Winter at Bressenden

Before you book to stay at Bressenden between the months of September and May, and especially during the darker mid-winter months of November through to March, please be aware that Bressenden at this time of year is different from how it feels during the sunnier, drier and warmer months. Because of its location it is also different from how a B&B situated in a city or town centre would feel. A rural climate can be colder than an urban one, especially in an isolated and old house. Bressenden in summer is a wonderful place for a holiday, but I personally might not choose an extended stay here in winter if I could find a cosier alternative in town for the same price, with a restaurant just around the corner! If you come here during the winter, it will probably be because you need somewhere to stay in the area for a couple of nights to visit friends or family or attend the nearby hospital. In such circumstances, Bressenden will provide you with a warm room and a good breakfast, but it is not the place to come to if you want a long break in a luxurious country house with deep sofas on which to spend the day sitting in front of cosy log fires and with staff on hand to bring you tea and muffins. These are the facts:

  • Unlike many B&Bs, Bressenden stays open all the year round. This is because there is a shortage of B&Bs open in the area in winter.
  • It is totally dark after sunset — there is no street lighting.
  • It is remote — there are no shops or cafes nearby and a car is needed to get anywhere.
  • It is cold outdoors — temperatures in deep country are always a couple of degrees lower than in urban environments.
  • It is wetter and muddier than in former years. The local roads and lanes are prone to the formation of potholes.
  • There are power cuts caused by trees falling on overhead power and lines as well as frequent unannounced disruptions to the mains water supply.
  • Falling trees can disable the overhead broadband connection, sometimes for days at a time.

For reasons of cost, the central heating at Bressenden is kept to a low setting which provides only background heating downstairs. To heat the bedrooms there are modern, electric panel radiators with thermostats that guests can control, which means that the bedrooms can be kept comfortably warm. The breakfast room also has supplementary electric heating. The rest of the house, however, including the stairway, hall, landing, kitchen and other public areas, might feel cold if you live in a small, modern and more thermally efficient home, and it is best to bring warm clothes. This last point may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of guests who routinely come down to breakfast in T-shirts and shorts in January.

Note that the East Wing is double-glazed. The remaining 74 single-glazed windows in the rest of the house will be replaced in the summer of 2024.