Okay, here's the scoop. If you want cheap, stay in a hostel. If you want sleep, stay in a B&B.
I mistakenly thought that since we were visiting the UK in October the hostel scene would be quiet. Wrong. Maybe it was noisy because of thirty rowdy French men gathering together for the Soccer World Cup contest between England and South Africa, maybe it was noisy because of a school holiday, maybe it was noisy because of that reunion of Australian guys. All I know, it was noisy!!!!
All I know is that doors slammed 50 times a minute. Drunk men relieved themselves in the female bathroom showers, and what sounded like hundreds of seventh graders screamed and giggled up and down the halls. There hasn't been a sleeping pill made that could drown out all that noise. Besides, sleeping pills and coed dorms in hostels are probably not a good idea!
On the positive side, I never felt unsafe. The rooms and beds were clean and the staff was friendly and helpful.
All that said, I recommend staying in a B&B if at all possible. However, If you decide to stay in a hostel, here are a few tips:
*Of all the hostels we stayed in I recommend the Globetrotter Inns. The beds were comfortable and had curtains you could close for privacy. There was also a reading light. They use a cashless system which was nice. You put your money in a machine and stick in a card they provide and it "loads" the amount on your card which you swipe for each transaction. We stayed in the Globetrotter Inn at Edinburgh. It was situated on the Firth of Fourth. Beautiful. There were wonderful walking trails, a quaint little town close by with a delightful pub. If you want to go into city centre, there is a shuttle. They also had a 24 hr. bar. Which the Australian fellows enjoyed until the wee hours of the morning, and the rest of us were ready to stuff socks in their mouths! Which brings me to my second tip:
*Do not get a room close to the bathrooms! Or under stairs.
*It is worth the money and your sanity to get a double room far away from the main floor, or a room that sleeps four, max. Be careful though. For what you pay for a double room in a hostel, you may be able to stay at a B&B.
*I took locks and a sleep sack (full sheet, folded in half and sewed up one side) I didn't need them. Globetrotter had lockers in the rooms and provided the key. All the hostels provided clean sheets and duvet covers.
*My flashlight was a great idea!
*When you first arrive pay for only one night. Most do not give refunds. We payed for two at the Edinburgh Backpackers Hostel. Our first night was horrid! That's were the drunk French men made the female showers their urinals. Because of how the hostel is built, noise echoes up the stairwell that spirals to the top floor, reverberating in every room. After a night of doors slamming I wanted to move to another hostel, but we were stuck. Arrrrrgh!
All in all, I'm glad for the experience of hostels. And I as I mentioned earlier, I would stay in the Globetrotter Inns again. However, as far as all the other hostels go, I will leave the adolescents and twenty-somethings who are nocturnal by nature.
I have to have my beauty rest!