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Loch Ossian and Glencoe Youth Hostels, big winners in TGO Reader Awards 2024

Hostelling Scotland, a charity committed to providing exceptional service, expert local knowledge and a warm welcome to all those with an adventurous spirit wishing to explore and experience the real Scotland, is delighted to announce that Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, a traditional and homely eco-hostel, has won Hostel or Bunkhouse of the Year in The Great Outdoors Magazine Reader Awards 2024 (TGO Awards). Glencoe Youth Hostel received a Commendation, just missing out on the top spot. Both Oban and Durness Smoo Youth Hostels also made it onto the shortlist in the same category.

Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

The TGO Awards are a celebration of the best of outdoor culture. What makes these awards different – and gives extra kudos to the winners – is that it’s outdoor 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

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.  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!”

Receiving a Silver gong in the TGO Awards in 2021, Loch Ossian Youth Hostel sits on the southern shore of Loch Ossian and can only be accessed on foot or by bike from the nearby Corrour railway station (the highest mainline railway station in the UK). The traditional and homely eco-hostel (locally sourced hydro power complimenting the micro-generated solar power supply, composting toilets, a reed bed grey water drainage system, and even bat-friendly paint!) makes a perfect year-round escape for hillwalkers looking to explore the remote wilderness of Rannoch Moor. A special place for so many guests, it has plenty of low- and high-level walks to choose from, including a variety of Munros and Corbetts. Popular with cyclists, stargazers, wildlife watchers, groups, and families, it’s a great venue for a group getaway, or a peaceful ‘off the grid’ break.

Just missing out on the top spot, Glencoe Youth Hostel is set in one of Scotland’s most spectacular and historic glens. This 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. It has a cosy lounge, perfect to relax in and take in the amazing scenery. 

Glencoe Youth Hostel Glamping Pod

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’.  There is no need to leave your best friends at home when booking a trip to Glencoe.

Notes to Editors:

Hostelling Scotland and the TGO Awards – recent history

  • 2018: Glen Affric was a nominee (no award)
  • 2019: Achmelvich Beach won Silver
  • 2020: Torridon won Silver
  • 2021: Torridon won Gold and Loch Ossian won Silver
  • 2022: Cairngorm Lodge was commended
  • 2023:
  • 2024: Loch Ossian Winner with Glencoe narrowly missing out on the winning spot but winning a commendation

The format changed in 2022 – moving from Gold, Silver and Bronze to a single winner with two other nominees receiving commendations (for second and third in numbers of votes).

TGO Awards 2024

The Great Outdoors Reader Awards 2024 are the UK’s biggest democratic celebration of the best of outdoor culture. Twelve years ago, they launched their first annual awards and their readers have been championing the people, places and businesses that make our outdoor lives better ever since.

What makes these Reader Awards different – and gives extra kudos to the winners – is that the readers, the outdoor going public, decide the results. Only their nominees make it onto the shortlist, and only those who win most of their votes walk away with a top accolade.

In a slight change from previous years, the nominee with the most votes in each category will receive a Winner award, while the nominees with the second and third most votes will both receive a Commended accolade.

Hostelling Scotland

Since 1931 Hostelling Scotland has provided a warm welcome and affordable, comfortable, safe and quality-assured accommodation to their guests, offering a great base for individuals, families and groups looking to explore and enjoy all that Scotland has to offer. The charity prides itself on being the largest participant in the youth hostel market in Scotland.

A membership organisation with over 8,000 lifetime members, it has 29 youth hostels and 24 affiliate hostels.  In recent years the network has welcomed up to 380,000 guests annually with a turnover of £9M and an estimated annual contribution to the Scottish visitor economy of £25M. 

As a charity committed to ensuring that everyone can learn and experience what Scotland has to offer, Hostelling Scotland’s youth and community programmes are an important part of its ethos. Through these programmes, along with key strategic partnerships, they support a diverse range of groups, families and individuals, helping them explore Scotland and experience hostelling.

Following a strategic review of the organisation, early in 2018, the much-loved hostelling accommodation provider is now known as Hostelling Scotland. The new identity follows on from extensive marketing research and reflects the organisation’s commitment to understanding the needs of its members, guests and employees as the modern face of Scottish Hostelling.

Both the changes in trading name and logo highlight a commitment to ensuring Scotland’s leading hostelling organisation remains relevant in the modern context.

Useful links:

Hostelling Scotland website – https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk

Hostelling Scotland on X – https://twitter.com/hostellingscot

Hostelling Scotland on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/hostellingscotland

Hostelling Scotland on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hostellingscotland

Hostelling Scotland on You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/@syhahostelling/videos

Hostelling Scotland on TikTok –  https://www.tiktok.com/@hostellingscotland

Hostelling Scotland on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/hostellingscotland/

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