The UK Bed & Breakfast Guide:
Although outnumbered by hotels nationwide, B&B’s are still a staple of the British holiday industry, and thousands are in business across the country. Bed and Breakfast establishments do exactly what they claim to; they provide a bedroom for the guest and then breakfast in the morning – although they usually offer drinks throughout the day, they generally won’t prepare food for lunch or evening meals.
A typical B&B in the UK is an private lodging, with no more than ten rooms of varying sizes and have been popular with the holiday going public for decades, with the traditional price of a nights stay coming to 2 shillings and 6 pence, or ‘2 and 6’. In most places, the owners are present and part of the team, cleaning the rooms and perhaps serving the breakfast, they’re very much a friendly, family affair most of the time. Where some people prefer the anonymity of a hotel chain, parents and kids are much more likely to feel at home in a house with people who live there and know the area.
B&B’s have historically been referred to as the ‘budget’ destination for working class families who can’t afford to go abroad, but there’s no need for this to reflect on service or quality. A lot of guests find that they pay less than average prices, but have an above average experience from the personal touch they get. B&B owners are more likely to take special interest in all the areas of their business, to make guests feel comfortable and to provide a high level of service.
Rooms in B&B’s are placed in three different categories; Deluxe – a high standard of bedroom available in up-market guest houses, it comes with additional furniture and other amenities, En-Suite – a room with a private bathroom attached, Standard – a room which shares a bathroom with others on the floor, although they tend to have their own wash basin in the room itself. Prices vary depending on location and rating, but guests can usually expect to pay considerably less than fixed price chains, and children are even cheaper to keep in some areas.
A high concentration of guest houses like this can usually be found along the coast and in seaside towns, where people may be travelling with children or in larger family groups that would be split up in a hotel. Admittedly, the B&B market has suffered over the past few years with the introduction of budget hotel chains, but areas that are catering more for the holiday market rather than the business end are still up and running. Also, there’s sometimes no room to build a huge hotel, and it’s not always welcome among visitors and locals alike. The image of a family excursion to the beach, centred around a quaint little B&B that makes good home-cooked meals, is still strong in the minds of many people living in the UK, and with the cost of living ever-increasing, there’s nothing wrong with saving money whilst experiencing a little of the local hospitality.