What a great place to stay. This budget accommodation is in a brilliant location and is within walking distance of loads of tourist attractions. It is safe and friendly and vibrant and has plenty of facilities on site including a bar, restaurant and internet cafe. Lots of buses and tube stations close by too and no curfew.
229 Great Portland Street
London, W1W 5PN;
tel: 020 7631 8310;
Tube: Great Portland Street Underground
A stand-out bar wedged in between the Grassmarket and the go-go bars of the West Port. The best cocktails in town cosy up to flock wallpaper, choice pieces of furniture, friendly and unpretentious service, uniquely decorated walls, and a carefully programmed iPod. The icing on the cake is the grand’s worth of collectable adidas trainers topping the best stocked bar in Edinburgh. She's a peach, but is also very small, and it can be tough to get a seat. Mine’s an Ape Expectations.
52 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LD;
tel: 0131 228 4543;
A treasure trove for foodies, this small shop in the market town of Nantwich boasts groaning shelves of cakes, chocolates, cheese biscuits, olives, jams and chutneys. It has a pork butchers at the front but make your way down the long narrow shop to the wonderful coffee shop at the rear. £3.50 for a cafetiere (enough for four ) of any blend of excellent coffee you choose.
45 Hospital Street, Nantwich
tel. 01270 625491
A pub with rooms and great food. There are 10 en-suite bedrooms with fantastic views across the Cheshire plain. The food is great, popular with walkers along the Sandstone Trail footpaths, so large portions at reasonable prices.
Higher Burwardsley near Beeston and Peckforton castles. Signposted off the Tattenhall-Burwardsley road. Turn by the Post office in Burwardsley village
In a small row of shops off the Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, this small but perfectly formed restaurant offers hearty veggie food that will have the most ardent carnivores coming back for more.
43 Lapwing Lane - WestDidsbury Manchester M20;
tel. 0161 434 4259
A peaceful retreat in a beautiful valley, seemingly untouched by the outside world. Walking, horse riding on the doorstep. The book town of Hay-on-Wye is eight miles away. Yoga and drawing weekends. Great vegetarian breakfasts. Singles £25, doubles £40, ensuite £45, children £10.
Pen-y-Maes, Capel-y-Ffin, Powys
The best thing about staying in the Lakes is waking up to amazing views - and this place doesn't disappoint. All 12 rooms look out across the Troutbeck Valley. The bar is suitably cosy and serves real ales and there are more views from the Garden restaurant. Rooms from £45pp b&b.
Troutbeck, Windermere, Lake District, Cumbria LA23 1PL
The Gladstone is a Georgian town house, simple, elegant and airy. It overlooks the River Dee estuary on one side and the High Street lined with multi coloured houses on the other. The tiny port has art and jazz festivals and The Gladstone does a dollop of haggis with breakfast. The Selkirk Arms, a stagger up the road, was reputedly where Robert Burns drank and wrote.
48 High Street, Kirkcudbright, DG6 4JX;
tel: 01557 331734
This hostel is so unexpectedly swish that you have to stay there once if only to realise that budget accomodation is not as bad as you
think. It's packed full of facilities, including a free all-you-can-eat breakfast, 24 hour reception and a ludicrously cheap,
buzzy bar - and it's only £10 a night. Not bad for a hostel slap bang in the middle of London (between Euston and Kings Cross).
The Generator, Compton Place (off 31 Tavistock Place), London, WC1H 9SE
020 7388 7666 www.generatorhostels.com/london/
Seven simple, elegant rooms with sea views in an 18th-century house which was once a Portuguese embassy. Lots of arty stuff going on downstairs in the arts club, like jazz nights and life-drawing classes. The Frog Fish cafe in the basement serves good local seafood and organic meat.
Accommodation starting at £35pp with the full English and is a great deal.
It is set in a beautiful 17th-century manor house where Bonnie Prince Charlie once slept – though presumably not in the dorms. There are also elegant, great value en suite singles and doubles with wood panelling and beamed ceilings. The gardens are lovely and there’s also a large pavilion. We used it as a base for walking in the Peak District, but it’s also good for kids (Alton Towers is nearby), Chatsworth House and cycling along the disused railway line, which is part of the National Cycle Network. Meals are hearty – perfect after a day in the outdoors. It’s extremely popular so book in advance. From £17.50pp.
Hartington, Buxton, Derbyshire.
0870 770 5848
A cracking B&B on the Antrim coast, it's a couple of hours' drive from Belfast, but it feels like a million miles away. It's an 18th-century country house with only three rooms, exactly the sort of cosy, homely sort of place you want in this part of the world - the landlord actually won the AA Landlady of the Year prize in 2003, and he makes a great fry-up in the morning and serves tea and shortbread in front of the fire when you return from a blustery walk on the beach or the nearby Giant's Causeway. £70, double B&B.
Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, County Antrim.
028 207 31482
Bill Bryson called it ‘an outpost of comfort and graciousness', and it's a fantastic place to escape to: flawless setting (on a bay overlooking the Isle of Skye), fine food (local scallops and the like eaten in the bar sitting on old fish crates), romantic rooms (the master bedroom looks out over the Sound of Sleat to Skye) and a cracking atmosphere (the ebullient landlord sets the tone). Rooms from £89 B&B.
Glenelg, Kyle of Lochalsh, Ross-shire, The Highlands.
A former Co-op building that was converted into a state-of-the-art minimalist hotel in 1995. Lots of light, curves and uncluttered space with white bedrooms and blocks of vivid coloured lighting. Good restaurant and bar. Some rooms have views of the castle. Prices can be as low as £85-95 for a double, depending on availability.
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh 0131-221 5555
A well-established Shoreditch favourite that consistently manages to remain just the right side of cool to keep the style-conscious local crowd happy, yet relaxed enough to still be welcoming to out of town incomers to EC2. Inventively taking the name from its previous incarnation as a leather goods store, this bar has ever-changing murals inside which keep the decor evolving. It’s a fairly small place with an additional bar and seating area downstairs. Local DJs ensure things are busier and more lively on the weekends.
34 - 36 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch
(Nearest tubes: Old Street or Liverpool Street)
OK, it's not that cheap but it could be the best hotel in the UK and things ain't budget in the Isles unless you're camping in the rain or in thrall to midges. The Argyll is right on the Sound of Iona and you can watch the tiny ferry loop round and round from Mull to take you over the waters. The place has its own garden for fresh food and the bellboys can't find the room keys because 'why would ye wannae lock the door anyway?' Big steaks, fresh veg and good desserts. And afterwards take a walk and get lost on this historic scrap of land.
Isle of Iona
(right near the ferry landing)
Tel: 01681 700 334
A listed Georgian town house in this remarkable river town in SW Scotland. The place is immaculate and you are minutes from the magical River Dee and its miniscule working port. The owners do a great haggis breakfast and the drawing room looks out one way to the estuary and the other to the Georgian high street.
48 High Street
01557 331 734
Really snug hotel on the village square in Grantown-on-Spey, about 20 miles from Inverness. It makes a perfect base for exploring the Cairngorms and Monarch of the Glen country. All the rooms have recently been refurbished in a modern boutique style - beige walls and purple throws - but without the boutique prices. From £38pp B&B.
Castle Road, Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire. 01479 872836
Depending on the time of year, prices at the Holiday Inn Express can be as low as £70 a night.
All rooms come with a double bed and fold down sofa, so four of you can cram in (this may involve two of you not technically checking in).
Obviously not a good option for families and people seeking a bit of luxury, but great if you’re looking to spend a cheap weekend on the town in London. The Express on Old Street is particularly well-located near the bars and clubs of Shoreditch.
275 Old Street, EC1V 9LN; tel: 0870 400 9093; nearest Tube: Old Street
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com