Seven Super Reasons to stay in a Bed and Breakfast

posted in: Blog, UK | 56
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Outside Becketts B&B

Travelling with children can be expensive and tricky. And depending on the ages of the kids, certain issues – babysitting, cots, large rooms, breakfast times which start early – can become surprisingly important.

But if you are looking for something a little different, and possibly, even a little bit cheaper than a hotel, we would recommend a Bed and Breakfast (or B&B).

We have always been fans of B&Bs even before we had children. When we holidayed regularly in America, we used our travel books (this was pre-internet) to search out recommended B&Bs, and hoped for friendly, informed hosts and delicious breakfast treats. We always got these and for far cheaper than a hotel. In fact, I still remember staying in a wonderful B&B in Newport Rhode Island which also served fresh cookies and sherry for tea every afternoon (all included in the price of course).

B&Bs faded away slightly once we had young children, not least because you become extremely conscious of noise when you are staying in someone’s house! However, it was also because of course it meant that you had to go out to eat for supper, which was not always suitable with youngsters. Now the children are 12 and 9 (today – happy birthday Robert!) we love them again. In fact we have loved them again for quite some years. Let me tell you why.

1) The personal touch
Most B&B owners aren’t part of a bigger corporation or chain – they do it to earn money and because they enjoy it. This means they really care about their guests’ experience, from the breakfast (more on that below) to ensuring that that any information given is up to date and helpful. They rely on good reviews and word of mouth to survive.

2) A delicious breakfast
Hotel breakfasts can be delicious, but are often extremely expensive. At a B&B they are, of course, included, and cooked to order. You will often find all kinds of tempting goodies on offer, including homemade granola or bread, home-grown fruit salad, or delicious freshly poached eggs and sausages. You will rarely go away hungry and the service, because it’s not for hundreds of guests, is good.

3) Value
Bed and Breakfasts are nearly always good value – though that doesn’t mean they are cheap. Always ring up to find out about the latest offers, and note that not only is breakfast included, with parking often is too.

4) Charm and originality
A Bed and Breakfast is not usually a purpose-built building. Instead you may be staying in anything from a converted barn to an historic manor house(even a castle) or semi-detached home!

5) The opportunity to live like a local
Wherever you go, if you stay in a B&B, you are staying in somebody’s home. What better way to find out what it’s really like to be in that city – to discover local customs and the best local places to eat.

6) An intimate experience
You won’t be sharing your stopover with hundreds of others, which can make it particularly special (and, if you leave the kids at home, even romantic).

7) Options
You might be surprised to find that unlike many hotels, lots of B&Bs have interconnecting rooms for families (read more to find out why I love these types of room). If they don’t offer this, then they may have huge family rooms, which are often far more appealing or better suited to the kids than a hotel.

We search for B&Bs whenever we are travelling in the UK and have been extremely lucky with rooms and food (we always warn that we don’t eat meat and often arrive to find delicious veggie sausages on offer). We do check tripadvisor for reviews (although that’s a dangerous road to travel as someone will always find something negative to say!) and are very rarely disappointed. I can only remember one time in Banbury when the family room was so tiny we were nearly on top of each other as we slept.

That’s not to say that B&Bs are for everyone, especially if you are not one for chatting (the flipside of the personal touch) and don’t want to share your breakfast table with other guests. In other words, if you are a tad anti-social…

The children’s room

Always ring up to find out about prices, rooms and offers. When we went to Kent a few weeks ago, we stayed in a lovely B&B called Becketts in Edenbridge, near Hever Castle. It was particularly exciting for us as the children stayed in a (gorgeous) room which was entirely separate from ours. We felt properly grown-up (and so did they).

Becketts was particularly lovely because, as a converted 300 year old barn, it was genuinely full of character. Our room even had a four poster bed! We also all enjoyed a truly delicious breakfast (toast, poached egg, tomatoes and veggie sausages for us, juice, cereal, toast, mushrooms and more for the kids).

Our four poster bed!
Jess and Rob on the couch in their room

The children’s room (which is called the garden twin) is also able to have an an extra temporary bed or cot and prices vary between £85 – £100 for two people depending on midweek/weekend and length of stay.

Read our posts:

In praise of interconnecting rooms

A visit to Hever Castle (just 5 minutes from our B&B!)

You can find out more about Kent from the Visit Kent website.

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56 Responses

  1. Actually Mummy...

    I agree, B&B’s are often much more authentic and personal, and give you a much better perspective on a trip than a more generic hotel. We found an amazing place on Exmoor once (and I can’t for the life of me remember the name right now, but I’ll look it up and try and let you know).

  2. A Modern Mother

    I think research is key for B&Bs. You can luck out with a winner, but it can be a real bummer too if you don’t chose well. Though that applies for hotels with lower star ratings too. x

  3. Mandy

    I usually don’t stay at B&Bs, but I’m excited to try them more in the future! Thanks for writing this about them, it’s inspired me to make it happen soon.

  4. Mummy of Two

    We love b&bs and have stayed in quite a few especially before we had children. In fact we honeymooned in one in Bath! Becketts looks lovely and very child friendly.

    • Sarah Ebner

      We love Bath! Went there last summer. We stayed in a B&B in Bristol in fact (with interconnecting rooms – though you wouldn’t need those on honeymoon!)

    • Sarah Ebner

      I wouldn’t stay in one with a shared loo or bathroom! I hope that doesn’t sound bad! You just need to check in advance

  5. Vikki Holness

    Great post, B&B’s are definitely more homely and personal than a hotel. More often than not they do nicer breakfasts too lol xxx

  6. Damson Lane

    We used to use B&Bs all the time before kids but now that we have a little one they are not very practical.It is good to know that in a few years time we might be able to pick up our B&B travelling again.

  7. Hannah

    Oh god I love B&Bs! I usually stay in hostels while travelling but stop every couple week for a little break. Nothing like those home made breakfasts after weeks of boring toast and cereal! Especially the banana fritters I had in Killarney, Ireland…drool.

  8. lisa prince

    I so want to get out and b and b would be ideal right now i just need a good night sleep and peace and quiet to myself x

  9. Lori Taylor Arnold

    I haven’t stayed in a B&B for years now, in fact since I was little in France but I think I might reconsider now. it looks like such a great stay and the personal touch really does make a difference. x

  10. Elena Sonnino

    We love staying in B&Bs when traveling for the charm and personal touch. Our favorite is L’Auberge Provencale in Virginia- beautiful rooms and the breakfast is extraordinary.

    • Sarah Ebner

      Oh, that makes me want to go to Virginia even more than I did before. You had me at extraordinary breakfast!!

  11. Agata Pokutycka

    We are planning a trip to Scotland in the end of the month and hope to stay in some local B&B, they are so much better that a chain hotels

    • Sarah Ebner

      Yes, I think you will have such a lovely time if you do this. Research it beforehand and hope you find some gems!

  12. Amalia Maloney

    Great post Sarah! I really love how you travel with your kids and family and the style you enjoy that experiences the local culture. I look forward to staying in touch! Thanks for liking and commenting recently on my post about my fave B&B in Italy 🙂

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