As you may know I was honoured to be part of the final leg of the epic Team Honk relay last over the weekend and as such spent several days north of the border in sunny Scotland (one of my favourite places in the world!)
It was my job to find us accommodation on route and in an attempt to save money I decided we’d stay in hostels rather than hotels! Now I know what you’re thinking hostels are pretty grim aren’t they, draughty rooms, cold showers and very basic facilities – well they were last time I stayed i a hostel.
However I could not be more wrong! With a map of our route in my hand and a determination that I was going for the cheapest place available I searched the Hosteling in Scotland website.
Friday night I needed room for 5 people, with easy access to the River Tay for white water rafting on the Saturday morning. Jessie Macs was in the perfect spot! And as it turned out owned by perfect hosts! We were made so welcome and deeply impressed by the amazing facilities! Clean, warm, cozy and welcoming – what more could we need after a long day traveling!
After a brief exploring of Birnam, a beer and some yummy Italian food we collapsed into our very comfortable beds for a good nights sleep (and no one mention the snoring!) Our breakfast the next morning was exceptional – endless tea and coffee, toast, fruit, cereal and fresh homemade muffins – and a full cooked breakfast was more than enough to set us up for the day! (and they insisted we took the leftover breakfast muffins to have as a snack on the road!) Our wonderful hosts were also kind enough to give us a very generous donation of £50 towards the Team Honk total!
Saturday night we needed to be close to Ben Wyvis so we could make an early start and make it to the summit. So Black Isle Berries Bunkhouse became the obvious destination. A new build on a working farm, the hostel facilities were wonderful. New and shiny, clean, warm and with everything we would need for a restful night! And once again friendly and welcoming hosts!
Without restaurant facilities close by we decided to buy and prepare our own dinner and breakfast the next morning and a joy it was too! A beautifully appointed kitchen, with all the equipment we needed, brilliant wifi connection so we could get back in touch with loved ones and the rest of the team on social media! And the following morning hot showers all round, breakfast and off to the wind of the mountains!
After a weekend of adventures we wanted a good nights sleep on the way home before we struck out for England. Leaving John o Groats and on the road home Sleeperzzz was in a greta position and the novelty of sleeping in a train carriage was too good an opportunity to miss!
Such a fun place to stay! First class carriages converted into bunk rooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room and with toilets and showers cleverly fitted into the end of each carriage. Just brilliant! Again we cooked our own food and spent a lovely evening laughing and reliving the weekends events in our cosy train compartment! A real novelty stay, again clean, well maintained and lovely hosts!
And all these hostels cost under £20 per person for our accommodation – seriously, what a bargain!
I have a very different opinion of hosteling now! And we will certainly be going back to visit these places again when we go back in the summer.
To our hosts – thank you! you made the trip a joy and we are deeply grateful for your hospitality! You have renewed my faith in hostel holidays and as a family we are inspired to try it out together!!
This is NOT a sponsored post – there was no incentive given to write it – I just want you all to know how wonderful these places were!