Subject: Re: PNW Hosteling

Hostels in Scotland are incredible, ranging from castles (Carbisdale) to black houses (Garenin &Berneray). Website: Mrs Maclean, on the Isle of Barra, is working on the addition of another rustic hostel to the SYHA, a converted chapel on her farm. When I was there last, it was still in the talking stages &, because like so many other parts of the tourist industry, hosteling is suffering the economic woes of the decline in tourism, it may be a while before this fantastic setting can be available for travelers.

The black houses are the old crofters' cottages you see all over the highlands, with thick stone walls &thatch roofs. I stumbled on the one at Berneray quite by accident &fell in love with the views, the islands, the sea, &the sense of history. I suspect in season it's much more crowded, but my favorite time for the Outer Hebrides is late March/early April, when only hardy fools are rambling around.

I did a travelogue on my trip to the Outer Hebrides with my sisters:

Regards, Gail