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British Bed & Breakfast (Special Places to Stay) (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay) Paperback – 1 Sep 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Alastair Sawday Publishing; 17 edition (1 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906136580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906136581
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This is the best-selling quide to British B&Bs and really is worth a mention as nothing quite compares. --The Bookseller

Sawday's recommendations are like those of a good friend who knows just what sort of place you are looking for. --The Guardian

The Alastair Sawday guide has had an inspirational effect on the bed and breakfast industry. --Clive Aslet in The Telegraph

From the Publisher

I feel slightly fradulent - rather like those who write about bird life, describing beautiful and fascinating creatures in whose creation they have taken no part at all.

Yet without them we would know so much less about the incredible range of birds we have, about their beauty and their strange ways. We learn how subtly but crucially they differ, how they sing and fly, feed and hunt. We are told how their habitats are threatened, how they build their nests. And we learn to wonder at their ingenuity and instincts for survival. We want to protect them.

So it is with us - and with these houses and their remarkable owners. We owe them much, and we celebrate them and their survival, for the world around them is going slowly, slightly mad. And in a country which is losing its regional variety - apparent in so many ways - it is no surprise to find conformity everywhere. People even share a shrinking vocabulary to describe their shrinking cultural experience. In our own field, many hotels sink into deep sameness and banality; most B&Bs display few signs of character.

Most of the houses and owners in this book have been chosen because they stand (like King Canute?) against the rising tide of standardisation. We have no rules about how they do their work; we just admire them and like them for doing things well, even brilliantly, and for being themselves. Some of them may be eccentric, some are conventional; others will overwhelm you with kindness, others are shy. All of them are intensely human. (Sounds an odd thing to say, but it cannot be said of everybody running a B&B, or of those who run most hotels.) They are threatened species so if you use this book you are helping them (and us, of course) to survive and prosper.

Alastair Sawday --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a charming book which offers a unique insight into the world of B&B accomodation. All the properties listed have been personally checked by the author or his agents and chosen for their uniqueness. You get to stay in someones home, not a poorly run hotel wannabe, and the book gives an insight into the people you will be staying with as well as the accomodation. A perfect present and a great way to visit areas of the UK you haven't seen before. I have used it and can highly recommend the book and the people you will meet!
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By A Customer on 21 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
I have used this, and other Alastair Sawday guides, many times and have always found them excellent. The information has proved to be accurate and the descriptions idiosyncratic but informative. I have stayed at 5 or 6 places located through the guide, and they have universally proved excellent.
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Format: Paperback
... I just got so sick of faceless and plastic hotels and places to stay that served you the nasty buffet breakfast and were staffed by people wearing polyester waistcoats. The alternative was stay at terribly expensive hotels that did it right, but I've had enormous fun staying at the places in this book. They're absolutely for me. The people and places are usually charming, sometimes a little 'creative' but always welcoming and interesting. It's not failed me yet.
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Format: Paperback
Previous review was attributed to wrong edition.

British Bed & Breakfast (Alastair Sawday's Special Places to Stay British Bed & Breakfast)

Once the Sawdays guides were about a travel writer who had discovered special places that were hard to find. Sawdays is sadly like many institutions now just a commercial publishing house. They charge B&B owners hundred's of pounds to be listed with them and in some areas like "Canopy and Stars" are just a booking agent with more than 20% of your bill going straight into their pockets.

All that aside they often recommend B&B's etc that have owners who don't understand the internet and use Sawdays as a marketing tool. Hence many of their places are more hip-op than a hip stop and more granny than grandiose. This is often why they have only a few 'special places' in major tourist destinations. Save your money and for all it's faults use Tripadvisor it doesn't take money from the owners and is up to date and usually quite accurate.

It's a pity but sadly the internet has been great news for Sawday's profile but not so good for those who just want a special place to stay.
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By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
We'd got fed up of poor service in expensive hotels and fancied a change. The book is well written and honest and it's got some great B&Bs in it. We've stayed in two so far and they have been exactly as described - very special. Both of the owners we stayed with treated us brilliantly, recommended restaurants etc. We're going to try the French one next.
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Format: Paperback
Having used Alistair's books for around 3 years now, I try not to use anything else.
From The Highlands, and the best seafood I've tasted, to a converted Oxfordshire stable with wonderful charm.
It's definately a book to share with friends and family, although, I'm buying another copy,as I haven't had mine returned yet!
Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As always this book by this author is excellent.
It gives good coverage of most of the best B & B establishments.

If you are on a touring holiday I believe it is an essential item to take with you.

When you wish to move on to the next place just phone ahead and book,. It is all so simple and easy.
Over the years my wife and me have used it many times. I highly recommend it to all travellers.

The very young Johnny Boy.
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By A Customer on 15 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
This Alistair Sawday guide to B and Bs in Britain will open up a whole new world for you. The book is filled with wonderfully individual, inexpensive places to stay. We have yet to choose any place from this book which has been anything short of fabulous! It also makes a great present for anyone!
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