green holidays made easier
Loch Ossian is a refurbished eco hostel on Rannoch Moor in the Highlands. A former boathouse, it has been run by the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) since 1931 providing walkers, ramblers and nature-lovers with comfortable yet basic accommodation.
It is the hub of many walking routes and has for years served as a base for Munro-baggers – fanatical hill walkers dedicated to reaching, and “bagging”, the summits of all the Munros, the name by which Scotland's highest mountains are known.
There are 20 beds in two dorms for 8 and 12 people. The hostel is entirely self catering and there is a fully equipped kitchen but it is essential to bring supplies as the nearest shops are at Fort William 30 miles away.
The hostel can only be reached on foot. Corrour Station - Britain's most isolated train station – on the Glasgow-Fort William train line - is one mile away.
SYHA believes Loch Ossian’s refurbishment transformed it into one of the most eco-friendly places to stay in the UK. Care was taken to retain the building’s original characteristics, right down to the original colour of stain on the outside walls and using "bat-friendly" water based timber primer and paint to help the protected bat colony that roosts in the attic.
Power is provided by a wind turbine. A multi-fuel stove provides heat and hot water for washing and heating. The windows are recycled floated glass.
Loch water is recycled through a system of reed beds and there is a dry toilet system which requires no flushing and produces composted material. Any liquid is evaporated using a photovoltaic solar-powered fan. Food waste is also composted.
Being car free and accessible only by foot boosts Loch Ossian’s green credentials and it has received the Gold Award under the Green Tourism Business Scheme.