The Big Six: British urban B&Bs


The Pig in the Wall, Southampton

In October, this little piggy was trotted out by the people behind Hampshire's rural sweethearts – Lime Wood Hotel and The Pig in the Forest. The latest plot stands in a 15th-century wool house in Southampton's medieval walls, with the same rustic feel as its sister properties, but fewer rooms (just 12 this time) and no formal restaurant. Instead, breakfast is served before an open fire in the lounge and a free transfer is available to whisk guests to dinner at The Pig in the Forest.

The Pig in the Wall, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 2AZ (023-8063 6900; Doubles from £115. Breakfast £10pp.

Number 38, Bristol

This luxury townhouse looks down across the jumbled rooftops of Bristol town centre. Opened this year, it blurs the lines between hotel and B&B, with REN toiletries and Roberts radios, fluffy bathrobes and copper tubs, sleigh beds and antique chests. The only difference is that Number 38 doesn't do lunch or dinner. But when there's a hearty West Country breakfast, a delicious afternoon tea and a host of restaurants nearby to choose from, that will scarcely seem to matter.

Number 38, 38 Upper Belgrave Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2XN (0117-946 6905; Doubles start at £100, including breakfast. 

40 Winks, London

This East End townhouse is home to interior designer David Carter. His fantastical B&B has been designed with creative types in mind, promising a fun place to stay when they're in town. Every nook is laden with intriguing objects and arty additions: a porcelain greyhound poses in the fireplace; a vintage Beatles drumkit rests in the corner; Union flag cushions poke out from mismatched couches. The two television-free rooms upstairs are equally indulgent.

40 Winks, 109 Mile End Road, Stepney Green, London E1 4UJ (020-7790 0259; Doubles start at £185, including breakfast.

Wallace's Arthouse, Edinburgh

The Assembly Rooms of Leith were once used to entertain wealthy businessmen in the 19th century. Today, jovial Scot Wallace Shaw welcomes anyone. Having travelled the world as chief fashion designer at Pringle of Scotland, Wallace bought the historic pile in 2008. He hung the walls with his art collection, plonked a piano in the lounge and opened up two doubles to paying guests in 2010. The result is a cosy B&B with creative flair.

Wallace Arthouse, 41/4 Constitution Street, Edinburgh EH6 7BG (07941 343714; Doubles start at £115, including breakfast.

Snooze, Brighton

Snooze offers six mad-cap rooms in the heart of colourful Kemptown. Room One is an "upmarket fleamarket" with vintage signs and anglepoise lamps. Room Five swings to the Sixties with loud and proud flower power prints. Room Two leaps forward a decade to the Seventies with patterned wallpaper and retro sofas, while Room Seven nods to the East with Asian prints and posters. Two new "super suites" in the eaves add extra legroom and a healthy splash of leopard print.

Snooze, 25 St Georges Terrace, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1JJ (01273 605797; Doubles start at £65, including breakfast.

Didsbury House, Manchester

This pretty guesthouse offers spacious rooms amid the shops and cafés of Didsbury Village. They range from classic doubles, with rainshowers, minibars and large pocket-sprung beds, to the Opus Loft, with tailors' mannequins, two freestanding tubs and Temple Spa toiletries. The downstairs space is warmed by stained-glass windows, antique globes and dangling Edison lights, while the Blue Lounge beckons with a cosy, crackling fire.

Didsbury House, Manchester M20 5LJ (0161-448 2200; Doubles start at £120, B&B.