An ‘off-the-grid' youth hostel inaccessible to cars on the edge of Rannoch Moor has been crowned the UK’s ‘Bunkhouse of the Year’.  

Loch Ossian Hostel, on the shore of the loch which gives it its name, can only be accessed by foot or bike and guests are advised to leave their cars at home.  

It was named as the best in Britain by The Great Outdoors Magazine Reader Awards 2024 (TGO Awards). 

The hostel sits a 20-minute walk from Corrour railway station on the Glasgow to Fort William line, and prides itself on being a “a traditional and homely eco-hostel".  

Despite its remote location, the building provides a hot showers from locally-sourced hydro power and micro-generated solar energy.  

Electric panel heating provides warmth throughout the hostel, and green initiatives include composting toilets, a reed bed grey water drainage system, and bat-friendly paint. 

The Herald:

Glencoe Youth Hostel received a also received a Commendation at the awards, just missing out on the top spot.  

Both Oban and Durness Smoo Youth Hostels also made it onto the shortlist in the same category. 

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The TGO Awards are a celebration of the best of outdoor culture, and are voted for by enthusiasts who decide both the shortlist of category nominees and the results. 

In 2024 the nominee with the most votes in each category received a Winner award, while the nominees with the second and third most votes both received Commended accolades. 

Glencoe Youth Hostel is set in one of Scotland’s most spectacular and historic glens.   

The Herald: Ossian Youth Hostel Ossian Youth Hostel (Image: Hostelling Scotland)

The alpine-style hostel is a popular base for walkers and climbers of all abilities and offers a great range of accommodation from comfortable private rooms to shared dorms.  

A relatively new addition to the Youth Hostel is a glamping pod that sits in the hostel grounds. Comfortably sleeping two adults in a double bed, other facilities include an en-suite shower, toilet and a small porch with unrivalled views.  

Glencoe is also a dog friendly ‘WoofHostel’, with berths for four-legged friends. 

Margo Paterson, CEO of Hostelling Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Loch Ossian Youth Hostel has won Hostel or Bunkhouse of the Year at these prestigious awards, voted for by our members and visitors and lovers of the great outdoors.   

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“We are also extremely proud that Glencoe Youth Hostel received a highly prized Commendation, and both Oban and Durness Smoo Youth Hostels also made it onto the category shortlist. 

"Over the last year, it has been fantastic to see hostelling grow in popularity with occupancy rates ahead of pre-pandemic levels.  These awards are a fitting tribute to the dedication and hard work of the Youth Hostel teams across the whole network. It is the icing on the cake. 

 "We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to support their favourite hostels and hope to welcome you back this season.  Many congratulations to all TGO Awards finalists – you are all winners.”