Kirkwall Youth Hostel





(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Kirkwall Youth Hostel" at Old Scapa Road.)


Old Scapa Road, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
58.975023, -2.968833 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+44 (0)870 0041133
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(117 ratings)
(24 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
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HI Hostels
(12 ratings)
83% Guest Reviews

HI - Kirkwall Youth Hostel has been converted into a large hostel with a scenic view. Located at the edge of town, it is hard to find but is very quiet and peaceful. It is a pleasant retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. The Location Expect to get lost on your way to the hostel, especially if you're arriving at 11 p.m. on the ferry. If you are arriving by ferry, take the bus into town, and when you're dropped off, head in the same direction as the bus is going. You will come to a T-junction with a Lidl and Tesco (the Tesco is open until midnight, by the way); here, take a left. You will intersect with Junction Road, onto which you take a right. Your next turn will be a right, but beware -- the map marks it as High Street, while the street sign says Wellington Street. Continue along this road until you see the houses disappear ahead of you, replaced by fields. The hostel, marked with a sign, will be down a gravel road on your left. This road gets pitch black at night and is spotted with puddles, so expect to get your feet wet. You'll come to an open lot; the door to Reception is on your far left. Make sure you call ahead because it normally closes at 10 p.m. and only stays open until midnight on request. Rooms and Bathrooms The hostel has small and cozy rooms, sleeping no more than four. They are gender-segregated. Though the ambiance is quiet, it is advisable that you wear earplugs because you can hear everything from the halls in the morning (doors, conversation, footsteps). Beds are to be vacated by 9, rooms by 9:30, and the hostel by 10, but these rules don't seem to be strictly enforced. This hostel provides a free towel. The bathrooms are clean. There is no separate changing area by the showers, but there is a chair outside the curtain to set your towel and clothes. If you are the first to shower in the morning, give the water five minutes to warm up because the boiler cools down over night. Common Spaces The main common space is the dining area, which has many tables and chairs for eating plus a couch area with brochures. It is very relaxing! The kitchen is well equipped. Though there is no breakfast served, there is food for purchase at reception. There is a drying room available, and left luggage is free. Summary SYHA-Kirkwall is the ideal setting for taking it easy. Enjoy the chirp of birds and baa of lambs and sleep well!
Anna Dourgarian
Fairly good with one significant criticism
The hostel building and its immediate environs are not welcoming from the outside but inside it is a generally well presented building with more than adequate kitchen/dining facilities. We were allowed to stay indoor on one very terrible day, they were helpful to hostelers. Then one significant criticism is the way they allocate beds on nights the hostel is quiet. There were many empty rooms yet some people were expected to sleep on top bunks. The main reason for using a hostel is to sleep and get a good nights rest. Admittedly ferry arrival times can create problems, if possible these should be put in separate rooms. The usual mixture of character, some very interesting one or two slightly boring. The system does not allow giving three-and-a-half stars, as that is what I would rate.
Wonderful rural retreat
Before all the praise I feel obliged to mention that this hostel is about fifteen to twenty minutes (uphill) from the town centre and the bus station. I have been so cruel as to deduct half a star for that reason. That being said, this is a wonderful place to get away from it all. I had a single en-suite room, which surprisingly did not have a shower, but merely a toilet and sink. But I really enjoyed waking up in the morning and opening the curtains to look out at the cows, who would stare back dumbly. The hostel is well located for walking tours and, even more so, bicycle routes. You are close to the beaches on both sides of the island. I found the staff very friendly and with a delightful sarcastic humour. You can expect the staff to wait for you if you arrive on the ferry late at night. That is after all part of their livelihood. Best to remind them about the time you're coming though, just in case. You might even get them to pick you up for a fiver? The guy on duty the day I left, I think his name was Gary, let me hang around the hostel all day and night on the day I was leaving, and then drove me and another guy to the ferry terminal. I don't remember giving him a tip and I felt badly for it. He was just wonderful and the cleaning lady was very conscientious.

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