Blackpool crowned UK's Bed & Breakfast capital Blackpool crowned UK's Bed & Breakfast capital

Blackpool crowned UK's bed and breakfast capital

  • Blackpool has the highest number of B&Bs in the UK, with 862
  • Big cities London (569) and Edinburgh (394) complete the top three
  • However, the South West, with over 5,000 places to stay, is the region with the highest concentration of B&Bs
  • Direct Line for Business provides personalised insurance for bed and breakfasts

New research1 by insurance provider Direct Line for Business reveals Blackpool is the UK's bed and breakfast capital, with nearly 900 such establishments located in the seaside resort.

Covering an area of just 13.46 square miles2, Blackpool boasts an average of 64 B&Bs per square mile, giving visitors plenty of choice when it comes to choosing the perfect accommodation to suit their needs.

Blackpool is followed by major cities London and Edinburgh, which are home to 569 and 394 B&Bs respectively. Inverness (232) and the Isle of Wight (229) complete the top five destinations by number of B&Bs, meaning that one in eleven (nine per cent) of all B&Bs in the UK are situated in these five locations.

Table One: Number and proportion of B&Bs in the UK by region, 2017

Rank City or town Region Estimated number of B&Bs
1 Blackpool North West 862
2 London London 569
3 Edinburgh Scotland 394
4 Inverness Scotland 232
5 Isle of Wight South East 229
6 York Yorkshire and the Humber 194
7 Scarborough Yorkshire and the Humber 183
8 Weymouth South West 166
9 Bath South West 155
10 Bournemouth South West 133

Source: Direct Line for Business 2017

Jane Guaschi, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, said: "With its beaches, attractions and iconic tower it's not hard to see why Blackpool is the archetypal British holiday hotspot. It is, therefore, good news that our analysis shows that it's also the bed and breakfast capital of the UK, giving holidaymakers a wealth of options when it comes to choosing accommodation for their stay.

"B&Bs and guest houses offer cost-effective, personalised accommodation, often in a great location, making them the ideal place to stay when travelling around the UK. Many of these B&B operators pride themselves not only on their knowledge of the local area but also on going the extra mile to provide a great customer experience for their guests."

Across the UK there are estimated to be over 25,000 B&Bs, with the South West (21 per cent), Scotland (17 per cent) and South East (13 per cent) home to the greatest proportion of guest houses. On average, there is one B&B for every 3.6 mi2 in the UK, with London (one every 1.1 mi2), the South West (one every 1.7 mi2) and North West (one every 1.9 mi2) boasting the highest B&B density on a regional level.

Table two: The top areas for B&Bs in the UK, 2017

Region Estimated number of B&Bs Regional share of the UK's B&Bs B&B density (mi2 per lodging)
South West 5,288 20.5% 1.7
Scotland 4,319 16.7% 7.0
South East 3,227 12.5% 2.3
North West 2,837 11.0% 1.9
Yorkshire & The Humber 2,021 7.8% 2.8
Wales 1,890 7.3% 4.2
East of England 1,866 7.2% 4.0
West Midlands 1,331 5.1% 3.8
East Midlands 1,281 5.0% 5.0
North East 669 2.6% 4.8
London 569 2.2% 1.1
Northern Ireland 550 2.1% 9.7
UK total 25,848 100% 3.6

Source: Direct Line for Business 2017

The last year saw a record number of visitors to the UK, with 37.3 million trips made over the course of the year, and visitors spending more than £22.2 billion in the process2.

Guest accommodation statistics3 show that room occupancy across the UK has remained consistent in recent years, with England enjoying the highest occupancy (63 per cent), followed by Wales (53 per cent), Northern Ireland (48 per cent) and Scotland (42 per cent). The average room occupancy for the UK as a whole is 61 per cent.

When broken down by accommodation type, the figures show that guest house and B&B room occupancy has increased over the past five years, with guest house occupancy rising from 40 per cent in 2013 to 44 per cent in 2016, while B&Bs have increased from 32 per cent occupancy to 38 per cent.

Jane Guaschi continued: "Holidaymakers in the UK have a vast selection of options available to them when booking accommodation. With over a fifth of all UK accommodation categorised as either B&Bs or guest houses, it represents a major British industry and it is encouraging to see that room occupancy in smaller accommodation is increasing as travellers look to take advantage of the bespoke personal touch offered by independent hotels."

For further details on Direct Line for Business' Bed and Breakfast Insurance please visit:

Notes to editors

1 Direct Line for Business analysis of B&B property listings on by city, county and region, November 2017.

2 UK tourism statistics for 2016 published by

3 Occupancy data taken from the United Kingdom Occupancy Survey's Serviced Accommodation Summary Report, February 2017, joint-published by Visit England, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Figures based on the data supplied by 2,312 hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfast establishments throughout the UK. Average figure taken for guest houses and B&Bs.

For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Antonia Green
Tel: 020 7282 2967

Direct Line for Business
Jade Trimbee
PR Manager
Tel: 01372 839 452
Mobile: 07825 315 931

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting

Small Business Insurance Press Release

Added: 22 Feb 2018