For many years my partner Rob and I travelled around the UK  staying  in Bed & Breakfasts.   Some were absolutely  charming, with equally charming hosts. Others were….well pretty awful  (read ‘Unravelling With My Aunt’  on this website and you will get the picture).

But as  we both get older and more concerned about health, we no longer want the ‘full English breakfast’ that is so much a part of the B&B experience .  More importantly, we are usually researching  my books. We want to be up and on the road early.  Understandably, B&B hosts are not always happy about  serving food  at the crack of dawn.

Because we are already  paying for a flat at our Maidenhead base, we choose to stay at inexpensive  chain motels; usually   Premier Inn  or Travel Lodge.  And so it is true that I  often sleep with a  stranger.  Mind you, I feel I know  Lenny  quite well now!

Lenny Henry, the 'face' of Premier Inns.

Snuggled up with Lenny Henry, the ‘face’ of Premier Inns.

Because these hotels  have many business people as clients, breakfast is normally served from 6.30am.

We book our trips in advance and take advantage of  any special  deals. Sometimes there is a pleasant bonus, such as this water view from our  Premier Inn room in  Salford Quays, Manchester.



Not too shabby eh?

And in Worcester our Travel Lodge room  looked  out over the city skyline, including the golden roof of  The Hive, the city’s innovative new university/public library. It was quite  appropriate, as I  was in town to give a talk about my book The Water Doctor’s Daughters at the university.

These motels provide everything you need for a short stay …. hairdryer, tea and coffee, and  decent flat screen telly (which you don’t always get in B&B’s) .  And if  you need  an iron, just ask at reception.

We have even held a small, quiet birthday party in a Premier Inn…with Lenny looking on benevolently;

Birthday party - Premier In,

Birthday party – Premier In,

Our most recent stay was at the Hammersmith Premier Inn in London. It was during a heat wave, so a cool drink in the bar was very welcome.

Aussie Bob enjoys a beer at the end of a long, hot day!

Aussie Bob enjoys a beer at the end of a long, hot day!


Oddly enough our room was on the 13th floor in room 13o1. No superstition worries for me  though,  as I was born on the 13 of the 1st! This time we had a stunning view of the city skyline , the river Thames  and iconic Hammersmith Bridge.  Could have included it in my Thames Book!

SecondLondonOne 050

The hotel  is about two minutes walk from Ravenscourt Park Tube Station.

I hope I haven’t upset any Bed and Breakfast owners with this article.  I doubt it, because they offer an entirely different service and are much loved by tourists from around the world. We have had some truly delightful stays  at B&B’s  throughout  the UK.

Should also emphasize that I have no connection with either Travel Lodge or Premier Inn. Maybe  I should send them this blog!!

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  1. I think the ‘get-out’is “Other B&B’s are available”. Great to hear about your travels. Think I might follow your trail and use the same accommodation at Salford Keys (or Quays?). I can also check Editor Des hadn’t trashed the place before your departure!

    • Pauline

      OOH, thank you dear Marcia. What was I thinking?…yes QUAYS!!! Tell them I sent you. Our Australian friends still adore the traditional B&B’s, unless they want to zoom up the Motorways.

  2. I remember another best seller, Europe on 10 dollars a day! If only… My favourite Premier Inn is in Ipswich and gives you huge value for money and you can also explore fabulous Ipswich full of fabulously authentic buildings. LH was not there unfortunately! X

    • Pauline

      Do you know, we have never been to Ipswich, Annabelle. It’s on my list for next time, along with Colchester. Yes, I remember Europe of $10 a day. Probably gone up to $100 by now!

  3. We go away a lot of weekends for rallies and have the time requirements as you. It’s usually a ‘silly o’clock’ up and out and on the road. We use Travelodge mostly, sometimes Premier Inn. They’re great – you know what you’re getting and it’s more than adequate for a sleep. You could also think of the Express by Holiday Inn if you can’t get the other two [maybe a little more expensive but they do early breakfast].

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