“ Address: Main Street / Port Charlotte / Isle Of Islay / PA48 7TX / Scotland „
Well I have not been youth hosteling since I was at school. When a friend suggested going to Islay for a few days and staying in the youth hostel I was horrified.BUT my kids wanted to go and I was on a strict budget for any kind of holiday this year. What can I say? I have been convinced beyond all doubt that youth hosteling is the way forward.
We booked a family room for four. THere were bunk beds and 2 single beds in it. The room was spotless clean and so was the linen. THe man and woman who ran the youth hostel were fabulous and were so friendly. They provided us with lots of information on local sightseeing and explained some of the local traditions i.e. waving at everyone who passed you in their car ( this was a particular favourite of mine). I told my children that I would be taking that back to the mainland with me and they were horrified. THey had lots of patience with the children and at no time did I feel that I had to tell the kids to be quiet etc as they were accepted as they were. THey are not overly wild children but can be boisterous. All the guests spoke to the children and and at no time did I feel that it was an unsafe environment for them.
THe setting of the youth hostel was also fabulous. It is set in the middle of POrt Charlotte. It is in an old building and is on the upstairs level of the building so perhaps no good for disabled people. On the lower level there is a small shop that sells wildlife bits and pieces that the kids bought in copious amounts. THere is a small information area about the local birdlife and a science area for the children to do 'stuff' that keeps them amused for a couple of hours, great for a wet day. THere is a small beach area at the rear of the hostel for sunnier days.
The hostel was really well equipped and had absolutely everything we could need. THey had all the kitchen implements one would require. THey had a nice television lounge and it had a computer and loads of board games and jigsaws to keep the kids amused. I would have no hesitation about going back there or back to Islay as it really is a beautiful place to visit. So nice in fact that I was checking the house prices on my return. The whole youth hostel experience was fabulous and we got to meet and chat to people from all backgrounds and from many countries. It was an education for us all and a fabulous place to stay.