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Hostels in Fort William are a ticket to the mystical reaches of Glen Nevis – home to the highest peak in the United Kingdom – and the mountain-shrouded walks and lochs of the Great Glen Way. The town is now firmly established as one of the country's leading outdoorsy adventure centres, which is probably why you find so many country escapes with dormitory bunkbeds awaiting hikers fresh from the trails. The upshot is that even bargain stays in these parts enjoy sweeping Highland views and stunning loch-side locations. The cheap rates are made possible by stripped-down interiors, but there are a few extra features that mark out hostels in Fort William from the crowd – think cosy lounges with warm fires, shared kitchens for self-cooked haggis, and enchanting settings in old Scottish lodges.
At one end of the Great Glen Way and at the foot of cloud-splintering Ben Nevis, it should hardly come as a surprise that hostels in Fort William are rustic and country-orientated. You might find them housed in old cottages or farms, butting right up to the side of Loch Linnhe's sloshing waters or hidden between the fells of an ancient valley. The result is a set of accommodation options that's perfect for budding adventurers, putting trailheads and Munro peaks right on the doorstep. Couples after a little seclusion will find lots to like, too, especially in the hearty Scottish inns that offer private double rooms with panoramic views.But it's not all simple Highland retreats. There are some modern inns that channel an almost Alpine vibe with their timber-clad exteriors and airy interiors, along with traditional Victorian homes with grey-stone faces and ornate inlays. Because hostels in Fort William are such are favourite with the hiking crowd, you'll often be able to enlist help planning your next adventure in Glen Nevis and beyond from reception. And there's usually a mix of maps and walking guides available for use in the common spaces, not to mention kitchens or breakfast spreads so you can get started on the trails as early as you like.
It's no secret that most people flock to hostels in Fort William for the wild Scottish outdoors that surround them on all sides. Opting for a spot like Glen Nevis Youth Hostel means you certainly won't be disappointed if that's the reason you're coming. Simple dorms and twins there have garnered 5-star status, but it's the location that really tops the bill – right at the base of Ben Nevis peak itself, close to the end of the legendary West Highland Way. The upshot? Day-long pushes for the summit of the UK's tallest mountain are regularly on the menu for guests. If you'd prefer to be close to the pubs and outdoors shops of the town centre, the Cityheart Fort William is a good choice. From there, you can hop on the Jacobite Steam Train for romantic rides through the Scottish Highlands or plan adrenaline-pumping rafting and canyoning tours in the Great Glen.