But some proprietors of these bastions of traditional holidaymaking are not content with simply running a comfortable establishment and providing a good hearty breakfast to their visitors: there is a growing number of somewhat unusual B&Bs in the UK. From the decor to the location to the choice of building; from the novel, quirky and kooky to the downright wacky, here is a rundown of Britain’s most unusual B&Bs.
The Chocolate Boutique Hotel
Set in Bournemouth’s trendy Soho district, the Chocolate Boutique boasts the title of the world’s only chocolate themed hotel. All the tastily titled rooms are furnished with a chocolatey colour scheme, from the Montezuma Suite to the Aztec single room. Tea and coffee making facilities are augmented with delicious chocolate treats and the range of in-room holistic treatments available to guests includes chocolate infused reflexology and there are a number of extras on offer including truffle making workshops. Rooms are available from between £65 and £170 per night and breakfast is included.
The Secret Dungeon
07551 249245 or 07501 973468
Just a short distance from High Wycombe town centre lies the Secret Dungeon, a fully equipped play area for adventurous adults looking to spice up a night away from home. Complete with throne, cage, hoists, bench and swings- among other paraphernalia, this stone clad underground den is decorated with risky tastes in mind. The room includes a four poster bed, state of the art media system as well as a modern kitchen and bathroom and private patio with barbecue. Bookings can be made discreetly for any length of time above four hours and special requests can be made for customisation of the room. Prices start at £120 and an overnight weekend stay for two is around £220. The Secret Dungeon can accommodate up to four guests.
Gypsy Caravan at the Old Forge
In the charming village of Compton Abbas in Dorset is The Old Forge, a B&B with a bit of a twist. The 18th century cottage, formerly a carriage and wheelwright workshop, houses a range of accommodation options, most notably Rosie, the Gypsy Caravan. The Showman’s Wagon was built in 1934 and has been painstakingly restored in the Romany tradition; it now stands prettily in its own courtyard in the corner of the meadow, overlooking beautiful countryside. The caravan includes a double bed, with antique quilt, tea and coffee with vintage crockery and homemade biscuits, a shower and loo. It has its own patio with chairs, a table and chiminea. The award winning, locally sourced, organic farmhouse breakfast is included and prices are between £85 and £95 per night.
The Old Lock Up
01629 826 272
In the village of Wirksworth in Derbyshire is a cosy B&B in a charming stone building that was once a magistrate’s house and later a police station complete with cells. Now sensitively refurbished and maintaining many of the original features, including exposed stone walls, guests can sleep where villains and criminals once laid their heads. The Old Lock Up now boasts three unique rooms, themed and decorated to befit their names, The Magistrate’s Room, The Solicitor’s room and The Coach House; all are en suite with free wi-fi. Continental and cooked breakfast is included in the room rate and home-cooked evening meals are also available. Prices are between £80 and £90 per night.
Belle Tout Lighthouse
Perched above Beachy Head with matchless views out onto the sea and the countryside, the Belle Tout was once a working lighthouse, part destroyed in WWII, moved, rebuilt and now a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast for vacationers who like heights and panoramas. The Belle Tout offered themed rooms on each floor including The Keepers Loft in the tower, a round room with exposed brick, a fireplace and a ladder up to the bed. The Lantern Room Lounge offers 360 degree views out to the English Channel and the undulating white cliffs, enigmatically known as the Seven Sisters. Breakfast is an elegant affair, prepared with fresh local ingredients and the menu includes delights such as eggs Benedict, Viking or Florentine, a Woodland Muffin and Tuscan Toast. Prices range between £138 and £210 per night depending on the room and day of the week.