Welcome to Helmsdale Hostel
A warm friendly welcome for visitors to this beautiful area of Scotland.
Helmsdale Hostel is an International Tourist Accommodation, located in the village of Helmsdale, Sutherland. It is in a prominent position directly on the A9 at the north end of the village. The building was refurbished in the summer of 2018, with additional en-suite rooms, drying and laundry facilities. It can accommodate up to 24 guests within six en-suite rooms and has a well equipped kitchen and spacious dining / lounge area. There is a large garden and a secure cycle shed. Car-parking is free on the roadside next to the hostel.
The building is the former village school gymnasium built in 1931. It is an extremely individual structure and refurbishments since ownership in 2006 have been sympathetic in efforts to retain its originality. The unusualness and quirkiness of the building invokes ongoing curiosity and interest from guests.
The accommodation is popular with families, walkers, cyclists, motor cyclists, independent and group travellers, sports enthusiasts and is a traditional stopping point for the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle/walking and NC500 routes. It also attracts traffic to and from Orkney since it is midway between Inverness and the Caithness ferry terminals.
Dogs are welcome by prior arrangement.
History of Helmsdale Hostel
Helmsdale Hostel was purchased from the Scottish Youth Hostels Association [SYHA] in January 2006, by Irene Drummond, who had previously worked as a SYHA Warden in the former John O’Groats and Stromness Youth Hostels. Having first-hand experience of running a hostel, Irene was committed to keeping Helmsdale Hostel [an iconic overnight stop on the Lands's End to John O’Groats route] on the map. Following extensive refurbishment in 2006, Helmsdale Hostel was transformed from a 1-star bothy to a 4-star hostel. Similarly in 2018, a sympathetic approach to renovations was implemented in efforts to retain the character of the former school gymnasium building. As such, Helmsdale Hostel continues to provide great value accommodation in the far north east coast of Scotland
Irene’s interests include travelling, long distance cycle touring and sea kayaking.