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Fort William Backpackers

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Hostelz.com's Review
Choose the Fort William Backpackers if you want a classic bustling and lively backpacker hostel in the western Scottish Highlands.

The Location

Fort William Backpackers is about as close to the train station as you're likely to get. As such it is also close to two large supermarkets that are conveniently located next to the train station -- handy for supplies. You can be at the train station in five or ten minutes, and the town centre another five minutes or so after this.

Rooms and Bathrooms

This is a reasonably small hostel but it is packed to the rafters. There are more dorm rooms than you would have believed possible from looking at the size of the building and the place is often fully booked -- predominantly due to the low bed cost and the fact that Fort William is the most popular base for those visiting the Nevis range.

The dorms themselves also have as many beds as it is possible to squeeze in them. They are comfortable, if small (it's more akin to sleeping on a shelf than in a bed), and the linen is included in the bed price. Showers, however, are in short supply and it is important that you budget your time for a bit of a wait in the morning or evening if you're running to a schedule. The showers are also unisex, which some people might not be comfortable with.

Common Spaces

There are the usual common spaces -- kitchen, dining room (although, again, not adequately large for the volume of guests), computer area (although they also have Wi-Fi if you've brought your own laptop), and a common room that is usually too full to find much of a space in. After 10:30 p.m. is quiet time, which is considerate for those with early hikes or onward travel -- and most guests usually obey it. It's a good hostel for meeting people due to the number of them passing through and there's a friendly though not overly noisy atmosphere about the place.

Summary

Overall, this is a good place to stay in Fort William, even if it's often rather busy (and as such it is advisable to book ahead -- especially in the summer).

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
August 2009

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Fort William Backpackers rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
86%
83%
95%
90%
90%
81%
Hostels.com  
89%
86%
93%
93%
90%
86%
HostelBookers  
90%
86%
96%
92%
92%
88%
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
88%
85%
95%
92%
91%
85%
Fort William Backpackers Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5  Very nice staff, great place to meet people. Cozy and clean. Breakfast is great value for money and tea, hot chocolate and coffee are free.  , Germany ()
4   Nice Place Stayed at this place for just one night, they guy that runs it was very helpful and a really nice guy. The hostel is really just a big house so really easy to meet others staying there. Showers and toilets were fine and rooms were really clean.  , Australian ()
5  MacBackpackers hostel equals excellent time. A small hostel run by very friendly people. It does seem to centre around the under-thirty crowd, but older people are welcome to stay there. It's a laid back hostel with a good attitude. The hostel was clean, the rooms were nice (single sex dorms) and small enough that you don't feel impersonal (six-bed dorms). The kitchen and lounge were great, cheap breakfast available. The kitchen lockout is not usually a problem (but I'm fairly sure that if you explained that you had to use it in the early morning they would not have a problem). Very helpful staff, there is plenty of information on things to do in the area (climb Ben Nevis). The bathrooms are excellent, and the showers were the closest thing to a shower at home that I was able to get while staying in hostels. I cannot recommend this hostel enough.  ()
4  Actually I would give this hostel a 5 star rating, but they messed up with my booking for the second night, so we had to leave, which was not very nice!! The hostel is very cozy and has a laid-back atmosphere. In the evening everyone was sitting in the lounge, playing cards or chess, reading, talking or knitting. The kitchen is a little bit small, but well equipped. All in all, it's a cool hostel!  ()
4  The staff was really helpful and friendly. The only thing I didn't like was their rule where you couldn't use the kitchen before 7am. I decided to climb Fort William at 5am (my train left at noon), and had I not broken that rule, I would have never made it on an empty stomach. Who could it possibly bother? The bedrooms are pretty far away from the kitchen.  ()
5  Excellent! Excellent! This place is cleaner than a 5-star hotel, and the staff are just fabulous! They are cool people, and are always helpful. The hostel is very close to the train and bus station, just above downtown Fort William. It would be nice if people didn't smoke in the lounge, mostly because the guests are supposed to be sporting people, like climbers!!! Anyway, I highly recommend this place; I've been here twice already.  ()
4  Top place. I stayed here in September 2003. Great friendly place, more so than YHAs. It's laid back, but still clean and well run. More fun than I've had in a long time!  ()

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