Blog Post

Hostel Handbook 2019 - 5 Things You Need To Know

1. The front cover was designed by Nikki McGuigan from Little Book Transfers

The artist also designed murals at Glen Nevis Youth Hostel and Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel and has worked with Dr Martens in Glasgow and Urban Outfitters in Edinburgh.

The cover design shows our diverse range of locations - from cities to islands, beaches to hills and mountains, and all points in between! The Capercaillie featured on the front cover is Scotland’s largest and rarest grouse species which can be found in the forests of the Cairngorms, Perthshire & Aberdeenshire. Stirling Bridge and one of Scotland’s 2000 castles can also be seen on the cover.  

Hostelling Scotland Handbook 2019

2. From Handbook…to magazine…to Handbook!

The Hostelling Scotland Handbook goes back many years. We first had a Handbook back in the 1930’s when the organisation was founded. Hostelling Scotland staff and members found the Handbook to be a fantastic and informative resource, packed with information about our hostels, notes for hostel users and even some rather interesting adverts...


For many the Handbook became a collector’s item and was used as a scrapbook to record details of hostel stays, and it was a way for members to collect unique hostel-specific stamps.

Since the 1970’s the Hostelling Scotland team have produced a magazine instead of a Handbook, but we thought it would be a great idea to revitalize the Handbook & make it relevant for the 21st century.

3. It’s packed with inspiring ideas for things to do!

There’s so much to do in Scotland – experience culture by visiting a museum in one of our cool cities, going to a music concert, or hitting the beautiful outdoors.

Pick up a copy of the Handbook to read a feature about exciting activities to give a go in the Highlands – from mountain biking, to climbing and canyoning, there really is something for everyone! Hear from experienced Munro bagger Graeme Cormie – he offers his Top 5 Munro’s that are best for beginners to try on page 32.

For an insight into island life, turn to page 40 for a review of a spontaneous and fun girlie-getaway at Portree Youth Hostel on the Isle of Skye. Find out for yourself why The Isle of Arran is also known as 'Scotland in Miniature' and why it’s definitely worth a visit – just turn to page 30! We’re also delighted to feature an article by Lee Craigie, Scotland’s first Active Nation Commissioner. The former professional mountain biker went on Scotland’s ultimate road trip on two wheels, cycling the Snow Roads, a 90-mile ride through the heart of Cairngorms National Park. Turn to page 36 to find out how she got on…

Lee Craigie in action

4. It’s great for foodies!

We’re keen to showcase Scotland’s amazing food and drink and celebrate local produce, which is exactly what we do in the Hostel Handbook.

Cooking Up A Storm is a mouth-watering feature all about the delicious food that you can try in Aberdeen - from fresh fish and chips to the north east’s famous Buttery. Food blogger Claire even rustled up breakfast and dinner in Aberdeen Youth Hostel’s self-catering kitchen – turn to page 22 for the recipes.

Fine local food right next to Aberdeen Youth Hostel's mural

5. The Handbook is sent to Hostelling Scotland members

If you’re a member you will have received your complimentary copy in the post and we really hope you like it!

It’s quick and easy to become a member! It's £6 for those under 25 and adult membership is only £15 per year– simply fill in your details here on our website & become a member today!