The popularity of bed and breakfast accommodation is partly due to the homely surroundings that are not always experienced in a hotel and partly due to the freedom that this type of accommodation allows. Guests are usually able to come and go as they please and may be given a key to the house by the owners. Prices charged are either per person or per room and staying in a bed and breakfast can be a cost effective way to enjoy a short break.

Bed and breakfast establishments vary greatly in size from small, cosy private homes with a couple of rooms for paying guests to large b&bs licenced guesthouses and luxury hotels offering heated swimming pools and tennis courts and a 24 hr facilities service.

The UK Tourist Board, together with the AA, rate bed and breakfasts using a star system, with a five-star rating being high and a one-star rating being low. A five-star bed and breakfast will have superb quality beds and furnishings, private or en-suite bathroom facilities and a host or hostess with a strong eye for detail. Guests will be able to relax in luxurious surroundings and enjoy a cooked breakfast prepared on demand, using high quality ingredients and fresh local produce. Continental breakfasts will be offered as an alternative to a cooked breakfast and may include croissants, fresh fruit and cold meats.

Five-star bed and breakfast establishments are located in towns and cities throughout the UK, as well as in rural areas and prices will vary depending on the location. Bed and breakfasts in the mid-range of the rating system also offer well-presented, clean and comfortable accommodation. Guests are able to enjoy either a freshly cooked or continental breakfast using good quality ingredients. A friendly welcome and attentive service from the proprietors ensures that guests enjoy their stay and will encourage them to return in the future.

One-star and two-star rated establishments offer lower standards and fewer facilities. A cooked breakfast may not be available, but a substantial continental breakfast should be offered instead. If there is no eating area in the house, breakfast may be served in the bedrooms. Staying in cheap bed and breakfast accommodation on a working farm is an experience that many families will love. It offers a relaxing break with great value plus an opportunity to witness day-to-day activities on the farm, which is educational for adults and children alike. Guests will be offered a hearty home cooked breakfast, probably using produce from the farm itself and will benefit from the local knowledge of the owners.

If you are travelling within the UK, using bed and breakfast accommodation offers the freedom to visit many different areas of the country for a relatively low price. For people relocating to the UK, it provides a cost effective way to stay in this country whilst looking for somewhere permanent to live.

There is such a diverse selection of rural and urban bed and breakfasts in the UK that these establishments would provide a great place to stay for those requiring a clean and comfortable accommodation on a limited budget.

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