Review: Hostels and B&B where I’ve stayed in Scotland

Once upon a time I used to surf couches, but now it seems like just another fairy tale… I still love the concept though, but nowadays I am more into hostels. Those times when I was hooked to couchsurfing, the main reason was the experience and contact I had with the hosts, never for the fact that was for free. However, my last experiences were way too impersonal, even as a host. Nowadays I prefer to pay, and take my chances, I might or not meet people who I get along with, and to add to that, there is also less responsibilities, as I am not staying at someone’s house.

On what this trip regards, since we were two, the options were totally opened, between B&Bs and hostels, and initially, due to our lack of experience searching for a place to crash for more than one person, we ended up not finding the best options. But everything can be learnt.

Tip: If you are a group of two or more people, search for just one person. We couldn’t find hostels because we were searching for “2 people in 1 bedroom”, and booking.com assumed that we were looking for a private bedroom. When we tried to search for just one, we found exactly what we were looking for. Just remember, that the number of free bedrooms might not be enough for all, there is always a chance that your group is one person too many…

Edinburgh Hotel House

This was our first B&B in Scotland, and we did the mistake of looking for a place for two people, instead of just one like I mentioned before. We indeed found it really odd not finding one single hostel in Edinburgh, but maybe they were all overbooked due some popular event that we were not aware of? That wasn’t the case…

This B&B has a tiny disadvantage for not being in the city center, but it isn’t far either, about 25 minutes walking to the historical zone. However, there is also a bus stop right in front of the B&B, and without having to change buses, you get right to the center. I recommend the daily ticked in case you intend to use public transportation often.

The only thing that we didn’t like was the fact that we had to pay 3£ a day for internet. But after a few B&Bs and hostels, we realized that apparently it is normal in Scotland (or maybe even in the United Kingdom). I found it quite odd, considering that the majority of the cafés have free internet, but that didn’t affect us either. This B&B also has an option without breakfast, and since we already had plans we decided not to eat there.

Crieff

And this was where the adventure started, nothing planned, without the help of any app, we simply saw a B&B, we asked for their rates, and we stayed. I ended up finding them on booking.com, in case you want to stay there.

The B&B is really cozy, with a rustic or old style, the breakfast wasn’t included in the price, but we had it anyway and it was a great way to start our long day!

Inverness

Our first hostel in Scotland, and to be honest, it was way more expensive than we expected. But unfortunately, it also seems that that’s the average price rate in Scotland as well…

We noticed that we had more options looking for a bed for just one person while searching for this hostel, looking for just one person we saw way more options than looking for two. Something we also found odd is that this hostel doesn’t have mixed dorms, Men and women apart!

One of the pros regarding this hostel is the free parking, they are not located in the city center, but it isn’t far either. The hostel is clean, and it seems that they are part of a network of hostels in Scotland, with a very visible map that you can easily see where you can find the next place to stay. For someone who is on a road trip like we were, that was a great tool, that we used for Isle of Skye.

The cons…, the internet is extremely slow and it requires some codes (a bit confusing). The hostel has curfew, which means that you have to be careful when going out for drinks, or you might have to sleep in your car 🙂 Another detail, the dorms don’t have private wc, however I don’t see this as a bad thing, but it would be better.

Broadford

In Broadford we found another Youth Hostel part of the same network of the one we stayed in Inverness, but this time we didn’t book anything, we just tried our luck. And we had it, apparently it was almost fully booked, though it didn’t look like it…

For those that want a place in the middle of nowhere for a retreat, maybe Broadford is your place to be. The hostel even better, in a dead-end without any kind of illumination, imagine the darkness… However, parking was also for free, so if you need to go out by car is also fine.

Regarding the place, to be honest, this hostel didn’t meet our expectations, comparing with the other one in Inverness. The facilities way worse, with paid internet, 1£ per hour. But the location was perfect, right in the beginning of Isle of Skye.

Kyleakin

This place was another last-minute booking, unfortunately I didn’t find it on Booking.com, but I found them on tripadvisor. We were really lucky to get their last bedroom, all the other hostels and B&Bs in that area were fully booked, and we really needed a place to stay. The bedroom was tiny, but perfect for what we were looking for. The breakfast was included, but we had to decide what to eat the evening before so that they could prepare everything, and it was delicious 🙂

Glasgow

Our last night together in this trip, we looked for a hostel and this was the one we found. It’s located a bit too far from the center, but with transportation it seems to be easy to get there. Since we had a car, we didn’t check if it is as easy as the staff told us…

Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle

There are a few shops in that area, and it is right next to a Wetherspoons where you can get very affordable meals and drinks. Regarding the hostel, mixed dorms with private toilet, the breakfast is self-service, costing almost nothing.

Polmont

And here’s where I spent the last night! I chose this place because it was on the way to the airport, and nothing else. The place wasn’t the best, actually far from that. For someone who is looking for an affordable option just for one night, then it’s perfect, but there were a few details that annoyed me a but. Like the fact that the hostel’s address being wrong on Booking.com? And according to them, this is intentional, apparently people get lost trying to find the hostel, so, they have the address of the nearest hotel. Not a smart decision…

Regarding the place, the parking is also free, the bedroom was clean but with a very old carpet covered in stains (detail that I only noticed maybe because I was really annoyed by the time I wasted trying to find the hotel), the toilets and showers are shared by all and they are in the corridor, like detachable toilets (yes, this is true).

So, basically, if you are looking for something like a hostel, but with a private bedroom, then it is ok. FOr those looking for a proper hotel, then it is terrible. I guess, it is all a matter of perspective.


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Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

3 thoughts on “Review: Hostels and B&B where I’ve stayed in Scotland

  • November 14, 2016 at 7:52 pm
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    Interesting. Sounds like a great adventure, even if some of the hostels were not the most awesome places to spend a night.

  • January 26, 2017 at 5:35 pm
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    You are aware it’s EDINBURGH and NOT EDINBURG? Don’t you??

  • January 26, 2017 at 7:45 pm
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    You’re absolutely right, and I made that typo so many times! I’ll fix it now, thank you!

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