The Scottish National Trail was launched in 2012 and travels the length of Scotland from its start at Kirk Yetholm (where it meets the Pennine Way) to the northerly tip of Cape Wrath.
Crossing a plethora of different and spectacular landscapes the Scottish National Trail is 537 miles (864km) long and takes in Scotland’s capital city, both National Parks as well as man made features such as the major canals of the country.
It takes about 5 weeks to walk the route all in one go and some sections require you to carry your own accommodation but the middle sections in particular can be walked using a combination of independent hostels, SYHA and B&Bs
The Scottish National Trail
Click markers to view hostels and bunkhouses
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High Street Hostel
The High Street Hostel has become a hugely popular destination for world travellers since opening in 1985 and is one of Europe's best regarded and most atmospheric hostels. 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!More details
Walkers, climbers and mountain bikers enjoying the Torridon Mountains and wilderness areas will be warmly welcomed at the Kinlochewe Hotel and Bunkhouse. 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, hot showers and a 12 bunk dormitory. The hotel bar serves excellent home-made food and is in the 2018 Good Beer Guide.More details
Saddle Mountain Hostel
Saddle Mountain Hostel is a small and friendly 4* hostel in Invergarry, between Loch Ness and Fort William and at the junction with the road to Skye. The comfortable 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. A great location for Munro bagging, walking, cycling, scenic tours, water sports, fishing, and wildlife watching.More details
Great Glen Hostel
Located 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's 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 shop where you can buy your essentials.More details
Situated in the town of Callander at the start of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Callander Hostel is a great location for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With outstanding views over Ben Ledi this Visit Scotland 5* Hostel has comfortable beds, en suite rooms and a fully equipped self-catering kitchen. Everything you need for the perfect retreat. The gardens have a children's play area, gas BBQ and seating.More details
Castle Rock Hostel
In a wonderful location, facing south with a sunny aspect and panoramic views over the city, Castle Rock Hostel is just steps away from the city centre with the historic Royal Mile, the busy pubs and late-late nightlife of the Grassmarket and Cowgate. Then, of course, there is the famous Edinburgh Castle. Most of the rooms have no traffic noise and there are loads of great facilities, 24-hour reception and no curfew. With its beautiful and dramatic skyline, Edinburgh is truly one of the world's great cities.More details
Now specialising in group bookings with sole use, the 4* Trossachs Tryst sits amidst beautiful scenery on the edge of the Trossachs National Park and close to the vibrant town of Callender. The hostel is very well appointed and all rooms are en suite. Use the on-site cycling centre or enjoy the local outdoor activities such as hill walking, pony trekking, Go-ape, Segway treks, water sports and fishing.More details
Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House
Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House is perfectly located at the start/end of the Pennine Way. It is also close to St. Cuthbert's Way, the Borderloop Cycle Route and Sustrans Route 84. It's a great base too for local day hikes, ideal for individuals, families and small groups. Recently upgraded, the house offers a comfortable, friendly and peaceful retreat. Evening meals and breakfast are available in the adjacent hotel.More details
Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls
Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls is the perfect place to base your summer visit to Edinburgh. Available from 4th June to 31st August you can have an apartment to yourself or share with others for a great budget stay. Located in the heart of the Old Town close to the Royal Mile, Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls is perfect for backpackers, shoppers, groups or those visiting the famous Edinburgh Festival. Single or twin private bedrooms are available or you can rent a whole apartment for up to 12.More details
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.More details
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!More details
Comrie Croft is a perfect rural retreat for mountain bikers, hikers, families and backpackers, just over an hour from Edinburgh & Glasgow. The 4* hostel offers cosy, home style rooms which are also available for sole group use and weddings. On-site facilities include The Tea Garden cafe, bike shop and lots of grin enducing mountain bike trails, family-friendly valley routes and a well stocked farm shop. A footpath takes you to the vibrant village of Comrie and gives access to stunning glens and mountains.More details
Royal Mile Backpackers
Royal Mile Backpackers is a small and lively 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. Our comfortable beds and cosy common areas will make you feel at home, and our friendly staff are always on hand to help you make the most of your time in Edinburgh.More details
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 facilities, excellent home-made cheap meal options, a rustic bar, free WiFi, bike hire and ample car parking.More details
The Scottish National Trail weaves its way through Scotland covering 537 miles (864 km) of the most varied and spectacular landscapes certainly in Great Britain and arguably in the world. The Scottish National Trail was devised by Cameron McNeish and launched in 2012. Starting in Kirk Yetholm the trail connects with the Pennine Way creating an even more massive challenge for those attempting both routes! McNeish’s vision has created a trail that encompasses many of Scotland’s defining features, it goes through the centre of Edinburgh, the country’s capital, runs alongside famous rivers such as the Tweed to Peebles, takes in the Union canal to the incredible Falkirk Wheel and the Forth & Clyde canal just north of Glasgow as well as a short section of the Caledonian Canal north of Invergarry. The route also makes sure the walker visits both of Scotland’s National Parks: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorms.
In parts The Scottish National Trail follows a number of existing long distance routes starting with the St Cuthberts Way and including; The West Highland Way to Drymen, The Rob Roy Way to Callander, a short section of the Great Glen Way and the Cape Wrath trail. As a result some sections are well way marked but it is recommended that hikers obtain the guides to the route to ensure they are going the correct way. Further route details are available here and on the LDWA website. The level of difficulty of the route does vary from the gentle lowlands and canal towpath sections in the south to mountain walking (mostly) in the north. The sections through the Cairngorms and the Cape Wrath trail require the hiker to carry all provisions including accommodation but much of the rest of the route can be walked using independent hostel accommodation coupled with SYHA or B&Bs. It is estimated that it would take approximately 5 weeks to walk the whole length of the route but many have done it in sections over a number of years.