The traditional B&B was something that became popular with the invention of the seaside holiday in Victorian times, and there is still something about the homely elegance of a Victorian house which conjures up the quaint romance of B&B holidays of the past.
With large sash windows letting in the summer sunshine and open fireplaces providing a cosy atmosphere on cooler evenings, Victorian houses make the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway. Have a look at our selection of Victorian bed and breakfasts below.
Grange View in Ayr, Scotland
Grange View is an elegant Victorian villa just two minutes from Ayr, a lively town whose excellent beach and proximity to Glasgow have made it a popular seaside destination since Victorian times.
The B&B has been tastefully restored, so while the original ornamental ceilings and cornices remain intact, each guestroom is equipped with an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen television and a DVD player.
Husband and wife team Ross and Joanne Armour offer good, old-fashioned hospitality including a traditional Scottish breakfast prepared using fresh ingredients from local Ayshire producers.
Cobb Lane Bed and Breakfast in Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Offering traditional southern-style hospitality is Cobb Lane Bed and Breakfast, a beautifully decorated Victorian home in Birmingham, Alabama.
The spacious guestrooms are lavishly furnished with luxurious fabrics and authentic period features such as graceful chandeliers and marble fireplaces, invoking the comfort and elegance of a bygone era. A restful nightÂ's sleep is guaranteed, and guests wake up to a delicious breakfast served on fine china in the formal dining room.
Built in 1898 on a hill overlooking the young city of Birmingham, nowadays Cobb Lane Bed and Breakfast is located in the historic Five Points area, close to the University of Alabama.
Five Star Villa in Florence, Italy
On a hill overlooking Florence, close to the church of St. Margherita a Moncini and just three kilometres from the famous Ponte Vecchio is the Five Star Villa. With tiled floors, a stone staircase, antique furniture and lavishly decorated rooms, this nineteenth-century villa boasts all the Italianate charm of the Victorian era.
Outside a beautiful garden of ancient cypresses and olive trees is surrounded by the vineyards and grassy hills of the Tuscan countryside, with the dome of BrunelleschiÂ's cathedral visible in the distance.
Ben Craig House in Edinburgh, Scotland
Ben Craig House is an attractive Victorian townhouse B&B set in the heart of Edinburgh. A local secret, the guesthouse has been awarded 4 stars by the Scottish Tourist Board and 4 diamonds by the AA.
All of EdinburghÂ's main attractions are within easy reach, including the Palace of Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle, as well as numerous top-quality pubs, restaurants and bars. For golf lovers, there are more than a dozen clubs within close proximity, and the area surrounding Edinburgh is home to some spectacular mountain and coastal scenery.
All rooms at Ben Craig House boast en-suite bathrooms, televisions and tea/coffee-making facilities, and a delicious breakfast can be enjoyed in the sunny conservatory, overlooking the beautiful garden.
Barnalick House in Adare, Ireland
Barnalick House is a nineteenth-century farmhouse B&B situated at the heart of the peaceful Golden Vale countryside, close to the village of Adare in County Limerick.
With just two guestrooms, a private and intimate atmosphere is guaranteed. Both rooms are set in the old Victorian farmhouse, overlooking the garden and the historic hill of Knockfierna Â- said to be the home of the Irish mythological figure, Donn Fírinne.
Ideal for a country escape, nearby Adare is known as one of the prettiest villages in Ireland; the streets are lined with thatched cottages and local attractions include a number of medieval monasteries and the beautiful Desmond Castle.
The Old Bank in Bruff, Ireland
Also in County Limerick is The Old Bank, a historic house offering a friendly family atmosphere, home cooking and eight luxurious guestrooms.
Each of the rooms features an en-suite bathroom with a jacuzzi bath. All have been individually decorated to combine period style with luxury, and range from intimate doubles with four-poster beds and views looking out over the peaceful courtyard gardens to family suites with interconnecting rooms.
The small town of Bruff enjoys an attractive location close to the beautiful countryside of Lough Gur as well as five golf courses and EuropeÂ's largest mountain biking park, for the more active traveler. The small country town has plenty of fine pubs and restaurants as well as pleasant riverside scenery.
Belvedere Lodge in Cork, Ireland
Set in a beautiful Victorian building close to the centre of Cork city, Belvedere Lodge is a four-star guesthouse offering comfortable accommodation and modern facilities.
The castle-like exterior houses twenty spacious en-suite guestrooms, all with views out over the lovely walled garden with its gazebos, ponds and gentle cascades. Some of the rooms even have private access to the lawn.
The guesthouse has a cosy fireplace lounge, with a good selection of books for whiling away a lazy hour or two, and a traditional full Irish breakfast is included in the rates.
Do you have a Victorian B&B or guesthouse? Visit our sign up page to list your property with BedandBreakfastworld.com.
By Eleanor Brown