If you're keen on hiking in new country, then a stay in the Orkneys, Shetlands, Hebrides or other Scottish islands with Independent Hostels UK will take you to some of Britain’s most remote and beautiful scenery. Vast expanses of moorland, stunning shell sand beaches, grasslands, dramatic cliffs and rugged hills all contain a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Whether you are planning a one-night stopover or a longer stay, the independent hostels generally offer inexpensive self-catering facilities for singles, couples, families and groups. Accommodation might be shared but there are also smaller rooms sleeping two to six, many with ensuite facilities; prices are from around £8 per person per night in a böd (Shetland's equivalent of a camping barn - Camping Böd Network).
Lying 20 miles north of the Scottish mainland, the Orkneys offer a slower pace of life but there’s a variety of activities from wildlife spotting and guided walks to fishing, canoeing and raft racing; or you can discover the rich local history and listen to live music in the pub. On Hoy island and surrounded by magnificent scenery, all rooms at the Hoy Centre sleep four and are en suite. The north of Hoy is managed by the RSPB with both upland heath and sea cliffs providing an excellent habitat for a large variety of birds.
Details of the hostels can be viewed online at www.IndependentHostelGuide.co.uk, where you will also find maps, special offers and competitions. To help you choose the hostel that’s right for you, the Independent Hostels produce a guidebook (supported by Berghaus) that will fit easily into a rucksack or large pocket. Over 850,000 people stay at independent hostels each year; the majority are hill walkers and ramblers.