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Scottish Youth Hostels Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hostelling Scotland
Hostelling Scotland logo
AbbreviationHostelling Scotland (HS)
Formation1931 (1931)
TypeScottish Charity SC013138
Legal statusCompany limited by guarantee SC310841
PurposeAccommodation and advancement of education[1]
HeadquartersStirling, Scotland
  • 59 hostels (34 HS, 24 affiliates)
Region served
Decrease 12,840 (2018)
Official language
English, Gaelic
Sally Mayer
Chief Executive
Margo Paterson
AffiliationsHostelling International
Decrease £8,650,464 (18/19)
166 Low Season
252 High Season (18/19)
122 (18/19)
WebsiteHostelling Scotland

Hostelling Scotland (SYHA; Gaelic: Comann Osdailean Òigridh na h-Alba), founded in 1931, is part of Hostelling International and provides youth hostel accommodation in Scotland.[2] As of 2013, around 60% of its guests come from outwith Scotland.[1]

As of 2016, the hostel guide and website lists over 60 hostels,[2] 28 of which are independently owned affiliate hostels such as those of the Gatliff Hebridean Hostel Trust and various local communities and authorities. Hostels vary from modern purpose-built premises to historic buildings and country cottages, sited in major towns and cities and in rural locations, including remote islands.[3]

Accommodation is generally dormitory-style but increasingly this is being subdivided into smaller units. For example, the most modern hostel, Edinburgh Central, has many single and twin-bedded rooms with ensuite facilities. All have a lounge, shared bathrooms and self-catering kitchens. Many hostels provide meals at request.

Hostelling Scotland is a self-funding charitable organisation, and as a not-for-profit business invests all surplus back into the organisation, both to develop the network and to improve older hostels.[citation needed] Today it faces competition from the more numerous independent hostels, and from rural hotels which provide bunkhouse accommodation.[citation needed]

It has been claimed that it has left its roots as a working class movement to "provide accommodation to people of limited means" behind, and become too expensive. The SYHA's defenders, including Allan Wilson MSP, point out that hostellers today require higher levels of comfort than when the hostelling movement began.[4]

Hostels: past and present

In 1938, there were more than 60 hostels and membership was approaching 20,000.[5] At its peak, the SHYA had 99 hostels; by 1995 this had reduced to 85.[6]


In 2018, The Scottish Youth Hostels Association rebranded as Hostelling Scotland, dropping the SYHA from their name.[7]


  1. ^ a b "About SYHA | SYHA Hostelling Scotland". Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b "About SYHA". SYHA Hostelling Scotland. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  3. ^ Hostel Guide 2018, Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  4. ^ "motion S1M-1829 Official report 9 May 2001". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Youth Hostels in Scotland". The Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  6. ^ Hume, George (22 July 1995). "Youth hostels pack up their troubles". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  7. ^[bare URL]

Source material

  • Martin, John (2012). An Illustrated Survey of SYHA's Youth Hostels 1931-2011. Stirling: SYHA.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 May 2021, at 18:45
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