I've never been a great fan of Bed and Breakfast. Spending the night in a stranger's back bedroom and chatting to them over breakfast is not something I'd choose but as long distance walkers we have to take our accommodation where we find it. A five mile detour is nothing if you're travelling by car but a different matter at the end of a long day on the trail so we stay where we can and over the years that has included B&Bs. Like the time we came down to breakfast to find two bowls of cornflakes and a bottle of milk on the kitchen table with a note from the landlady saying 'Gone to work. Let yourselves out.' Or the landlord who cried for an hour as he explained that his wife had just left him and could I show him how to wash sheets. Or the woman who met us at the front door saying 'You're soaking. You can't come in here like that.' and made us strip in the porch before setting foot on her cream carpet.
No, I enjoy a bit more independance. Whether it's fending for myself in a bunkbarn or hostel or enjoying a night in a pub or hotel I like to feel like a customer rather than a guest in someone's home. Times are changing though and a new sort of accommodation is emerging. Something more akin to a holiday cottage or a motel. A place to stay for a single night on a walking holiday with a bedroom and bathroom and some sort of kitchen facilities.
We stayed at such a place recently. Braeside Studios in Burneside on the route of the Dales Way. Two studio apartments have been created in a building to the side of the landlady's house. They each have seperate entrances, a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchenette and table and chairs. Trish, the owner was just a step away across the yard if we needed anything but left us alone to enjoy our little cottage holiday.
We ordered in a takeaway in the evening (phone numbers and menus provided) and ate it with a bottle of wine from the village shop and made our own breakfast from the fruit, cereal, bread and spreads that were left for us. There was even a note saying 'Don't wash up, I'll do it.' Now that's my idea of a B&B.
|Homemade cake. That's what I call a welcome!|