of a hot sunny day for a splash about and made a new friend.

Hostelling with Children Dolphin Watching at Spey Bay
Hostelling with Children Dolphin Watching at Spey Bay

From Cullen Spey Bay is easy to reach and is home to a famous pod of Dolphins. We spent three hours with dozens of other people trying to see the Dolphins. We gave up and headed back to Cullen. Amazingly the Dolphins were swimming across Cullen bay and we were alerted to the presence by a shout from Ruth. “Dolphins!”

 

Hostelling with Children at SLEEPERZZZ.COM in Sutherland

Joshua “Liked waving to the passengers on the trains going through the station” and especially when they waved back. He liked the railway carriages “style”. The sheep in the field next to the carriages helped Joshua to get to sleep. He enjoyed walking in Rogart to the hotel for tea. Rogart was his “favourite of the whole holiday” so we will certainly be back.

Hostelling with Children Railway Carridge Hostel at Rogart
Hostelling with Children Railway Carridge Hostel at Rogart

We visited Dunrobin Castle a short distance away. Joshua took many excellent photographs with his I pad. He is good photographer and has an eye for composition. Annie and Joshua spent time looking at the Castle and we joined up to look at the Birds of Prey Display and the beautiful gardens. To finish our day we enjoyed messing about on the beach at Golspie.

Dunrobin Castle seat of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle seat of the Clan Sutherland

At the end of the road the three of us were greater friends, better communicators and Joshua had gained in confidence. We enjoyed a good, happy holiday together. Roll on the next one in Scotlands wonderful landscapes, gardens and hostels. Copyright of article and photographs Brian Sutherland 2016.

Here are some more reasons why independent hostels are great for family holidays.   You can find the hostels in this feature and other ones like them on our maps of Moray and Sutherland.

Profile photo of Brian Sutherland

About Brian Sutherland

​Brian explores Scotlands Gardens and Landscapes. In summer he leads the Glasgow Garden Walks Group to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. http://scotlandsgardenslandscapes.sharepoint.com