England Lodging Primer
If your England dreams involve staying in a cozy cottage with a lovely garden, here's some good news: you won't have to break the bank. Throughout the country you'll find stylish lodging options—from good-value hotels and intimate bed-and-breakfasts to chic apartments and unique historic houses—in all price ranges.
Apartments and House Rentals
For a home base with cooking facilities that’s roomy enough for a family, consider renting furnished "flats" (the word for apartments in England). These are popular in cities and towns throughout the country and can save you money. They also provide more privacy than a hotel or B&B.
Cottages and other houses are available for weekly rental in all areas. These vary from quaint older homes to brand-new buildings in scenic surroundings. For families and large groups they offer the best value-for-money accommodations, but because they’re often in isolated locations, a car is vital. Living Architecture offers stays in one-of-a-kind architect-designed country houses. Lists of rental properties are available free of charge from VisitBritain. You may find discounts of up to 50% on rentals during the off-season (October through March).
A special English tradition, and the backbone of budget travel, B&Bs are usually in a family home. Typical prices (outside London) range from £45 to £100 a night. They vary in style and grace, but these days most have private bathrooms. B&Bs range from the ordinary to the truly elegant. The line between B&Bs and guesthouses is growing increasingly blurred, but the latter are often larger.
Some Tourist Information Centres in cities and towns can help you find and book a B&B even on the day you show up in town. Many private services also deal with B&Bs.
Over the years farmhouses have become popular; their special appeal is the rural experience, whether in Cornwall or Yorkshire. Consider this option only if you are touring by car, because farmhouses may be in remote locations. Prices are generally reasonable. Ask VisitBritain for the booklet "Stay on a Farm" or contact Farm Stay UK. Regional tourist boards may have information as well.
Looking for a unique experience and want to spend your vacation in a Gothic banqueting house, an old lighthouse, or maybe in an apartment at Hampton Court Palace? Several organizations, such as the Landmark Trust, National Trust, English Heritage, and Vivat Trust, have specially adapted historic buildings to rent. Many of these have kitchens, and some may require minimum stays.
England is a popular vacation destination, so be sure to reserve hotel rooms weeks (months for London) in advance. The country has everything from budget chain hotels to luxurious retreats in converted country houses. In many towns and cities you’ll find old inns that are former coaching inns; these served travelers as they journeyed around the country in horse-drawn carriages and stagecoaches.Updated: 10-2013
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