Durness Smoo Youth Hostel
About About this youth hostel
We welcome the recent announcement by the Scottish Government on the responsible lifting of restrictions and are delighted to be able to plan for the re-opening of our self-catering kitchens from 1st November. Drying room facilities are now available at many of our hostels but we would ask you to please contact the hostel team directly to allow them to manage your access. The health, safety and wellbeing of our guests, employees and the communities in which we operate remains our main priority at this time. For more information on what to expect when staying with us please visit the FAQ's section of this website.
As you’ll appreciate, advice on Covid-19 is constantly changing and we would ask all our guests to continue to refer to Scottish Government guidelines and Transport Scotland advice on travel and social distancing when making their booking. Please remember, this guidance may be different in England and Wales.
Sitting on the famous NC500, surrounded by a wild and spectacular landscape, Durness Smoo offers a true hostelling experience in simple, relaxed and welcoming accommodation.
A refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the hostel is an ideal base for exploring the local area, and offers guests a range of comfortable private and shared rooms. None of the rooms are en-suite but ample shower and washroom facilities are available.
Guests can opt for a ‘Wee Breakfast’ of cereal, Scottish yogurt, fresh fruit, tea and coffee, or take advantage of the well-equipped self-catering kitchen. Packed lunches are available for groups of 5+ if booked in advance and 'heat it and eat it' evening meals are available to purchase for your convenience. The hostel is licensed so you can enjoy a local ale, malt whisky or glass of wine while relaxing in the hostel’s cosy lounge with its coal-burning stove.
WiFi is available in the communal areas (lounge, kitchen and dining room) and is free for all guests. Other facilities include a small drying room and secure cycle storage. Basic provisions, confectionery and soft drinks are available to purchase at reception and local shops are only a 15 minute walk away.
The hostel has parking facilities for up to six cars and guests are welcome to use the car park at the nearby Smoo Caves, one of the area’s most spectacular attractions.
On a clear night the starry skies are incredible and if you’re lucky you might even catch the Northern Lights.
Durness Smoo is a dog-friendly hostel. If you would like to book yourself and your dog into the hostel, please phone the hostel direct on +44 (0) 1971 511 264 to check availability. There is a small charge of £5 per night for your dog when staying in our hostels.
The hostel is also available for exclusive private rental.
For information on hostel accessibility please click here
- Friendly, welcoming staff
- Unique, unspoilt location on the NC500
- Private rooms available
- Luggage store
Facilities & Services
April to September (RentaHostel available all year)
08:00-10:00 and 17:00-22:00
17:00 - 22:00
08:00 - 10:00
Late check in available on request and by prior arrangement. The youth hostel is closed between 10.00-17.00, though daytime access may be arranged.
Pet Dogs Welcome
Catering Available (Breakfast Only)
Access with limited mobility
Free Parking (nearby or onsite)
Free Tea and Coffee in Guest Kitchen
28/10/19Brilliant October weekend. We had the whole hostel booked. Despite chilly weather outside, gales and sleet, both the kitchen/lounge and bunkrooms were warm, with a cosy stove going in the corner of the kitchen. Mary-Ann was more than helpful with everything. Kitchen really well equipped and clean. Lounge good for chatting. Plenty of hot water and showers. Great location to see Smoo Cave - almost certainly Scotlands finest show-cave. Plenty of parking at the hostel and the cave car-park nearby.
30/09/19Really great location. Facilities ageing externally but very well maintained and refurbed internally and consequently met or exceeded the standard overall. Best host/manager on our trip.
28/09/19Welcoming warm and friendly.
10/09/19It was a fantastic experience for my friend and I to stay here. The place is situated in a fantastic location, very close to the lovely Durness Cave. The hostel itself was excellently maintained. The staff member was very friendly and helpful in sharing all the information we sought. They had some good food options - this especially was handy considering we checked in pretty late in the evening and there were not many food options around. Overall, delighted to have stayed here!!
27/08/19Very pleasant Hostel.Presence of all the facilities, clean dormitory and very kind person at the check in.
26/08/19A beautiful place to stay.
15/08/19The Hostel is in a great position. James gas bene very Kind to spend a lot of time looking for a place for us to stay in Ullapool. Thank you very much!
Yes but don’t let me be known.
10/08/19I just loved that! Such a unique place (a type of accommodation and amazing countryside too). For me the best SYHA hostel what I have visited till now. I would love to stay there much longer!
10/08/19Warm and efficient welcome / service check in by James. Good facilities and great breakfast, thank you..
03/08/19Nice hostel for one night. Not far from the center of Durness and very close to Smoo cave. Room with 10beds female/male. Bathroom were clean but only one shower for everyone... I would recommend
31/07/19Great place for exploring Durness from, right next to the Smoo caves and a short walk into the main drag along the beautiful beaches. Clean facilities and friendly staff.
29/07/19Visit the cove and go swimming at the beach.
24/07/19One of the nicest hostels we stayed in. Lovely place, charming house and a breathtaking scenery! Must check out if your in the area.
17/07/19The most basic hostel I've stayed in so far but none the less, spotlessly clean, comfortable bed/bedding and all the usual amenities. Fantastic location
06/07/19We stayed in this hostel on the extreme northwest coast and stay on the cold rocky edge in comfort. It made for a fantastic base to explore the remote wonder of Durness.
24/06/19Wonderful hostel with very friendly, helpful staff. We visited previously over 10 years ago and were very glad that it hadn't changed too much! Slightly more corporate now as some of the decor was more individual before, but the old buildings are still the same which gives it it's character. Don't update it too much!
Rachael and Stephen
21/06/19James does a wonderful job! The Hostel is spotless!
18/06/19A great little hostel. Full of character and charm. Very well looked after;even though it's old all resources are used to their best advantage. Super kitchen, very clean. Great staff. Hosteling at its best! Others may not agree be I love these small quirky hostels.
17/06/19Basic, but cosy.
Colin, The Midlands
16/06/19The kitchen was well equipped, the sitting area comfortable, and the bed very comfortable.
Jackie from Derbyshire
13/05/19excellent location for hillwalking
08/05/19Nice stay in a beautyfull location
03/05/19Most enjoyable experience throughout.very good service and the position of the hostel is brills thankyou enjoyed it immensely
22/04/19Lovely place, very helpful staff.
20/04/19Really impressed with comfortable beds that included linen. Friendly welcome from James who also provided local information
20/04/19We loved this old school bunk house right on the edge of spectacular cliff views and just next to the smoo caves. Super basic but clean, fresh and with a cosy wood burning stove. Family room was spot on for four of us.
01/10/18I took a school group of 19 teenage boys and 6 staff to the hostel. It fitted our needs perfectly, the social area was ideal for the group and a great place to unwind with other guests as well as for the group to have some down time and play games. The staff were brilliant, very helpful and yet very laid back, nothing was a stress or a problem. We will definitely be back.
30/09/18Great stay, we were cycling and were pretty wet when arrived, really helpful staff who offered to wash and dry our cycling gear.
Reasons to visit
Located on the North Coast 500 and surrounded by wild and spectacular landscape, Durness Smoo offers a relaxed and friendly base to explore the local area from mountains to sea cliffs, beaches and waterfalls. On a clear night the starry skies are incredible, made even more memorable if you're lucky enough to catch the Northern Lights.
With its rocky coastline, turquoise waters and sweeping golden sands, Durness Beach is a perfect example of the spectacular scenery you will find in the North West Highlands.
With three huge chambers and a 20 metre high waterfall through its heart, Smoo Cave is Britain’s biggest sea cave and a marvellous sight. Legend even has it that the cave is home to the spirits who guard the entrance to the netherworld. Explore the mystical cave before stretching your legs on the Smoo Cave and Bhlar Duibhe walk, an enjoyable circular route through open moorland and a popular choice with birdwatchers.
From wildlife to natural wonders and ancient history, Durness captures Scotland at its best!