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Backpacking in Scotland using Hostels
Scotland is in the north area of Great Britain and it is part of the joint territory known as United Kingdom. The population of Scotland was around 5,117,000 in 2006. Edinburgh is the capital of the country. However, the largest city of Scotland is Glasgow. The other major cities in Scotland are Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, and Stirling. All these cities have decent hostels for comfortable stay.
Scotland is a scenic country with high mountain tops like Mountain Hare, Ptarmigan, and Stoat having remnants of Scots Pine forests. Wildlife like Lynx, Brown Bear, Walrus, Seals, Elk, and Wolf had been hunted to near extinction in the last several centuries. However, they could be sighted in remote areas. Seabirds like Gannets are found nesting, along with the rare Scottish Crossbill. Red Squirrel, Pine Marten, Wildcat, and Capercaillie are also seen in Scotland. Staying in Scotland hostels is the best option to move around the country.
Scotland's culture is distinctive with a traditional background, enriched by modern influences. The world famous Scottish musical instrument, the Great Highland Bagpipe, is a symbol of the country's culture. The fiddle, accordion, and the harp known as clarsach are also typical Scottish musical instruments. Well known writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, etc. have emerged from Scotland. There are 14 universities in Scotland. The country is second to none in sports also. The Scottish Football Association is the second oldest in the world.
Edinburgh is the second largest city in Scotland. The setting of the city is quite rugged and the medieval architecture is further enhanced by the later Georgian architecture. This makes Edinburgh one of the most visited cities in Europe with nearly 1 million coming to Edinburgh every year. It is jokingly said that the annual Edinburgh Festival for 4 weeks in August attracts more visitors than the number of residents in the city.
The best place to stay in the city is one of the several Edinburgh hostels that are famous for their comfort and hospitality. The Budget Backpackers charges EUR 12.40 for a shared accommodation and EUR 20.29 for a private one. The High Street Hostel is still cheaper, EUR 9.02 only for a shared accommodation. This hostel claims that it is a historic hostel, dating back to 1564. There are several other typical Scotland hostels in Edinburgh in the EUR 10-15 range.
Glasgow was called the 'Second City of the British Empire' due to its Victorian era tradition. However, the industrial revolution had changed it to a pre-eminent engineering and shipbuilding center of the world. It is the largest city in Scotland, with an estimated population of more than 1,750,000 in the Greater Glasgow Urban Area in 2007. The historical and modern architecture of the city earned it the title 'UK City of Architecture & Design' in 1999, pushing Liverpool and Edinburgh to the back. Several arts organizations of Scotland are based here. Some of them are the Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Youth Theatre, and the National Theatre of Scotland.
One of the best Scotland hostels for budget travelers is the BlueSky Hostel. In its City Centre Hostel, dormitory beds cost 10 pounds, while twin rooms vary between 12.50 and 15 pounds. In the West End Hostel, charges are 13 pounds in an 8 bed room accommodation, while a stay in 4 bed room costs 15 pounds. If you wish to have privacy, a private double comes for 38 pounds. There are other similar Scotland hostels in Glasgow and in all other cities and towns of Scotland.