Advantages: This website is straightforward and east to navigate
Disadvantages: None - it is a genuinely good website
As soon as you hit this site it is clear that they want to get down to business. Not a bad thing. The Youth Hostels Associations in Britain (SYHA and YHA) have been moving away from their initial aims over the years and they need you.
You are confronted with a flash player intro to one side of the screen and a mini booking form on the other. Other items on the page are general news and events blocks
The main menu items are:
Groups & Schools
******* Hostels *******
This is essentially a list of the avaialble hostels throughout Scotland, with links to each one giving more detail about a particular hostel, its surroudnings and other info.
******* Holiday Ideas *******
Wow! this page looks simple as it is essentially a load of links to other areas of the sit, but brilliant info to be had including:
Active & Adventure
Wildlife & Marine
Cairngorm Winter Skills
Torridon Winter Skills
Adult Introduction to Bushcraft
Essential Scotland Tour
Cairngorm Canoe Weekend
Cairngorm Wet n' Wild
Cairngorm Mountain Biking
Group Adventure Breaks (on request)
Torridon Mountain Taster Weekend
West Highland Way
Nordic Walking Weekend
Kintail and Affric Ridges
Silver National Navigation Award
Bronze National Navigation Award
******* Groups & Schools *******
This section of the website leads to further information on the SYHA's involvement with groups and schools, such as the Give Us a Break project which provides funds for disadvantaged young people tot take part in a various activities. There is also info on how SYHA can cater for groups and schools and a link to a page about the food side of things
******* Rentahostel *******
Yes, you and your buddies can rent a whole hostel to yourselves (on the less busy times of the year), this tells you how to go about it. You can even rent a castle!
******* Membership *******
This page and its links, tells you what membership offers, its benefits, the discounts you will receive and even how you can support a charity.
******* News *******
Obviously this page is ever changing, As well as news, there are a list of events.
******* About Us *******
This is quite a lengthy page, and although it may not be too important to is who are just looking for somewhere to stay, potential die hard hostellers will be interested ti find out about the history of the SYHA. There is also a job vacancies page. When I first encountered this website a while ago, it was teeming with jobs - there are only three available at the moment.
This is a cracking website, which I used to book a holiday last year. It is straightforward.
Obviously the appeal of Scotland is its romance and history - its beautiful landscape and interesting weather are also a given. This website puts all that across whilst being at a total tangent to the shortbread tin and kilted piper vision of Scotland. This website puts across a modern, progressive Scotland as a place to enjoy your leisure time.
Summary: Hassle free way to find about a variety of destinations and book a complete itinery.