I stayed in Helmsdale several times over a three week period as I traveled to Orkney, Latheron, and Thurso in the far north of Scotland in July 2006. The Helmsdale Hostel was by far the nicest place to stay in Helmsdale and the best hostel of the three I experienced in Scotland.
The hostel location is very convenient to the bus, train, walking destinations as well as the post office, library, grocery stores, and the Timespan Museum and Garden Cafe. The hostel is spacious, clean, well organized, and newly spiffed up with a large kitchen area, plenty of comforable chairs and a wood stove for those cool Scottish nights. The hostel owner, Irene, is friendly and welcoming. I'm hoping to visit again.