Staying in low cost hostels has long been popular in Scotland. As well as the long-established Scottish Youth Hostels Association, there are many independent hostels, and accommodation can be found in most parts of the country. Hostels which are also Associate Members of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland include Argyle Backpackers (Edinburgh), Inchnadamph Lodge Hostel and The Bunkhouse (Aberfeldy).
Self Catering, Bed and Breakfast and Hotels
There is a wide variety of tourist accommodation in Scotland, many of which can be found in VisitScotland listings. Some are part of the Walkers Welcome Scheme and have the sort of facilities and welcome that outdoor people are looking for. The Loch Torridon Hotel and the Kinlochewe Hotel are Associate Members of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.
Mountain Bothies are unlocked shelters in the mountains of Scotland and England, which are open to bona-fide walkers and mountaineers free of charge, for short periods. They offer basic (sometimes very basic) but generally weatherproof accommodation in some of the more remote parts of the highlands. They often have no furniture, nor heating, although users have space to use their own cooking equipment. There are no toilets (although some have composting toilets installed as part of a pilot study) and all users should be self-sufficient.
They are owned by the landowner and cared for by the Mountain Bothies Association. This voluntary group of outdoor people arrange work parties to repair and keep the bothies in habitable condition. There is no booking system and the location of the bothies are available to outdoor people willing to contribute their time to helping the MBA.
Users should not stay for long periods (a few days is acceptable) and large groups should not use them as this could jeopardise emergency use of the bothy by individual walkers. The MBA has issued a 'Bothy Code'.
More information can be obtained from the Mountain Bothies Association.
Border Bothies Association
At present the Association maintains four bothies, all in the Tweed Valley, three within walking distance of each other, all within cycling distance. All now have Calor Gas cooking facilities, open fires and various forms of lighting. One boasts a running water system with hot baths available! All are very special places where folk can relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Border countryside.
Anyone interested in helping with the work of the Association or in using the bothies for groups who would enjoy and benefit from the experience should contact:
David Dixon (Secretary), 8 Oswald Terrace, Prestonpans, East Lothian EH32 9EG
Tel. 01875 812985