The Highland Haven feels like it is at the edge of the world right up on the Scottish North Coast. Brian Sutherland visited with his family and experienced a warm welcome to this newly renovated innovative hostel. A must visit if you are looking for Scottish north coast accommodation.
On the edge of the world sits the township of East Mey in Caithness. Beyond lies the Pentland Firth with it’s raging tides where the sea can look as if it is boiling. Orcas, known as killer whales, frequent the coast and can often be seen a short walk from BBs Bunkhouse, now renamed at The Highland Haven. What a wonderful place to stay on the Scottish north coast.
If your travels have been long you will need a place to rest your weary head. If you simply want to take a few days to drink in the beauty of this part of Scotland then stop a while and enjoy the peace.
You are sure of one thing. You will get a warm friendly welcome form Bronagh the owner who designed and managed the creation of this wonderful Bunkhouse. She now runs it as a first-class place with bunk and breakfast. The stunning lounge, dining and kitchen combination is warm and pleasing on the eye and so restful.
One feature of the hostel is back to the future. The bed pods are, I believe, unique. The pod is a box which contains a very comfortable bed. Everything you need to keep in touch with the outside world using modern technology including power points and lighting is there. The pod is so private that you can forget that you are not alone. A hundred years ago beds were in recesses in cottages and tenements behind curtains or wooden doors. The bed pods are a modern take on this concept. Joshua’s reaction on being shown his pod was “I like this place already”!
The en suite shower rooms are away in the future. Fab-u-lous! If I could take two things home with me wit would be the shower and the social dining, cooking area with the fabulous wood lined roof.
Bronagh welcomes groups of three or more and welcomes cyclists as well as travellers from all over the world. We shared the Hostel with Andrew, a lovely Welshman, who had just finished cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats raising funds for Rhos Orpheus Male Voice Choir of which he is a member. We also enjoyed happy times with a family from Germany who were taking an extended break from the North Coast 500 Route.
There are many things to do from BB’s Bunkhouse. John O’Groats is close by where there is the famous sign which points you in the direction of Land’s End. This is a popular “photo opportunity”. A short walk along the coast and you can search from Groaties Buckies. These are small shells which bring you good luck.
Duncansby Head Lighthouse is further east and you can walk to see the sea stacks which are quite spectacular, as are the cliffs where gulls and sea birds enjoy high rise living. Take in the air. I am sure that you will enjoy it.
I love gardens, so the Castle of Mey is one of my favourite haunts. Check that Prince Charles is not in residence or you might miss your visit. He was when we were here. Don’t miss Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on mainland Britain, another place to see birds and to enjoy the view to the Orkney Islands.
This view can also be seen from The Highland Haven.
The beach at Dunnet is a must visit especially if you have children. It is spectacular and one of the biggest you will see in the north of Scotland. Clean sand, brilliant waves and…. you’ve guessed.. more fresh air. Take the opportunity to visit the exhibition at the Seadrift Centre next to the beach. You will see the story of whales and all the finds on the local shores of whale bones. Children are encouraged to search for interesting finds including shells and add them to the collection in the centre. Joshua enthusiastically collected shells and added them to the display.
The Highland Haven is at the top end of quality hostels I have used. I am sure that people will want to return and enjoy the experience. The location and the warm welcome they are guaranteed to receive will create lasting memories. Both wild and wonderful.
Find out more about Scottish north coast accommodation on our map.
There are over 150 independent hostels and bunkhouses all around our beautiful British coastline. All 150 are within walking distance of the sea or the coastal path. You’ll be surprised at all the wonderful places you will find low cost self-catering hostel or bunkhouse accommodation