At Hostelling Scotland we believe in the importance of enabling all young people to learn about Scotland’s landscape and heritage in a memorable and engaging way. In order to achieve this we have created a number of youth programmes and funded opportunities at some of Scotland’s most iconic and stunning locations. 

SYHA School and Youth Groups

STE(A)M in the Outdoors

Outdoor learning is an ideal way to bring STE(A)M topics to life for children and young people. Based around themes such as renewable energy, engineering, art and design and construction, Hostelling Scotland can offer a range of flexible programmes in a residential setting covering core areas of the Curriculum for Excellence starting from P6 to level 4.

As part of our STE(A)M programmes we work in partnership with the Field Surveys Council, using their Opal Surveys as a learning tool. The surveys are designed to help young people learn more about the state of our environment and focus on topics such as; soil, air, water, biodiversity and climate. 

SYHA STEM in the Outdoors

Hostelling Scotland are also pleased to work in partnership with John Muir Trust. By spending time enjoying and getting to know a new wild place in Scotland, young people are able to contribute towards achieving a John Muir Award. We can support teachers with an adaptable programme suitable for each level using fully qualified external instructors, or the facilities for a self led programme.

Our STE(A)M in the Country and STE(A)M in the City programmes offer a low cost residential, teacher-led experience. Whether you are looking to provide a city based trip where young people can immerse themselves in culture and visit a wide range of museums and art galleries. Or if you want to give a group of young people their first experience of exploring a Scottish National Park, our specifically created programmes can help you achieve this. 

Interested in learning outside the classroom? Have a look at our STEM Itineraries and Curriculum Benefits (pdf).

Brilliant Residentials

We are a proud member of the Learning Away Consortium - a consortium of 16 third sector, public and private organisations working with children and young people, teachers, leaders and parents to enrich young lives through school residential learning experiences. The consortium – both as individual organisations and collectively – are working for equal access to the life-changing impact residential learning experiences can have on young people. This involves: 

  • Disseminating the findings of the Learning Away action research on the impacts of residentials on resilience, wellbeing, achievement, relationships and engagement in learning to enable schools to make the case for investing in affordable and inclusive residential programmes for all pupils
  • Supporting schools to overcome the funding challenges including promoting low cost models;
  • Supporting schools to improve the quality and therefore impact of their residentials, ensuring a greater return on investment.

Brilliant ResidentialsLearning Away

Affordable Residential Adventures

It is widely recognised that young people benefit from outdoor residential experiences. Residential visits help young people develop their social and decision-making skills by giving them opportunities to live more independently alongside others, learn new social skills, make decisions and share their free time.

The residential experiences incorporate many areas of the Curriculum for Excellence, encourage the development of transdisciplinary skills and supports teachers to bridge the attainment gap.

We also work with our partners Grounds for Learning to ensure that young people have the opportunity to learn through Scottish landscapes, connect with nature and become more active, all while having fun.

To download a copy of our School Trips Brochure, please click the image below:

Curriculum for Excellence

All children and young people in Scotland are now expected to regularly access their learning through experience of the outdoors. Curriculum for Excellence indicates that outdoor learning experiences are best delivered through a combination of school-based outdoor learning and residential programmes.

Spending time away from home gives children and young people opportunities to develop:

 SYHA School Groups

Funded opportunities

Hostelling Scotland Explorer Fund

The Hostelling Scotland Explorer Fund offer a part funding opportunity towards school and youth groups staying at any Hostelling Scotland location. Many young people have never had the opportunity to explore Scotland, never leaving the area that they call home; we want to help by offering an opportunity to do so.

Teachers and youth group leaders have seen a real, long term benefit to their young people taking part in a Hostelling Scotland Youth Programme, find out more here.

What we offer

Support for Leaders

Having worked with schools and youth groups for decades, Hostelling Scotland has a wealth of experience when it comes to understanding the needs of groups of youngsters - who may be away from home for the first time - and how best to support leaders.

Accommodation and Catering Packages

Hostelling Scotland can offer accommodation and catering packages. Please contact us for further details.

Quality Assured

All Hostelling Scotland activity partners are licensed by the Government's national Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), a mark of assurance that all safety precautions and measures are in place to ensure maximum safety and security for the group. Our youth hostels are externally risk-assessed to current legal and best practice standards and graded by VisitScotland, so guests can be assured of good quality accommodation and service upon arrival.

Contact our reservations team for more information or advice on 0345 293 7373 (Costs of calling an 0345 number will vary depending on your provider) or email