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First timer with Bed and Breakfast

I'm presently planning an itinerary for April 2017 trip to Scotland. First time trip to Scotland and first time looking at bed and breakfast accommodations (instead of traditional hotel). I'm traveling with my 2 sisters so find rooms for a group of 3 is challenging. I have Rick Steves current Scotland guide book and was checking out his recommendation for Easdale B&B. I was reading the comments on Trip Advisor for this B&B and one person wrote: "She (the owner) provides sheets not just a duvet which is nice." What?? This has me wondering if I even want to stay at a B&B. Do the rooms not come with sheets? Do people bring their own? Or, is this just a weird random comment and I can expect to have sheets on the bed (hopefully clean) when I check into a bed and breakfast inn?
Thanks for your input.

Posted by
2393 posts

Yes your bed will be properly made.

I am certain the poster was referring to the bed being made with both top & bottom sheet as well as the duvet. Customarily a when a duvet is used there is no top sheet.

Posted by
8334 posts

This is common in much of Europe. A duvet is normal instead of top sheet and blankets. Some like it some don't. One of those cultural differences.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks so much for your quick responses. That makes perfect sense. I should have known there would be a logical explanation! Now - back to the search for good B&B's for a 12 day Scotland trip!

Posted by
1788 posts

I like the top sheet as I find Europeans seem to like things on the warm side. Sleeping with a duvet gets too warm for me and the top sheet works well.

Posted by
703 posts

we even call into IKEA and buy our own sheets for our Europe trips so we don't have to sleep with only a duvet/doona. they get so hot when only a sheet will do. the other thing is pillows , you come across some very strange pillows in some places? just part of the experience. but it is nice to get a good nights rest.

we have stayed in many B&Bs in the UK and they were very good, I am sure you will find them accommodating.

Posted by
981 posts

This reminds me of a time when I took my sister-in-law and her family to Yorkshire, England and we stayed in a B&B in the Dales. The B&B was exceptional and on a large sheep farm. My sister-in-law got to her room and walked out dismayed asking about sheets. She could not get over the fact that there were no sheets just duvets. We were able to request her some sheets. She still talks about it. I have stayed in a number of B&B all over England and most will provide sheets upon request. Some will already come with sheets. Try B&B's instead of Hotels, they are really good. I went back to Yorkshire this past July and stayed in two different B&B's - Both were outstanding. This way you get to know the local people and they give you so much information on the area. I either choose a B&B or rent a Cottage if I am going into the Countryside. There was also three of us traveling this July and we all got in one room. Depends on the arrangement but many B&B's will do a double and a single or three singles - Just ask when you email the owner. If you do need two rooms keep in mind the price is usually per person per night. I spent 30-40 pounds each person a night this past summer.

Posted by
9 posts

We have stayed in B & B's throughout Europe including Scotland.. The fun of a B & B is learning about the different food they serve for breakfast. But one of the best things is the conversations at breakfast with people from many countries. Don't be afraid to start a conversation by asking people at another table where they are from. You will learn about their country, why they like to travel and often you will get great suggestions about what to see or do from their travels. Enjoy!

Posted by
261 posts

As a child growing up the very idea of duvets (or continental quilts as they were called in those days) was very strange indeed. My family, along with everyone else we knew, used sheets and blankets.

Now the fashions have changed and I don't know of anyone who uses sheets and blankets in their own homes. They are used in hospitals and perhaps in other institutions too, but not that many B&B's or hotels.

In fact I don't think I've ever stayed in a B&B or hotel in the UK where sheets and blankets have been on the bed. It's always been fitted sheets on the mattress, duvets with clean covers on and pillowcases with clean pillowcases. Sometimes there are sheets under the duvets as well, sometimes not.

No B&B proprietor worth their salt would inflict used bed linens on guests. They would always be freshly laundered before new guests arrive. The same with towels.

One thing which you may not find is a face flannel. In the UK I think they are seen very much as personal items and not always provided for guests in B&B's and hotels. They are expected to bring their own. When I was a B&B proprietor Visit Scotland listed all the requirements we had to meet to achieve the various star gradings they rated their members on, but face flannels were not on the list.

I remember one US guest commenting upon the fact that we did provide them because they hadn't found them anywhere else on their travels in Scotland.

Posted by
17 posts

I am so glad to read these responses. I had no idea that a top sheet was "optional" bed attire! Thank you so much for all your interesting comments. I'm much less fearful of the bed and breakfast experience!

Posted by
5678 posts

I learned about sleeping under a duvet in the early 1970's as a student in Germany. I LOVED it and when I found down duvet's in Chicago in the 1980's at The Great Ace (where Diversy, Clark and Broadway meet!) I was ecstatic. I've been sleeping under one ever since from October through May. Just changed out my summer linens for my duvet last weekend. So, yes, it can be too much in warm weather. I find that I can make it work in the intermediate temperatures. A friend told me to "just stick one foot out and you'll cool down." :) I actually now feel quite confined under sheets and blankets!

Posted by
11186 posts

The duvet is very common everywhere, now, although it used to be just a Swiss/Austrian/German "thing" it seems to me. We also encounter them in the Dolomites of Italy, but that is practically Austria anyway, I agree, they can be overly warm, although most places have summer and winter versions. It's a good excuse to sleep with a window open!

The B&B experience in Scotland is fabulous. So personalized! You will meet new friends, get advice the TI does not hand out, and if you are lucky, there will be a comfy lounge to hang out in an have a "wee dram" of an evening. Have one for me, please!

Posted by
47 posts

I think B&B stays make you feel like a local - no matter how far you are from home. We traveled to Scotland this summer with our two teenagers and the innkeepers always gave us the inside scoop regarding good restaurants, local transportation, etc. Plus as other readers have noted, breakfast is usually amazing and the perfect time to try things like haggis!

Posted by
6356 posts

We've been sleeping under duvets for years, we like them a lot. A lighter one for summer and a heavier one for winter. So much easier to make the bed in the morning too! We don't like having to wrestle with top sheets in US hotels.

Posted by
244 posts

I love a duvet, my husband hates them! Luckily most places have two twin size duvets on the bed, so he can just take his off. He packs a blue top sheet and he is a happy boy! We pack the colored sheet so we don't forget the sheet when we leave.

Posted by
3 posts

My husband and I are currently planning our first trip to Scotland and have noticed many b&b's having "family rooms" with one double and one single bed, as someone above mentioned. I'd keep looking as both seem plentiful to me.

Another option I've noticed is small rooms with one single bed at remarkably reasonable prices. I plan to stay longer than my husband and was pleased at how economical that can be.

And many thanks for the discussion on duvets and sheets! I often get too warm at night so will look for sheets on amazon U.K. that could be sent to our first b&b. I'll report my results.

The wash cloth/face fleece info is also much appreciated. Packing a couple will be easy.

This reminds me of laundry. I was thrilled to see that two b&b's we've picked have laundry facilities for guests. Rick's and other guides list laundromats and drop off laundries. This will help us pack light.

An aside: I purchase official souviner guide books used on amazon marketplace. They're great for familiarizing oneself with the attractions and they'll still be at home on our return. They're used but most look new. Some can only be found on amazon U.K. but shipping is reasonable and they arrive quickly.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks again for all the helpful informative responses to my post. It took quite a bit of time but my sisters and I have put together our Scotland itinerary and booked all our accommodations. We have 12 nights in Scotland and attempted to follow Rick's advice to avoid spending only one night at each destination in order to avoid burnout with the stress of packing and moving each day. First 4 nights in Edinburgh, followed by 2 in Oban, 1 in Portree, 2 in Inverness, 2 in Stirling, and the final night at an Edinburgh airport hotel. With the exception of the final night, all of our accommodations will be in B&B's - a total of five! We did look at the option of the "family room" in several of the B&B's but decided to go with one twin room and one single room so that we can rotate throughout the trip. We think this will help us to fairly divide the expenses and give each of us the chance to have solo night(s) throughout the trip. The next step is planning all the day trips and activities. But I will have to start a new thread for all the questions that will arise in that process! I have never slept on a bed without a top sheet. I'm sure with 5 different B&B's I will encounter this and I look forward to the experience! I'll let you know if I become a convert to the topless sheeted bed! Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post. I really appreciate it!

Posted by
3 posts

Amazon U.K. has. plenty of all cotton top sheets sold separately in the £8.00 to £12.00 range. I might order one rather than inconviencing our b&b hosts. Thus far we have two one night stays with the others two or three. Seems a waste for it to be washed after one night.

Perhaps I could ask our first host if the housekeeper could wash it in advance for an extra fee.

I'd leave it with our final host along with any other items we can do without.

The single room sounds like a good choice for you and sisterly bonding will be a treasure.

Posted by
220 posts

Hey Sandonut!

Just make sure you bring some warm clothes to sleep in. It gets very cold at night, even with the heater on. Last year I went to Scotland in late April and thought I would be ok with my normal pajama bottoms and a thin long sleeve shirt. I ended up buying a sweater to sleep in.

Posted by
470 posts

I see that you have booked your B/Bs. In case those plans don't work out I highly recommend the Strathness House in Inverness. Very good rates, superb cooked-to-order breakfast, location right along the river , a nice 'living-room" lounge area to sit and talk as a group , updated bathrooms and extremely accomodating owners/hosts. There are several excellent restaurants within steps of the hotel.
In Oban we stayed in the most beautifully decorated B/B I have ever seen. It is Glenburnie House and sits right along the water. The breakfast is excellent, the rooms exquisitely decorated, nice lounge area and hosts that are full of good ideas for sightseeing and logistics.
You will love Scotland!

Posted by
9364 posts

Love the idea that you've booked a single and a double so you can all switch off on various days. That built-in "relief" from each other and some extra privacy will probably be an excellent way to ward against the irritation that can come with too much togetherness! I love it, think it's brilliant.

Posted by
352 posts

Maybe my husband and I are weird, but we sleep with a duvet AND a top sheet.

Top sheets are so much easier to wash than struggling to unstuff and restuff a king size duvet to wash the duvet cover.

I also find that a top sheet helps keep out drafts when the other person is moving around at night because it molds to you even more closely than the down duvet.