Acheninver Hostel renovations
Acheninver Hostel is set in Coigach and has been an iconic part of the local landscape for a long time. It is a former 18th century croft house, owned by Scottish Wildlife Trust as part of Ben Mor Coigach Estate. The croft house became a Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) youth hostel in 1938 when hiking and hostelling were the new big thing. Since then, people of all ages have stayed there: walked The Rock (the Postie’s Path from Ullapool), climbed the local hills, enjoyed the scenery, and made friends. Many have returned and remember the hostel fondly as their introduction to the area. In 2015, after 77 year SYHA gave up their lease on the building.
When the hostel became vacant SWT decided to re-let it as a hostel and worked with Coigach Community Development Company to find a suitable tenant. Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC) was set up in 2010 to tackle some of the local challenges and to help create a sustainable future for the community. CCDC supports and promote any projects which it feels will benefit the community. The Scottish Wildlife Trust advertised the hostel for long term lease. Following a joint interview process by Scottish Wildlife Trust and CCDC, a local, young family was selected from nine applicants and took on the lease.
Acheninver Hostel is an iconic and historic building that was recorded in the 1875 Ordinance Survey. It is a traditional drystone lime mortar building providing sleeping accommodation for 25 people and is a highly valued asset for the Coigach community.
The hostel is leased by Scottish Wildlife Trust on a long term let for the purposes of providing affordable accommodation for visitors to the Coigach peninsula. As the building is an 18th century croft house it required upgrading and expansion to provide sufficient accommodation of a modern standard for todays’ visitor. Much of this work was done by the hostel tenant but a significant capital items that cannot be done in this way is lime mortar repointing repairs to external walls.
The exterior walls of the iconic building have now been restored using traditional techniques, removing cement patching and rendering with lime mortar, ensuring the Acheninver Croft House is now
watertight. The refurbishment of the kitchen and the replacement of the windows will encourage
visitors to stay and ensure the croft house is still in use and maintained for decades to come.