6 Great Reasons to Book a B&B This Year

Hotels are great. Staying in a hotel suits many people, especially business travellers, because you can book somewhere like the IHG Birmingham and enjoy plenty of facilities. However, if you are bored of hotels and you would like to try something a bit different, you need to look at an alternative type of accommodation: a traditional B&B.

B&Bs are available pretty much anywhere. Virtually every town and city in the UK has a host of B&Bs to choose from. You can book them direct, or make a booking through one of the big accommodation websites. For short or long stays, a B&B is a great choice for travellers, but if you are still unconvinced and think a hotel is a better bet, here are six great reasons why B&Bs rock.

Value for Money

B&Bs are excellent value for money. It might be cheaper to book a room in a budget hotel, but you really do get what you pay for. Most hotels charge extra for literally everything, from parking and breakfast to movies and Wi-Fi. If you book a stay in a B&B, you can expect most things to be free, including parking, Wi-Fi and a full English breakfast.

Unique and Quirky

Hotel chains are fairly generic. You can mix and match rooms and they all look the same. B&Bs are all unique. Even individual rooms in the same establishment will be different. Some even offer themed rooms or wacky types of accommodation such as treehouses or yurts. This makes every trip you take interesting – and a lot more fun.

Home from Home

Staying in a B&B is like staying at home, only better. Most B&B owners go the extra mile to make you feel welcome when you stay in their home. Some offer their guests free glasses of wine and freshly baked cakes upon arrival. Since you are staying in their home, it will feel a lot more welcoming than a bland hotel room.

The Personal Touch

B&B accommodation is far more than just a room. Your host is there to make your stay special, so if you have a dietary requirement or you want an extra blanket on the bed, all you have to do is ask.

Local Knowledge

There is a lot to be said for local knowledge. Instead being shown a rack of old tourist leaflets, you can get the information you need straight from the horse’s mouth. B&B hosts are locals, so they know the local area like the back of their hand. If you want to know where the best pub is or which attraction is great for kids, all you have to do is ask.

Home Cooking

Nothing beats home cooking just like mum used to make. Staying in a B&B means you have your very own personal chef frying bacon in the morning and serving you eggs just the way you like them.

A B&B is the smart choice for travellers who want to enjoy great accommodation at a sensible price. So why not give it a B&B a try the next time you go exploring.


Read more >

Easy And Affordable Ways To Add Some Luxury To Your Accommodation Décor

After giving your guests a warm and genuine welcome to your accommodation, the next most important factor for their comfort and enjoyment is how your premises look and, crucially, the décor in the bedroom.

It’s easy to get it wrong by doing very little for years, thinking that you’re saving money but keeping things clean. The trouble is that you’re probably losing money if people who visit think your accommodation looks rather tired. They may not come back and also may be unlikely to recommend it to friends or family.

It’s actually easy to keep your accommodation looking and feeling fresh and modern without having to spend a fortune. It’s one of the reasons that you can encourage repeat visitors, and makeovers give you the chance to refresh what you have and make your guests really comfortable.

Making the changes

First, you need to look at every aspect of your accommodation. A dated breakfast room, for example, can simply be updated with some bright new furniture, newly painted walls and, instead of a carpet that picks up all the crumbs, an attractive wooden floor that’s easy to keep clean. Your crockery and utensils should be contemporary too. Put some pictures on your walls. You may have a theme. Landscapes are both attractive and soothing, but if you want something a little more “in your face”, look at framed photographs or some contemporary art. You could offer a selection of magazines for people to peruse as your guests are sure to want to catch up with all of the celebrity news whilst relaxing at your accommodation.

The entrance

First impressions are so important. When a guest arrives, they are unlikely to want a reception place that feels cluttered with furniture or other fittings. A cool, clear open space with chairs or tables judiciously placed are more likely to create the atmosphere that will encourage newly-arrived visitors to relax and look forward to their stay.

To the rooms

Returning to first impressions, the bedroom is usually where a visitor will make an immediate value judgement. Naturally, it has to be clean, but in terms of the décor, what is the room saying? Bedrooms differ in shapes and sizes, but you want people to feel they are in a home away from home. Smaller rooms need not feel cluttered with furniture. Provide the essentials, such as bedside tables and a work desk. If you have a larger space, then a table and chairs will be appreciated for those who would like to have a meal in their room. Keep the paintwork looking good, and always check the carpets – they get a lot of wear, and if they become stained, then guests will notice. Think again about wooden floors with rugs as these can be easier to maintain.

Light in the bedroom is also an important consideration. Curtains are the norm, but think about using affordable shutters. These wooden window guards can let in as much light as you want with manoeuvrable louvres, or can shut it out altogether.

Luxury touches

You can make your accommodation look good and feel good by taking the time to look at what you have and renew it. It won’t cost a fortune, but it will encourage your guests to return again and again.


Read more >

The Beginner’s Guide to Travelling Across the Scottish Highlands

With its stunning scenery and winding country roads, a road trip through the Highlands of Scotland is definitely an experience not to be missed. With the roads winding endlessly into the mist descending from the towering peaks above, waterfalls and rolling fields at each side, don’t be surprised if your road trip consists of pulling over and taking photographs time and time again. But, driving in the Highlands can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. With the weather being renowned for being wet, windy and misty most of the time, we’ve prepared this guide for driving in the Scottish Highlands to make sure that you have an awesome and safe experience.

Take it Slow

The roads in the Scottish Highlands are filled with rest areas, laybys and pullover bays which are highly recommended. With the huge number of caravans and buses slowing down the procession of tourist traffic, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to use these rest stops quite a few times – and what better way to stretch your legs for a few minutes and take some stunning photographs of the wonderful surroundings. There’s plenty to be seen from the car, but if you get out and take a ten-minute stroll you can see even more, with literally thousands of pedestrian pathways leading to stunning views, picnic areas and more. If you’re unsure about leaving your car at a rest stop, click here to pre-book a safe parking space.

Narrow Roads

The Scottish Highlands are full of winding, narrow country roads – with many of them being barely wide enough for one car, let alone two. With many of these roads still being two-way passageways, it’s important to drive slowly and be vigilant in order to make sure that you don’t end up with a collision with an oncoming vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. Luckily, you will find plenty of passing areas on these narrow roads, so just remember that careful, slow driving and courtesy to other drivers is of utmost importance when you want to have a safe and stress-free trip.

Snow and Ice

Depending on the time of year that you plan your road trip, you may be met with snow and ice on the roads. If you travel to the Scottish Highlands in the winter, you will find that the majority of the roads are covered in snow and ice, and in some areas, there are no grit trucks to make the roads easier to drive on. If you do plan to visit at this time of year, it may be worth getting winter tyres as well as driving carefully and taking your time. De-icer for your car is also essential in the winter.

Dress Appropriately

Last but not least, remember that the weather in the Scottish Highlands can be very unpredictable. You can be battling with a thunderstorm one minute, only to be met with gorgeous sunshine the next. For this reason, make sure that you dress appropriately with plenty of layers that you can take off and put back on as needed. Don’t forget walking boots, either!

Breakdown Cover

Finally, it’s absolutely essential when driving in the Scottish Highlands that you have breakdown cover if the worst was to happen and your car was to break down. You can compare breakdown cover deals to get the best deal but make sure you choose one of the household brands to ensure that you’ll get a speedy service if you were to need their assistance in a remote area.

Share your best Scottish Highland driving tips in the comments below.


Read more >

British Airways Starts Direct Route To The Scottish Highlands

British Airpways Flights From Heathrow To InvernessBritish Airways is to boost services to Scotland with the start of new daily flights from Heathrow to Inverness, gateway to the Highlands and Islands.

The new year-round service will start on May 3 2016, connecting Inverness directly with Heathrow’s T5 and British Airways’ global network, serving more than 125 destinations around the world.

Denize Mcgregor, British Airways’ head of UK customer service and operations, said: “We are very pleased to be starting our new service to Inverness. As the capital of the Highlands, Inverness has a strong and diverse economy and has developed into a major centre for life sciences, commercialisation and research.”

Inglis Lyon, managing director of Inverness Airport operator, HIAL, said: “This is a significant achievement for the airport as British Airways is a world class airline, serving more than 125 international destinations from Heathrow, giving passengers from Inverness access to a truly global network.

“Through our efforts, and with the support of our partners, Inverness Airport has done what few other regional airports have achieved in recent years, attracting one of the world’s leading airlines and securing access to the UK’s hub airport at the same time.

“No other UK airport offers more worldwide connections than Heathrow, and no other UK airline offers more international destinations than British Airways. The potential benefits for business and inbound tourism are enormous..”
Tickets are now on sale, with prices starting from £89 including taxes and charges. Book your flights at www.ba.com or visit www.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport for more information about the airport.


Read more >

The Scottish Highlands: The Perfect Place For Hiking Enthusiasts

Hiking in the wilderness provides many benefits. Not only can you keep active and healthy, but you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery. When planning a hiking trip, there are a number of essentials that you will need to make sure you have packed. Whilst hiking is enjoyable, it can be risky if you do not have the correct equipment.

Hiking in the wilderness can be particularly risky if you do not have the right gear, especially if you are hiking alone. Hikers often visit remote areas where they are away from others, and it can be difficult for them to get any help or assistance if they have an accident. This is why it is important to make sure that you have the right clothing and equipment if you are planning a hiking trip far away from others. Making sure that you have packed all your essentials before you set off will help to reduce the risk of any problems during your trip.

Hiking provides many health benefits. Going on a long distance, multi-day hiking trip can help to keep you fit and healthy. Hiking not only enables you to get plenty of exercise and keep your body in a healthy condition, but it is also thought to improve your mental health. Many people choose to go hiking simply to improve their wellbeing, and exploring the outdoors can provide you with a sense of freedom and self-sufficiency. However, whilst taking a longer trip can be beneficial to your health, it is vital that you plan your trip carefully and that you are well prepared.

There are many different types of hiking gear available. In addition to equipment such as maps and walking poles, you will also need to think about what clothing you will need to pack. Choosing the right hiking gear will help to keep you comfortable during your hiking trip. Choosing the right hiking shoes is essential, especially if you are planning a hiking trip that will last for more than just a day. Having a look at the different types of hiking gear available will help you to find something that suits your needs.

You will also need to think about health and safety when planning a hiking trip. Injuries such as sprains and sore joints and muscles are common. To prevent injuries to your muscles and joints, you may wish to think about bringing along some TommieCopper women gear, such as ankle socks. These will help to provide comfort, as they relieve any soreness in your joints and muscles throughout the day and also provide support for your feet to keep you comfortable whilst you are hiking.

By taking time to plan your trip carefully and pack the right safety gear, you can increase your chances of having a comfortable and enjoyable hiking holiday. Choosing the right hiking equipment will help to improve health and safety and enable you to get the most out of your hiking trip.


Read more >