In Praise of the Great British Bed and Breakfast

by admin on December 31, 2013

in Being British,UK Holidays

There can be few more legendary British institutions than the humble bed and breakfast hotel, or ‘B&B’ as it’s more commonly known. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, British B&Bs were a rich source of material for old-fashioned comedians who based their jokes around a mythical seaside B&B landlady who was invariably portrayed as a joyless old battle-axe, as demonstrated by this classic joke told by Chic Murray:

I knocked on the door at this Bed & Breakfast and a lady stuck her head out of the window and said: “What do you want”?
I said, “I want to stay here”.
She said, “Well stay there, then.” and shut the window.

Times really have changed. The vast majority of modern British Bed and Breakfasts is a far cry from the stereotypical hell-hole with hard beds, rising damp and inedible breakfasts so beloved of end-of-the-pier jokesters. For holidaymakers in the UK seeking a comfortable and budget-friendly alternative to a hotel, today’s B&B is a blessing. These privately-owned and often family-run guest houses offer all the comforts of home along with friendly, personal service, decent rooms and a good dollop of useful local knowledge which can be a boon if you’re visiting an area of Britain for the first time and want to know which are the best restaurants, attractions and places to visit nearby.

The other great benefit of choosing a British Bed and Breakfast hotel for your holiday accommodation is the abundance of choice available. No matter where you are in Britain you should have no difficulty in finding a great B&B. Of course, all of the UK’s best and most popular seaside resorts have plenty of B&Bs, but head inland and you’ll still have an overwhelming choice of Bed and Breakfast accommodation from the Highlands of Scotland to the Norfolk Broads.

The transformation of the Great British Bead and Breakfast hotel in recent years has seen a rise in the standards of every aspect of this popular holiday accommodation. Beautifully decorated en-suite rooms with all mod cons are now the exception rather than the rule, and whilst the hearty Full-English breakfast is still the mainstay and most popular option of morning repasts for the majority of B&B guests, most guest houses now offer a choice of breakfast fare that far surpasses the ‘take it or leave it’ fry-up of days gone by.

It’s no real surprise, then, that Britain can proudly boast a number of award-winning bed and breakfast hotels. Each year for the last two decades, the Automobile Association has held the prestigious AA Bed and Breakfast Awards, selecting only the B&B that they judge the very best in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to win this coveted prize, along with two additional categories for the ‘Funkiest Bed and Breakfast of the Year’ and the ‘Friendliest Bed and Breakfast of the Year’.

Whether your idea of a perfect holiday in the UK involves a stay in the countryside, at the seaside or even in the city, whether you’re looking for perfect relaxation or outdoor adventure, your perfect choice of bed and breakfast accommodation is just around the corner. Offering something to suit every taste and budget and suitable for singles, couples, families and even pets, the Great British B&B can be an excellent and cost-effective alternative to a traditional hotel at any time of year and will continue to be a much-loved British institution for many years to come.

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