Things that make me happy in the Outer Hebrides

Heidi Dore has written about Gatliff Hostels in her article Things that make me happy in the Outer Hebrides.

When you’ve had your fill of emptiness, head to the friendly charity-run hostels in stunning locations on Harris, Berneray or Uist for the solace of company. They are based in charming traditional buildings and are run with a generous, open-minded, easy going ethos — offering shelter at all hours. There are few pubs or evening activities on the islands, so they fulfil an important social function for Hebrideans and travellers alike, attracting people from all walks of life and ages. A welcoming open fire, no phone signal or WiFi, and accommodation which obliges you to sit round a table with strangers, fosters a special ambiance. You may find yourself swept up in the birthday celebrations of girls from Barra, a boozy night out for fishermen from Stornoway or an art class from Lochboisedale. The place attracts extraordinary characters, and, you’ll be guaranteed soulful conversations and whisky filled hilarity. Few things can beat listening to the howling wind from within.