Hostelling offers families a great way to explore Scotland without blowing the budget, whether you’re looking for a low-cost city break or a more traditional beach holiday. But you don’t need to compromise on location; SYHA youth hostels are situated in some of the most spectacular parts of Scotland, and they are relaxed, welcoming and a lot of fun.  Read on to find out what #SYHAdventures you and your family can get up to this bank holiday or half-term…

Take the kids on a journey of discover at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh – be inspired by nature or explore the diversity of planet earth; follow Scotland’s story across the ages and meet a Tyrannosaurus rex 65 million years after it walked on the earth! Families with young children will love the interactive gallery on level 1. Your little ones will have a great time making music, telling stories, dressing up and creating art.
Cost: Free
Nearest youth hostel: Edinburgh Central


Go wild in the Cairngorms National Park! You’ll find lots of fun activities for all ages in Britain’s largest National Park from walking and cycling to wildlife spotting – the ancient pine forests are the perfect habitat for red squirrels. If that doesn’t tire them out then the woodland adventure playground at Glenlivet Estate certainly will do! There’s plenty of space to run about and obstacles to navigate including the balance beams, chain walk and rocking log. When it’s time to unwind there’s the snail maze and a small hide in the woodland by the place area too.
Cost: Free
Nearest youth hostel: Cairngorm Lodge, Aviemore and Braemar.


A trip to Glencoe is a must for aspiring wizards and muggles alike. Eagle eyed Harry Potter fans will spot locations from The Prisoner of Azkaban and, more recently, The Half Blood Prince. If you want to get a better look at the stunning Glencoe landscape with little legs in tow then the chairlift at Glencoe Mountain runs all year. There is a charge involved but it’s worth it for the views across Rannoch Moor and towards Buchaille Etive Mor.
Cost: £25 for a family ticket
Nearest youth hostel: Glencoe


The Isle of Arran is an ideal family holiday destination. After visiting Lochranza Youth Hostel on the Isle of Arran, mum of twins Ellen says: “It’s great for those with young families. We have three-year-old twins and the facilities were just right. We had a private family room and there were games and videos in the communal room. Great location too, with a beach and ruined castle in walking distance for little legs, as well as deer-watching. They loved it.”
Nearest youth hostel: Lochranza


Children are well catered for in all our youth hostels, with lots to keep the whole family entertained. Many offer family rooms, with a good range of facilities including self-catering, laundry rooms, internet access and grounds for the kids to explore. Most youth hostels have a games room and TV lounge where you can chill out after a busy day. Book your #SYHAdventure today!

Biography for Robin McKelvie

Robin McKelvie ( is a Scottish travel writer, broadcaster and blogger who has been covering his native land since the 1990s. A member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, Robin is the author of a number of guidebooks, including National Geographic’s Scotland guide. He regularly contributes to a variety of newspapers and magazines across five continents, such as the Times and the Scotsman, as well as doing travel slots for BBC radio. Robin can be found on Twitter at

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