Biography for SYHA Hostelling Scotland

Scotland's best known network of youth hostels in stunning city & rural locations. Go on a #SYHAdventure! As a not-for-profit organisation, we encourage guests to join SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes and the maintenance of the hostelling network, particularly in rural Scotland.

  • Christmas and Winter 2017 Breaks in Scotland

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    Winter is fast approaching and with that comes Christmas Markets and festive events aplenty.  Nathan, from the SYHA Hostelling Scotland team, is here to tell you all about what’s happening near our youth hostels this festive period! Glasgow Glasgow at Christmas/Image Credit- Michael...

  • Castles You Need to Visit in Aberdeenshire

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    You may be very surprised to find out that there are some magnificent castles all less than an hour’s drive from our Aberdeen Youth Hostel. Yes, it’s true! Dunnottar Castle How long will it take: 25 minutes’ drive from Aberdeen Youth Hostel. When it comes to beautiful coastal castles, Dunnottar...

  • Go on a Green Getaway

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    Sustainability and eco-friendly travel are not always at the top of everyone’s holiday to-do lists. But you don’t need to sacrifice home comforts in favour of travelling responsibly. Here’s how you can do your bit… Hostelling is a great way to get out there and explore Scotland guilt-free. Our...

  • Great Glen Way - Part 2

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    Glen Nevis Youth Hostel team member, Isabel, took on the Great Glen Way - a 79 mile route running from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east - back in July. Find out if Isabel managed to compete her epic trek in part two...Bidding farewell to Invermoriston was easy enough. There wasn't...

  • Great Glen Way - Part 1

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    Glen Nevis Youth Hostel team member, Isabel, took on the Great Glen Way - a 79 mile route running from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east - back in July. Find out how Isabel got on during her one woman trek across Scotland... It was the last night of June and I sat on the back porch...

  • Happy 85th Birthday Gairloch and Ratagan

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    This month two of the longest serving properties in our network, Gairloch Sands and Ratagan Youth Hostel both reach an amazing milestone and celebrate their 85th anniversary!  A birthday is not the only thing these two youth hostels have in common, both can be found in remote areas of the Highlands...

  • A year volunteering with SYHA

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    Each year SYHA Hostelling Scotland welcomes a group of young volunteers from Germany to spend a year volunteering in our youth hostels. During their time with SYHA volunteers Klara Kammerer and Katrin Müller, have had the opportunity to explore both the cities and countryside of Scotland. We asked...

  • SYHAdventure Winter Break

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    Beat those January blues with a winter break in some of Scotland’s most stunning locations. The mountainous terrain that makes Scotland such a great hillwalking destination is precisely what makes it the go to ski destination this season. The fantastic ski conditions coupled with the breath-taking...

  • Eat Sleep Train Repeat

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    Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day athletes are not made in a week. The more training you do the more resistance you will build up and the easier you will find crossing the finishing line on race day. As a rule of thumb, Sport Ecosse recommend that you give yourself at least 4 months to train for...

  • Love is in the air

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    With its stunning landscapes and architecture, Scotland is the perfect place to inspire your inner Romeo or Juliet (but we’re hoping for more “starlit skies” than “star-crossed lovers”!). If you love to get out and about with that special someone in your life then here are our top tips for romantic...

  • Donna's SYHAdventure in Inverness

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    A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to make a rare trip up to Inverness in order to catch up with a friend. Although an essential hub for the Highlands of Scotland, this northern city has always been more of a thoroughfare for me as I headed towards the Kessock Bridge and across to Ullapool,...

  • Let's Go Walking

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    With so many of us leading an inactive lifestyle, sitting at a desk or in front of the TV, it's more important than ever to get moving. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking, 5 times a week helps to maintain good health and well-being. Best of all it's free! Ramblers Scotland Medal Routes were designed...

  • A Sunny SYHAdventure

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    This month we are inspiring you to Be SYHActive! Steffen our volunteer from Germany currently helping at the SYHA National Office tells us how he uses youth hostels as a great base for getting out and about to explore Scotland's more remote areas... It was our first summer-like weekend in Scotland...

  • Cairngorm Girls One Year On

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    Some of you may remember our Here Come the Girls blog post from last year when a group of rescued battery hens arrived at Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel looking a little worse for wear. Youth hostel manager, Caroline, gives us an update on the Cairngorm Girls one year on...“The Girls are doing great!...

  • Chloe: My Time in Crianlarich

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    Chloé, is a 20-year-old French student completing her final year of a degree in Foreign Languages and Business. Here she tells us about her time as a youth hostel volunteer... I was required by my university to undertake a 6-week work placement in a foreign country - SYHA gave me the opportunity to...

  • Monika Goes Sightseeing with Stirling Walking Tours

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    Our marketing intern, Monika, is spending 12 weeks working with us here in National Office. No tea-making duties here, instead we sent Monika out of the office for the afternoon to join Stirling Walking Tours on a sightseeing trip around Stirling... Stirling is where I call home during term-time at...

  • Jonathan's Trip to Glen Affric

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    Last month we were joined by nine young people from German volunteer placement organisations Sozialer Friedensdienst (known as SFD) and Internationaler Bund Volunteers‘ Abroad Programs (IB VAP). The volunteers will spend one year with SYHA helping out across the network whilst exploring and...

  • The Cairngorm ‘Girls’ – September 2015 Update

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    Well it’s been an eventful summer for The Cairngorm 'Girls'… Daftie White became unwell due to reasons unknown.  She managed to hang in there over the summer but a local cat started terrorising the girls, which didn’t do her nerves any good.  A few days later a dog off a lead grabbed our lovely...

  • Glenbrittle Memories

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    Glenbrittle Youth Hostel on the Isle of Skye has come a long way - literally. The main structure you can still see today, with its thick beams, steel rods and industrial size nuts and bolts, was shipped from Norway, and then taken by horse cart down the rough track that was the access to the glen in...

  • Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Volunteers

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    2017 UPDATE: We no longer offer placements for solo Duke of Edinburgh volunteers. We may run courses in 2018 for those wishing to complete their Gold Residential Section. These will be updated on our volunteer page. As part of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award programme two high school students,...

  • Milena's Volunteering Diary Part 1

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    Hello! My name is Milena and I'm from Germany. Together with 8 other volunteers, I’m living and working in different youth hostels across the SYHA network for one year. This is the first of my Volunteering Diary entries, I'll be sharing more stories from my Scottish adventures so be sure to keep an...

  • Yannik's Oban Adventure

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    Hey there! My name is Yannik, I’m one of the German volunteers at SYHA Hostelling. Right now, I’m staying and working in Oban, a lovely town on the west coast of Scotland. A lot of travellers use Oban to start their tours to the Inner and Outer Hebrides and many of these individuals or groups also...

  • Going for Gold - Volunteering at Crianlarich

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    Sarah from Brechin shares her experience of volunteering at Crianlarich Youth Hostel as part of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme... My aim was to complete the residential section of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award with 4 nights away and 5 days volunteering. I was recommended Crianlarich...

  • Milena's Volunteering Diary Part 2

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    One of the great things about volunteering with SYHA Hostelling Scotland is getting out and about to explore the country during our spare time. Recently my family travelled from Germany to visit me and we planned to pack in as many of the sights as possible in one week including the Isle of Skye,...

  • Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Volunteers - Jane in Inverness

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    2017 UPDATE: We no longer offer placements for solo Duke of Edinburgh volunteers. We may run courses in 2018 for those wishing to complete their Gold Residential Section. These will be updated on our volunteer page. For the residential section of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award, I chose to...

  • A Winter's Tale - Volunteering in Crianlarich

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     Volunteer, Julie, tells us about her time at Crianlarich Youth Hostel... "Over the last 2 months I have been volunteering at Crianlarich Youth Hostel, in the beautiful Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. It was really easy to apply and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  "I decided...

  • Exclusively yours...RentaHostel Competition Winner

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    You may remember that last year, to celebrate the launch of our new look Exclusively yours...RentaHostel service, we ran a competition to win a youth hostel all to yourself (well, with friends or family) for a day or two. And our competition winner, Jean from Glasgow, did just that when she was...

  • Volunteer Diaries: Yannik in Loch Ossian

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    My name is Yannik, I’m from Germany, and I’m currently volunteering with SYHA Hostelling Scotland for one year. Back in February, Lee (a colleague from Oban Youth Hostel) and I spent three days in Loch Ossian, one of the most remote youth hostels in the SYHA network.  Loch Ossian is part of the...

  • The Cairngorm 'Girls'...and 'Boys' - March 2016 Update

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    In January we unveiled a new chicken coop for The Girls. It was built for us by a close neighbour and local business – The Glenmore Shop & Pinemarten Bar. The new coop was quite a bit bigger than the old one so we made the decision to get a few new girlies to join the team! On February 6th a...

  • Loch an Eilein Ride

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    This month we're inspiring you to get active by getting out there and exploring Scotland! There's a variety of fantastic routes in locations across the country whether you are looking for a heart-thumping, exhilarating experience, a challenging route with lots of mud and dirt, or an easier lower...

  • 6 Things To Do In Scotland In 2016

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    With so many things happening in 2016 we've selected some highlights that are not to be missed. Youth hostels make it affordable to visit events all round the country. Whether you like sport, music or culture, getting out and exploring Scotland couldn't be easier. Highlands and Islands Music and...

  • Earth Day 2016

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    April 22nd is Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, it aims to build support for environmental protection by raising awareness of environmental issues and encouraging people to take action. More than one billion people take part each year making Earth Day the "largest civic observance" in the world. ...

  • Volunteer Diaries: Laura

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    My name is Laura, I am currently volunteering for SYHA Hostelling Scotland as part of German volunteer placement organisation Sozialer Friedensdienst (known as SFD). Over the past seven months I have worked in Aberdeen and Glasgow Youth Hostels and now I am working and living in Edinburgh Central...

  • It's the end of an era for Wilma

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    Wilma Watson, Pitlochry Youth Hostel Manager, will be waving us goodbye at the end of July after a fantastic 32 years with SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Wilma started her journey at National Office, in the accounts department - or "Hostel Stores" as it was known at the time. We caught up with Wilma...

  • Torridon Munro Activity Holiday Review

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      Dave Kirkpatrick joined our Torridon Munro 3 day activity holiday in May this year, he shared his experience with us...  At the beginning of the year I had set a personal goal of climbing the challenging Munros (hills above 3000ft) around Torridon in the NW highlands. If you haven’t visited this...

  • Edinburgh's Summer Festivals: which one is for you?

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    Summertime in Auld Reekie is world-famous for 'The Edinburgh Festival'... but did you know there's actually no such thing? In fact, the city has a range of major festivals, many - though by no means all - of which take place over the same few summer weeks. During July and August, the Scottish...

  • Happy 70th Birthday Braemar

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    This month our Braemar Youth Hostel, set in the heart of the Cairngorm Nation Park, celebrates its 70th anniversary. Braemar Youth Hostel was originally built within its extensive grounds in 1870 as a shooting lodge by the Earl of Cavan. However, soon after the end of WWII in 1946 it was announced...

  • Stirling Highland Games

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    Having spent the past two years studying and living in central Scotland, It had always been a desire of mine to explore and experience a variety of Scottish culture and traditions. After all there’s more to Scottish culture than Irn-bru and Haggis! Last weekend, I visited one of Scotland’s most...

  • Dive into Scotland's new Snorkel Trail

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    Now get even closer to the riches hidden beneath the waves with the launch of the North West Highlands Snorkel Trail - the first of its kind in Scotland. Scotland’s North West coast is home to a diverse array of marine habitats and species. Visitors and locals are being encouraged and inspired to...

  • Top 5 Perth

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    Looking for an amazing family escape or a getaway with friends? This is for you! Did you know Perth was a former capital of Scotland? The old city is ideally situated in the central belt with roads connecting the Highlands to the northeast. Perth Youth Hostel offers visitors, adventure seekers and...

  • Top 5 Scottish Architectural Visits

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    Scotland is a country renowned for its landscape and scenery. However, it is also home to some of the most impressive architectural wonders in the world. As part of the year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we’ve put together our top 5 Scottish architectural wonders to visit. The Scottish...

  • Edinburgh Central Turns 10!

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    This week our Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel celebrated it's 10th anniversary, how time flies when you're having fun! Hamish MacBear popped along to join in the celebrations with the youth hostel staff and of course dig in to some of that delicious cake.  Amidst the party, balloons and cake, we...

  • The Cairngorm 'Girls' & Boys - September Update

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    Lost and Found Betty Blue went missing on July 6th. Having searched high and low we could not find her anywhere. However, a couple of days later Dave found her wedged into a tiny gap between the fence and the coop! Betty was in quite a state, she had even laid a pile of eggs whilst she was stuck!...

  • First Hostelling Experience and Oban Trip

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    Our marketing intern, Jide, who has been with us at the National Office for the past few months, spent some time sightseeing in Oban and shares his experience on his very first stay at a youth hostel... Having visited many of the cities and towns along the central belt of Scotland, usually as part...

  • Rewarding Experiences for RBS Volunteers

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    In September, a group from RBS joined Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel for a day’s volunteering on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland’s first National Park. The 8 volunteers from RBS’ Learning Team swapped a day in the office designing and delivering training to Personal Banking employees to show...

  • Have a Spooktacular Halloween!

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    With Halloween just around the corner, we have uncovered some of the spookiest events lurking near to our youth hostels... Bring your best dressed little ghosts and ghouls to Inverness' "Forest of Frights" on 29 October 18:30 anf 30 October 17:30. The show stretches for over 1300 metres around two...

  • 85 Years of Hostelling in Scotland

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    On the 13th February 1931 a conference was held to form a Scottish Youth Hostels Association. Early in SYHA history a typical hosteller was a hardy individual or part of a small group of friends looking to discover Scotland from one youth hostel to the next. After the war many of the properties had...

  • A Circular Walk from Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel

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    This month we're inspiring you to take up a new hobby or activity and what could be easier than walking? It's a great way to stay fit, healthy and happy. Best of all it's free. Our youth hostels make a great base for walkers with toasty boot and drying rooms for wet weather gear and friendly,...

  • SYHA's Ultimate Bucket List

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    Scotland has been named as number two on the list of the Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2017, by Rough Guides, meaning Scotland really should be on your lists of places to visit this year! We want to make sure you get the most out of your trip to this spectacular country so why not make it a year to...

  • January Walks to Banish the Blues

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    January can feel like a long month for us all as we say goodbye to the festivities for another year. But January doesn't need to be so blue, not when Scotland has so much stunning scenery to offer this wintry month. Don't worry, you don't have to be an expert hillwalker with knowledge of winter...

  • Stirling Competition Winner Visit

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    In June we ran a competition in our e-newsletter to win a 2-night-stay at our Stirling Youth Hostel. Also included in the prize was tickets to Stirling Castle and The Wallace Monument. We were extremely pleased to announce the winner as long time hosteller Richard Elloway. Richard had to answer the...

  • Scottish Winter Traditions

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    Scotland is one of the only countries in the world where New Year celebrations could be considered more important than those at Christmas. Unlike anywhere else in the world, the Scots call New Year, Hogmanay, a celebration that starts on the 31st of December and carries right through to early...