Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
November 8, 2003
On my arrival, I was given a very warm welcome by the owner, and introduced to other guests who were around. I found the hostel to be a warm welcoming place overall. There is an excellent self-catering kitchen which was very well equipped, and one long table encouraging guests to socialise. There was also a drying room, and proper bathrooms--i.e. not rows of cublicles, but individual toilet and shower rooms with plenty of space to get dried and dressed without getting your clothes soaked.
I slept in a four bedded room with two other girls. They were big solid pine bunks and very comfortable. Each person had a very large storage area. Bedding is provided.
This was excellent value for money at £12.50 a night. I have stayed in many hostels in Scotland, and this wasthe best by a long shot.
The hostel is part of a working farm, and to access it from the road you have to walk across the grass around a field. It is very close to North Shore beach--off road access--just go across the fields at the back. This is a beautiful, clean beach with crystal clear water, and I had the place to myself. If you're going out after dark you will need a torch [flashlight]. There is a shop in the village, but there is a limited, expensive choice of foods, so stock up on supplies on the mainland.
This is not a party hostel. Many people come here for peace and reflection. There is no TV, payphone, internet access, stereo etc. Check out is before 10.30am. The hostel is closed 2-4pm. Check in is from 4pm-7.30pm. Quiet hours are 10pm-8am.
My only regret is that I only stayed for one night (in September 2003). I wish I could have stayed there longer.
From journal Peace on Iona