Traveling in Great Britain with reservations

Hi everyone, We have friends planning a trip to Great Britain in September 2013. Their plan is to make reservations for first and last night stays, as well as for London. Other than that, they would like to be free to decide where to go and stay while they are there. Does anyone have advice/experience on whether it is difficult to find moderate-priced lodging the day of, or day before while in Great Britain? Thanks!

Posted by Barbara
Seattle, WA
132 posts

Thank you Ed! I will let them know they can go ahead with confidence.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1697 posts

That's how I travel and have never had trouble finding a room no matter what season, low or high.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

When we are travelling in season, or on public holidays, we make reservations for weekends (friday night and saturday night) and aim our travel around those dates. We also make reservations if there is a hotel (or B&B) that we particularly want to stay in. We adopted this after some unfortunate weekends where we were in an area with a lot of activities over the weekend that we didnt know about

Posted by Kathy
146 posts

Last summer, I was only going to play it by ear and not reserve a place on our one night in the Highlands. But, after doing a little research, turns out that weekend was when the PGA was having a tounament in Inverness, so I ended up booking that night as well. That was my first trip abroad, and the first big trip I have ever planned myself, and I was surprised to find out that I am apparently a plan-every-minute traveler. I had no idea I was, and I am in my mid-40s!

Posted by Sharon
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
1086 posts

When we first started traveling, we always scheduled first and last nights. We had no problem finding rooms. Now we schedule all upfront - we are at the point where not just any room will work for us and we feel better about knowing what we are getting before we go. Because I research areas so well, we are able to have a very good idea of how much time to spend in each area before we move on.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

As far as sleeping research goes, when we're about done for the day my wife tells me to stop the car at something that look okay. She goes in and looks around. It's usually pretty good. If it's not we drive down the block. I think once we went to a third place. Worst case, it took us fifteen minutes and she made her own decision instead of relying on a committee or a bunch of pictures. There's no potential for a surprise. When I'm by myself and it doesn't have rat dung on the pillows, it's passed muster. I've no idea how long people spend on pre-research, but it's bound to suck time out of their lives. The problem with researching an area is that it only shows you what's one the surface. You never know what's really there until you show up and start snooping around. I don't know how many times I've gotten in a bar argument with a bunch of guys one night, pressed on about my business the next day, then, that night, gone back for more of the same. I usually wind up losing again, so I'm off on another tangent. I never seem to get where I'm headed, but slogging along is a bunch of grins.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1697 posts

I agree with what Ed said. We haven't spent more then 15 minutes. Everyone says "if you don't book ahead you can't find anything", they only book the ones RS lists or from other lists. There are hundreds of B&B's that do not advertise because it cost money which cuts into their profit. One year we stayed in an B&B in Leyburn, the owners were good friends with Donald Sinclair (aka Siegfried) who was partner of James Wight (aka James Herriott), they told us that Donald Sinclair had taken his own life with barbiturates the year before, we were very sad to hear that. They did not advertise their B&B, and as many B&B owners tolds us that there a hundreds of B&B's that depend solely on their signs.