UK’s ‘fifth season’ leads to rise in bookings for bed and breakfasts

Bed and breakfast properties have seen an influx of bookings due to the UK’s ‘fifth season’ between summer and autumn, online booking specialist Eviivo’s quarterly National B&B Index has found.

Dubbed ‘Sortumn’, the “predictable” warmer September and October months has led to a 61% year-on-year rise in reservations at properties which classify themselves as ‘family-friendly’.

Tom Messett, director at Eviivo said: “The reliable bump up in temperature in late September and early October is attracting more and more families to Britain’s bed and breakfasts. The low, golden light, balmy not-too-hot temperatures, relatively warm sea and comparative peace and quiet are an attractive combination for holidaymakers.”

For the period from 1 September to 30 November, forward bookings at South Coast destinations are strong, with Penzance up 32%, Torquay up 29% and Bournemouth up 23%.

Nationwide, bed and breakfast forward bookings (seaside and inland) for the September – November period are up 18% year-on-year.

Regionally, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which have seen booking increases of 40% and 35% respectively, are the best performing regions for forward bookings.

The next strongest were central England, which was up by 21% and North East England which saw a 19% increase. All regions are seeing year-on-year growth.

Messett added: “We may be seeing a fundamental shift in holiday patterns, with a ‘Sortumn’ break in the UK becoming an established event in UK family life. There’s also a rediscovery of the joys of the short British break, something that many parents will remember nostalgically from their own childhoods and are now in turn introducing their children to.”

According to Met Office data, 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2016 saw September and October average temperatures that felt like a continuation of summer. Autumns since 2000 have been very mild. In 2011 and 2016, many areas of the country recorded their highest temperatures of the year.

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