Located on the North Coast 500 and surrounded by wild and spectacular landscape, Durness Smoo offers a relaxed and friendly base to explore the local area. Durness provides a refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and John Lennon himself holidayed here for many years. There are mountains, sea cliffs, beaches and waterfalls. On a clear night the starry skies are incredible, made even better if you are fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights.

The hostel offers both shared and private accommodation, a well-equipped self-catering kitchen, drying room and cosy lounge heated by a coal-burning stove.

Local attractions include the famous Smoo Cave (which is situated next to the youth hostel) Cape Wrath, Handa Island and Balnakiel Craft Village (only a short distance away). Hill walkers will love Foinaven, Ben Hope, Ben Loyal and Cranstackie and for those wishing simply to relax Balnakeil Beach and Faraid Head are beautiful sandy beaches with large sand dunes waiting to be explored.

With dog friendly accommodation available, your four-legged friend will be able to join in on all the fun! A small fee of five pounds per dog per night will be charged and must be booked in advance to ensure that a dog friendly room is allocated. For further information please refer to our Dog Guidelines

We're on the North Coast 500 driving route! Click here to find out how you can enjoy 10% off car hire


If you are looking for large group accommodation or holiday cottages then we have locations across Scotland perfect for groups and family gatherings on a budget. See below for availability or click here for more information and to enquire.


  •   Available
  •   Available & RentaHostel
  •   RentaHostel only
  •   Call Hostel for Availability
  •   Fully Booked
  •   Unavailable
May 2018Next

Food and Drink

  • Groups meals service Heat it & Eat it Mea
  • Individual meals service Heat it & Eat it Mea
  • Self-catering kitchen

Hostel Services

  • Bike store
  • Distance to nearest shop nearby
  • Dogs allowed
  • Drying room
  • Family friendly
  • Laundry
  • Lockers/luggage store
  • Private rooms available
  • Suitable for groups
  • Total beds 31

Internet Access

  • WiFi access (FREE)


  • Distance to bus stop Nearby
  • Parking nearby (free/charges apply)


Tel: 01971 511 264

Reception Opening Hours 8:00 - 10:00 and 17:00 - 22:00.

Check in 17:00 - 22:00

Check out 08:00 - 10:00

There is no daytime access between 10.00 and 17:00 – but a small entrance lobby with access to WC only is available for shelter during these hours.

For a printable version of this information click here to download youth hostel fact sheet.

Please note that we do not accept stag or hen parties at any of our hostels.

Please note that due to the limited number of rooms at this youth hostel we are not always able to guarantee that male and female are allocated in separate dorms; the rooms are generally classed as mixed gender. Also we do not accept stag or hen parties at any of our hostels.


Smoo, Durness, Lairg IV27 4QA Scotland

Tel: +44 (0) 1971 511264

Email: durness@hostellingscotland.org.uk


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Remember: as you can book more than one hostel at once, building up an itinerary will be a piece of cake!

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As part of our commitment to sustainability and environmental issues, our youth hostels are assessed by Green Tourism, the largest and most established sustainable certification in the world. The assessment covers areas such as energy saving, waste minimisation, social responsibility and travel.

Durness Smoo Youth Hostel currently holds a Silver award for Green TourismTo read more about Hostelling Scotland’s Sustainability Charter, please click here. There are some quick and easy ways that you can make a difference and help us achieve our Green Tourism goals - to read our Responsible Visitor Charter and find out more, please click here.

We encourage our guests to use public transport where possible when travelling to our youth hostels – please see travelinescotland.com to plan your route or speak to youth hostel staff. If you are touring Scotland on two wheels then sustrans.org.uk has a wealth of information on cycling routes, safety and sustainable travel.