UK Accommodation Guide
The UK offers quite a variety of accommodation options for visitors from abroad (or within the UK itself!). This mini-tutorial is intended to give a brief overview of the types of accommodation available so that you can make an informed decision about the type of accommodation that is right for you.
The main types of accommodation are:
- Serviced facilities offering accommodation in individual rooms. Hotels may offer private wc/bath facilities, but many older or budget hotels do not. Some hotels also offer breakfast as part of the price. Hotels may also have business facilities, such as conference rooms, or Internet hookups available. Some hotels have their own restaurants and bars.
Wide variety to chose from, privacy, located all over the UK.
May be more expensive than other options.
Britain Express specialises in historic hotels, hand-rated for heritage interest. Use the search form below or browse hotels here. We've also made arrangements with online booking company Laterooms to get discounted rates at historic hotels across the UK.
- The term "self-catering" applies to a broad range of flats, houses, cottages and serviced apartments. These establishments provide cooking facilities in addition to sleeping facilities. This type of accommodation is most suitable when you will be staying in an area for an extended period (i.e. one week or more). Most self-catering facilities are rented by the week, though shorter rentals may be available in the low season. Self-catering establishments are rated from 1 to 5 stars, with the higher star ratings awarded on the basis of progressively higher levels of quality and customer care. Make sure to note that 'start' day for weekly rentals. This is usually Saturday, but Friday is also common.
Generally cheaper than hotels or B&B of a similar quality. Good for families or larger groups traveling together. Private cooking facilities available.
You must provide for your own meals. Harder to get short-term rentals.
- The term guesthouse is sometimes used interchangeably with "B&B" (see below). Guesthouses generally offer rooms in a private home, often with a cooked breakfast included in the price, Guesthouse accommodation is available all over the UK, and is rated from 1 to 5 Diamonds on the basis of progressively higher levels of quality and customer care.
Often cheaper than hotels, personal service.
As for Bed and breakfasts; possible lack of privacy, visitors generally have to arrange their own evening meals.
- Guest Houses are included in our directory of Bed and Breakfasts.
- Sometimes called "Youth Hostels" these facilities are suitable for larger groups or people traveling on a tight budget. Accommodation is generally in large rooms, with multiple beds to a room. Hostels are popular with students, though they are open to anyone of any age. Some hostels have separate family rooms, but most offer dormitory style accommodation, with males and females occupying separate rooms. Most hostels offer a communal cooking area for preparing meals. No private bath or shower facilities are provided. Hostels are rated from 1 to 5 stars, with the higher star ratings awarded on the basis of progressively higher levels of quality and customer care.
- There are several categories of hostels available, including youth hostels, camping barns, and bunkhouses. Bunkhouses are similar to hostels, but offer only limited service and facilities, usually on a self-catering basis. Bunkhouses are not Star rated, but must meet basic minimum quality standards. Camping Barns (also known as stone tents) provide very simple self-catering accommodation. Camping Barns are not Star rated, but must meet minimum quality standards.
Cheap, opportunity to socialize with others. Good for groups.
Lack of privacy.
Caravanning and Camping
- This type of accommodation is for travelers who intend to use tents or caravans (campers). The British Graded Holiday Parks Scheme rates campgrounds and caravan parks, using a star rating system to identify the level of facilities available.
Llimited choice of location, must provide your own sleeping facility.
- Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) offer rooms and breakfast. Some people prefer B&Bs because many are located in private homes, and the personal service of a good B&B host can be a real highlight of a visit. Facilities are not as comprehensive as those offered in some hotels, but the standard of accommodation and personal service can be quite high. Many B&Bs do not have private WC/bath facilities. Some offer an evening meal in addition to breakfast, and most will pack a lunch for you by prior arrangement. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available all over the UK, and is rated from 1 to 5 Diamonds on the basis of progressively higher levels of quality and customer care.
Often cheaper than hotels, personal service.
Possible lack of privacy. Visitors generally have to arrange their own evening meals.
Browse our directory of UK Bed and Breakfasts.