Kirkwall 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.
Friendly and welcoming, in a quiet location 15 minutes’ walk from the town centre, Kirkwall Youth Hostel is the perfect base for exploring the historic sights and wonderful wildlife of Orkney.
Perfect for groups, families and individual travellers, this warm and welcoming youth hostel offers a wide range of room types, all available to be booked as private rooms. The hostel has 2 en-suite rooms and there are ample shower and washroom facilities available.
Guests can opt for a continental breakfast served in the dining room (please remember to pre-book), 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.
WiFi is available in the lounge area and is free for all guests. Other facilities include a large, comfortable lounge with TV and well-stocked library, a laundry, drying room and free onsite parking for up to 20 cars. The hostel has a sheltered external bike storage area. Guests are advised to use their own bicycle locks for security.
Basic provisions, confectionery and soft drinks are available to purchase at reception.
Orkney is a Neolithic and Viking treasure trove, with many attractions, like St Magnus Cathedral, Earls palace, Bishops Palace and the Orkney Museum all within walking distance. Highland Park and Scapa Distilleries are also within walking distance of the hostel and other attractions worth a visit include Skara Brae, Maeshowe and The Ring of Brodgar - all reached by local buses departing from Kirkwall.
Kirkwall 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) 1856 872 243 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 and very helpful staff
- Central location within easy reach of the town centre
- Great breakfast
- Private rooms available
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
Reception is closed between 10:00-17:00, but guests arriving early will have access to the hostel's communal areas. Late check in available by prior arrangement.
Catering Available (Breakfast Only)
Free Tea and Coffee in Guest Kitchen
Free Parking (nearby or onsite)
Pet Dogs Welcome
09/09/19The hostel is centrally located ; our private room with en suite was excellent ; kitchen well resourced and staff helpful .
02/09/19Fine place to stay and very cheap
26/08/19I had previously stayed at the hostel in 2017 and had a lovely time then - this year's stay was just as good. The staff were super welcoming and helpful throughout my stay, and the general atmosphere at the hostel was really nice. I would definitely recommend using the hostel as a base to explore the Isles!
23/08/19I came in on the late ferry, and they had a great system for late check in, including instructions on how to get to the hostel from the ferry station. Also, the hostel was very clean and reception was friendly.
22/08/19Accueil cool, propreté irréprochable, cuisine collective bien équipée et salon spacieux. Ambiance calme & sympa. Un peu de marche pour rejoindre le centre-ville ou bien regarder les horaires de bus.
Yes, I agree
12/08/19Friendly and attentive staff, really liked that I could choose a twin room for myself and my 12yo daughter at a very reasonable price for the time of year, other guests were as respectful as I remember from my childhood in youth hostels (35+ years ago), very convenient location within easy walking distance of the town centre...I would definitely stay again
07/08/19Great stay as usual. Great value for money and exceptionally helpful and friendly staff as always
28/07/19Really great great bed really Nice welcome.
12/07/19very compact room, good sanitary facilities, large kitchen and dining room ... excellent stay.
08/07/19I live in shetland hence hostel stays open till ferry arrives and people make it to hostelNO problem Excelent welcoming staffsimilarly they allow you to store your kit when leaving for ferryIts not a moderm building but attitudes of your excelent staff in orkney make it a great place to stay
07/07/19Such a lovely place to stay and very friendly,helpful staff from the minute I checked in. Ideally situated bus stop for town service number 9 bus but only a short walk away from shops and travel centre. Will stay here again when I visit Orkney next year.
02/07/19Very warm welcome, much bigger room than I expected with a comfortable bed and view of open countryside. Huge well equipped kitchen, spacious light dining room and lounge. Up to date information on the noticeboards.
28/06/19Our second time here and we have really enjoyed the stay.The staff team are very friendly, helpful and that contributes enormously to the atmosphere in the hostel.Kitchen, dining room and lounge are quite spacious and well equipped. Very light and airy dining room.Room was very comfortable.
Rod and Valerie Geddes
14/06/19I arrived late (11.30pm) on the ferry from Shetland, but the welcome I received was very friendly, and the information given was very clear. The room was good value, and I felt well-rested by the time I got up at 6.30am the next morning and ready for my next ferry journey. Really good hostel on all fronts.
06/06/19Goede en keurig hostel waar jong en oud samenkomen.
31/05/19It was a great pleasure to stay at this hostel. The staff were delightful and always ready to help. You have a gold star team working there. The accomodation was warm (very important with a cold northerly wind blowing even at the end of May), clean, comfortable and quiet. The only thing missing was a hairdryer but that in no way spoilt my enjoyment of the hostel, or of Kirkwall and the rest of Orkney.
17/05/19Always excellent, the staff are friendly, welcoming and always helpful
Bil, Regular user of Kirkwall Hostel
14/05/19So convenient...straight off the ferry to a good nights sleep and SO quiet...
13/05/19Great. All good
07/05/19A thoroughly excellent experience all round. The hostel is warm and clean throughout, the bedrooms are comfortable and the kitchen is spacious and well-equipped. Most importantly, the staff are unfailingly friendly and helpful, making the hostel feel welcoming, safe and happy. A great base for exploring the beautiful Orkney Islands - I will certainly be back.
22/04/19A super accommodation option in Kirkwall, with an excellent team of friendly and helpful staff. Thank you!
26/11/18Friendly and helpful staff. Hostel was perfect for our requirements.
26/09/18Nice hostel with comfy beds and a well equipped kitchen. Handy for all the sights of Kirkwall and beyond. Ferries and shops in easy walking distance.
21/09/18The receptionist was amazingly helpful and pleasant. A credit to your organisation
16/09/18The young lady who booked us in was very friendly and helpful sorry didn't get her name she had short hair & glasses
Yes you may use it
12/09/18Friendly welcome, everything was lovely thank you
24/08/18SO MUCH TO DO, so little time (4 days!). Strongly recommend all local Historic Scotland sites esp Ness of Brodgar (FREE tours!). A special bonus was the pleasure of visiting the excellent Orkney Fossil & Heritage Centre, which we considered to be one of the best small museum displays we've ever see. Also the Italian Chapel is a must-see. We've had a superb tourist experience around all the mainland of Orkney.
Terry & Ali Goodall (New Zealand)
09/07/18A lovely youth hostel. We recommend taking the bus and then the ferry to hoy, taking a minibus and walking to the Old man of Hoy.
26/06/18Staff were accommodating, staying up to welcome us in after arriving at 23:00 on the ferry. Room was comfortable.
Reasons to visit
Capital of Orkney, the historic town of Kirkwall is dominated by the 12th century St Magnus Cathedral. Constructed from local red sandstone, it's one of Scotland's most interesting cathedrals.
Orkney is a Neolithic treasure trove and Kirkwall Youth Hostel is a superb base for exploring its historic sites. Many attractions, like Skara Brae, Maeshowe and the Ring of Brodgar are a short distance away and the hostel is only a mile from historic Scapa Flow and a quiet sandy beach.
South of the centre, the Highland Park Distillery is well worth a visit. An hour long tour will give you the opportunity to see how they malt their own barley and use a peat kiln to dry it.
The island is famous for its hand-made arts and crafts, from exquisite designer jewellery to fine knitwear and locally inspired artwork and souvenirs.
Orkney is well known for the quality of its fresh local larder. From fine quality meats to seafood and cheese, you will have plenty of opportunities to pick up a posh picnic or take home an edible souvenir.