While many tourists flock to major cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool for a holiday in the United Kingdom, when it comes to areas of outstanding natural beauty and biodiversity Britain is home to many of the best.
From tranquil rolling hills to dense woodland and boggy marshes, Britain’s wilder areas are now key destinations for nature lovers from both home and abroad, and the nearby B&Bs and guest houses haven’t let it go unnoticed.
The fantastic premises below are in prime locations for some of the UKs very best nature hotspots, but watch out, some offer such a comfortable experience that you might end up not wanting to leave your room!
The Brudenell Hotel, Aldeburgh
Image credit: The Brudenell Hotel
The AA Rosette Award winning Brudenell Hotel is situated on the beautiful Aldeburgh seafront, offering panoramic views of the beach and surrounding countryside. But it isn’t just the scenery that’s idyllic; all of the hotels rooms are stylishly decorated with just the right balance of modern and vintage influences to create something really comfortable and unique.
It’s also situated just 20 minutes from the beautiful Suffolk Broads, a biodiversity hotspot home to numerous nature reserves populated by, among other things, kingfishers and rare bitterns.
What to look out for at the Suffolk Broads…
Captain’s Wood is perhaps the Broads’ most breath-taking reserve and, if you’re quiet, you might even spot roaming deer herds, barn owls hunting in the clearings and one of the seven species of bat feeding around the trees.
Stays at the Brudenell Hotel cost from £96 per night.
Benhall Farm B&B, Ross-on-Wye
Image credit: Benhall Farm
The Benhall Farm B&B is a quaint little cottage set on a working arable farm. It’s the perfect bed and breakfast for those who thrive on simple rural comforts like countryside views and hearty breakfasts made with local produce. The B&Bs owner, Carol, has even earnt her establishment a Wildlife Action gold award for encouraging wildlife to thrive in nearby nature trails and supporting ‘wildlife friendly’ planting.
It’s an encouraging accreditation, especially with the beautiful Forest of Dean so nearby.
What to look out for at the Forest of Dean…
This ancient forest offers fantastic wildlife spotting opportunities, with visitors regularly seeing adders, wild boar, badgers, red foxes, fallow deer and peregrine falcons. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of the shy and elusive hawfinch!
Stays at Benhall Farm B&B cost from £36 per person, per night.
Beck Hall Bed and Breakfast, Malham
Image credit: Beck Hall Bed and Breakfast
The Beck Hall Bed and Breakfast is nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Each room has been carefully designed to be warm and relaxing, with each one incorporating individual quirks from exposed stone and antique four poster beds, to impressive fireplaces and wooden roof beams.
What’s more, it’s situated right on the doorstep of Malham Cove and Malham Tarn, two stunning areas of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Cove even formed part of the sets for Steve Coogan’s ‘The Trip’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’
What to look out for at Malham Cove and Malham Tarn…
Peregrine falcons are undoubtedly the stars of the Cove, while the Tarn makes for a very pleasant walk and is home to not only great crested grebes, coots and moorhens, but vast flocks of noisy curlews. Listen out for twittering skylarks soaring overhead on pleasant days.
Stays at Beck Hall Bed and Breakfast cost from £27 per person, per night.
The Inn at Whitewell, near Clitheroe
Image credit: the Inn at Whitewell
Past guests regularly praise the Inn at Whitewell for making them feel at home as soon as they walk through the door, and it’s no surprise. Roaring fires, Victorian cabinet baths, four poster beds and beautiful, traditional fabrics take you back in time in the most lavish yet relaxing way possible.
Perhaps one of its best features, however, is the fact that it’s situated right in the heart of the Forest of Bowland, a designated area of natural beauty made up of heather moorland, blanket bog and deep woodland.
What to look out for at the Forest of Bowland…
Birds of prey like hen harriers, peregrines, merlins and short eared owls are regular sights around the area, while there’s ample opportunity to see nesting lapwings and rare butterflies come springtime.
Stays at the Inn at Whitewell cost from £88 per night.
Woodlands B&B, Ely
Image credit: Trip Advisor
The Woodlands B&B is something of a nature reserve in itself, with its garden regularly visited by rabbits, woodpeckers and even the resident donkey. Inside, simple and homely rooms and breakfasts made from local produce ensure guests leave the bed and breakfast feeling well and truly rested.
It’s also just a 15 minute drive from Wicken Fen, one of Europe’s most important wetlands. The reach peat soil has created a fantastic natural habitat that supports over 8,400 species of plants and animals, including emperor dragonflies, grass snakes and kingfishers.
What to look out for at Wicken Fen…
As well as the species mentioned above, Wicken Fen is also home to exciting rarities like hen harriers, water voles and bitterns. Keep your eyes peeled for Highland cattle and Konik ponies keeping the vegetation in check too!
Stays at the Woodlands B&B cost from £35 per person, per night.
Brooklands Cottage B&B, Formby
Image credit: Brooklands Cottage B&B
Brooklands Cottage B&B is a quintessentially English bed and breakfast that’s been dubbed by some as the “best kept secret in Formby.” Quiet and secluded, it’s set back from the road in a leafy part of Freshfield with ample parking space and homey rooms decorated in a traditional country style.
Just a short walk away is the National Trust’s Formby reserve, one of the few places left in Britain where you can see red squirrels darting around their natural habitat.
What to look at for at the Formby reserve…
As well as the large group of red squirrels, you can also see red foxes and birds like nuthatches and goldcrests (Britain’s smallest bird) flitting through the forest. However, Formby is also home to a vast beach and dune landscape which is home to the very rare Natterjack toad.
Room pricing and availability for Brooklands Cottage B&B is available on request.
Have any of you nature loving readers stayed at a bed and breakfast or hotel I haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment below, I’m always looking for recommendations!
Michelle Pegg enjoys dining out, travelling and blogging about the travel and hospitality industry. She is the Assurance & Compliance Manager at www.hilden.co.uk – suppliers of linen to B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels in the UK.