Scottish Independent Hostels are reporting a boost in visitor numbers, thanks to the early arrival of the white stuff!
All of Scotland’s ski centres are open including Lecht, Glenshee and Cairngorm Mountain are fully open with near-perfect skiing conditions and as a result, lovers of snow sports are heading north and bunking up in nearby hostels.
For Ardenbeg Bunkhouse in the Cairngorms National Park, Christmas and New Year was extremely busy with no let up in numbers over the coming weeks.
Rebecca Reid explains:
“We have had a good number of bookings over the last few weeks, mainly for skiers looking to take advantage of the great conditions. Last year’s successful ski season and the bumper start to this year’s, has given snow lovers the confidence to make the trip to Scotland.”
Chase The Wild Goose Hostel in Banavie near Fort William is another perfect location for snowboarders and skiers.
Liz Fairclough from Chase the Wild Goose Hostel explains:
“The benefits of hostel and bunkhouse accommodation is that it offers so much accommodation options, from ensuite family rooms to the more traditional dorm-style sleeping arrangements. This works well for families and groups who like the relaxed environment and cost-effective catering, as well as the option to eat in local pubs and restaurants.”
Fraoch Lodge near Aviemore is within striking distance of the slopes but also caters for other winter sports. The team offer guided walking tours, including a winter walking skills course.
For the more adventurous Fraoch Lodge also runs Snow Hole Expeditions during the winter months where participants help construct a communal snowhole.
Once complete, Andy, the guide, cooks a three-course dinner by candlelight before bedding down for the night.
“Nothing can compare to waking up in the absolute silence of a pristine winter wonderland bathed in the soft light of a Cairngorm dawn. It is truly magical!”
The Roy Bridge Hostel in Lochaber provides bunkhouse style accommodation at the budget price of £12.50 per person per night. It sleeps up to 28 people in private rooms for two, four or eight people. Just 5 miles from the Nevis Range, The Roy Bridge Hotel next-door serves bar meals daily and the friendly bar is open for après ski.
Andrew Donaldson, chair of Scottish Independent Hostels, concluded:
“The year of austerity shouldn’t mean an end to holidays. A stay in a hostel is not only great value; it is also a great way to explore Scotland with friends or family. Our members offer so much individuality from collecting your own eggs for breakfast to building a snow hole – the experiences are endless and all are star rated by Visit Scotland.”
Details of all the hostels mentioned can be found on www.hostel-scotland.co.uk.