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B&B Breakfast : Can it be quite early?

We are early risers and sometimes would prefer to be out and on the road by 6 or 7 am. Maybe even earlier.

If staying in a B&B is it uncommon to have breakfast really early like that? Would I be better off not planning on breakfast in a B&B?

Any other thoughts about early departures from a B&B in Scotland?

Thank you.

Posted by
5204 posts

Each B&B is different but we don’t recall any breakfasts that early. A couple lodgings would make a brown bag type breakfast that you could take with you if going hiking. Most B&Bs we stayed at took payment either before arrival or upon arrival, so an early departure wouldn’t be an issue. There’s no reason you couldn’t settle up the night before departure.

Posted by
3348 posts

It really depends on the B&B but I have found that most places usually are amenable to providing someth early if you need it. It may not be the full Scottish breakfast, though. The best way to find out is ask them - just email them and see what they say. I would say 6-7 is doable - not sure about 5, although the sun rises pretty early in the morning in the summer there.

And what you are asking is fairly common - many people need to leave early to catch a ferry or get an early start on sightseeing.

Posted by
3256 posts

We've only stayed at a few B and B's; two of them in Scotland and I don't recall breakfast ever starting before 7:30. But at one, we let them know we were getting an early start and when we got back to our room the night before, we had a brownbag breakfast waiting for us.

Posted by
1982 posts

In a B and B you'd hardly ever have a sit down cooked breakfast before 7.30, more normally 8 or even 8.30 (like I had in Newquay last year and that was a rigid 8.30, not 1 minute earlier).
If you want full breakfast so early you'd need to stay somewhere like Premier Inn/Travelodge/Accor. Accor in particular have long breakfast times.

Posted by
1520 posts

You can always ask, but as the others have said 0730 is early for breakfast. It has to be remembered a B&B may well be a business it is also someone's family home and this will feed into their practices.

Above someone mentioned Travelodge or Premier Inn, these will also do some kind of breakfast and there will be the likes of a supermarket like Morrisons or a chain like McDonald's that may be open near them.

Posted by
811 posts

As a B&B owner I would baulk at providing a full cooked breakfast before 7am, but I am always open to setting out a continental selection earlier and have often provided things like bacon rolls for people to take away with them if they have an early ferry to catch for example. Being out on the road at 6am and wanting a full cooked breakfast at say 5.30 would mean me preparing things from about 4.30am, which is a tad early! I think your best bet is to email your chosen accommodation and ask them. It might depend how many nights you planned on staying. For example, I might agree to that sort of request for one or two days but beyond that it just feels unmanageable. Our normal breakfast times are 8am to 9.30am.

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks so much for all the great and thoughtful replies.
This gets my expectations in line with reality and gives me a good idea of how to move forward in my trip planning.

@jaimeelsabio ; @Mardee ; @Allan ; @isn31c ; @MC-Glasgow ; @Skyegirl : Thank you all!

Posted by
2640 posts

Allan, it seems preferable to have a brown bag breakfast to take with you in the morning. I know we will have to leave the B&B some mornings NLT 0730.

Posted by
6569 posts

As others said, no, unlikely to get a cooked breakfast that early, and if you did, the owners went way out of their way for you, maybe even to the point where you would be imposing on them.

However, when I have had to leave early, a number of owners provided a light "to-go" breakfast of some muffins, fruit, juice, or other items.

Posted by
3256 posts

Allan, it seems preferable to have a brown bag breakfast to take with
you in the morning. I know we will have to leave the B&B some mornings
NLT 0730.

BigMike, I'm in full agreement with you. I'm not a hot breakfast guy anyway so a sit-down breakfast at a scheduled time tends to slow down my day. I do appreciate a hotel with a free breakfast, but I'd prefer it on my own schedule. That's probably why I don't use B and B's that often. That's not a complaint about B and B's, just a statement of my travel style.

I remember our first experience with a B and B in Bath in 2018. Breakfast didn't start until 7:30, but we were unaware of the process and came and sat down at 7:00 thinking we'd just quietly wait and read our tablets at the table-it was a very big space, capable of sitting 15-20 people. The hostess was horrified and shooed us out and told us to wait somewhere else. It was very English sit-com like, with the clueless North Americans and the formal British.

Posted by
1323 posts

"Now here is why I will always stay at the Pentland Hotel when I am in Thurso. The night before I left I asked the kindly lady at the checkout desk for a wake-up call at 5 a.m. as I had to catch an early train south. And she said to me - perhaps you should sit down if you are not sitting already - she said, 'Would you like a cooked breakfast?'
I thought she must be a bit dim, frankly, so I said: 'I'm sorry, I meant 5 a.m. I'll be leaving at half-past five, you see. Half-past five a.m. In the morning.'
'Yes, dear. Would you like a cooked breakfast?'
'At 5 a.m.?'
'It's included in the room rate.'
And damn me if this wonderful little establishment didn't fix me up with a handsome plate of fried food and a pot of hot coffee at 5:15 the following pre-dawn.
And so I left the hotel a happy and fractionally fatter man, and waddled up the road in darkness to the station."

Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island (1995)

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
3348 posts

Mike, I had an offer like that back in 1996 on my first trip overseas to England. I was staying about an hour west of London and rented a room above a pub. When I checked in, the staff asked me if I wanted breakfast the next morning at 7:30 am. I explained I would be leaving very early (around 6 am) so there was no need, but they actually offered to bring in someone early to cook it! I was touched but again refused.

Unfortunately, my brain was a little dim and it didn't click that I would be the only one in the building after hours (except for a drunk lying fully clothed across a bed in another room). When I got up early and tried to leave, the front (and only) door was locked and I couldn't unlock it because it needed a key. I tried looking through the place for the key but could not find it. I had to return my rental car by a certain time so I was getting desperate to get out of there. I finally went into the kitchen, opened a back window and climbed out (over an open dumpster no less) after throwing my bags out into the parking lot, and was soon on my way to London.

Posted by
31 posts

@auchterless : "I thought she must be a bit dim..." ~LOL

Thanks for the anecdote. :)