Properties sporting the B&B sign are a fixture in all UK tourist destinations, including out-of-the-way locations not served by chain hotels. A B&B stay is an opportunity to have the closest possible encounter with seaside, rural and urban life in Britain. B&Bs have been a key feature of British life for hundreds of years.
The concept of a reliable, comfortable place to stay with a hearty breakfast to ‘see you on your way’ has been part of the British Holiday experience for generations. From Enid Blyton’s Famous Five novels to various historical and contemporary TV and film dramas, B&Bs have an equally iconic place in the nation’s cultural life.
National B&B Day takes place on the eve of British Summer Time, as holidaymakers start to look ahead to the warmer weather and longer days. B&Bs across the UK will be running very special offers on the day, that range from lake cruises to pampering sessions to ‘flights’ on the newly installed viewing platform in Brighton. And all of them will be offering their traditional welcome to the thousands of guests going away this weekend.
In the last decade, the Bed and Breakfast sector, which collectively contributes £2BN to the British economy, has experienced a true renaissance. Forward booking data from more than 6,000 British B&Bs compiled by eviivo.com points to a 10% per cent increase in summer 2018 bookings versus 2017, a testimony to the flourishing trade in bespoke local accommodation. Better technology and online marketing platforms have enabled a sector previously dependent on text-heavy directories and word of mouth, to compete for bookings on a national and international scale.
B&Bs have reinvented themselves, bringing new levels of comfort, service and cuisine that regularly outscore larger establishments. The variety of experiences is immense. Competition is also intense, as entrepreneurial owner operators harness the power of new promotional techniques.
A national awards programme for B&Bs awarded its first prize this year to Abbots Grange in Broadway, The Cotswolds, which offers luxurious accommodation and a convenient helipad for commuters. TripAdvisor data shows that B&Bs score better on average than hotel chains, rating an 8 per cent premium on average, reflecting the care and attention that proud owners put into their offer to guests. Recently Edgar House in Chester won the TripAdvisor award for best B&B in the world.