A classic hotel lobby bell, next to a set of keys and a sign that reads, 'Check in'.

How to be The Best at UK Hotels – Book Direct

It’s always tempting to go the online route and book your trip away through an agent – it’s easy, it’s quick and they’re always ready to suggest the ‘cheapest prices’ online to really reel you in. As a matter of fact, that’s probably their only real draw beyond convenience. So why should you book direct when searching for UK hotels? Well, read on and you might just learn something.

Why Would I Book Direct?

It’s a given that booking through a third party might lead to some sort of fuss. After all, you’re not the one in control of your reservation. All sorts of troubles could arise: from reservations not being processed to your room being changed entirely and at that point you’re forced to wonder: who is to blame here? Finger pointing can lead to even more trouble, trouble that could’ve easy been avoided by cutting out the middle man.

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One on one, you build up a rapport with your hotel. It’s no longer just a faceless stepping-stone in the way of your holiday: there’s a voice at the end of the line and more often than not, hotels are more willing to help you out if you’re the one calling.

On top of that, there’s always the question of price. That tempting ‘cheapest prices here!’ banner might be seductive, but it’s usually not all that true. Most hotels are willing to match prices with online hotel finder sites over the phone – or even go lower. Usually, the cost difference is negligible.

Of course, there’s also the simple fact that hotels pay commission fees to the agents that advertise their rooms and wares – inflating costs up to 18% of what they should be. Clever hotels take advantage of that and give guests the chance to make savings: but only if they book direct.

There you have it – booking a hotel room online via a third party might be easier but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be cheaper, or even the more convenient assuming a problem does come up. To really get to know UK hotels (and snag the best prices) you’ll want to book direct. If you really want to avoid the hustle and bustle, then there’re always alternate holiday ideas that might just catch your eye!

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A field of flowers, the sky is blue. It's spring.

UK Spring Festivals You Don’t Want To Miss

Spring is fast approaching and with it comes a myriad of unique, fun filled festivals that can only be found within the UK. A gorgeous country filled with culture, history and a keen sense of wit, the UK has built up a repertoire of somewhat unusual activities alongside the norm. That’s why there’s always a plethora of strange, yet historic, Spring festivals you don’t want to miss in the UK.

Eelin’ Fine

We’ll start with the unconventional – Eels. Between the 29th of April and the 2nd of May, the town of Ely, Cambridgeshire, celebrates their namesake in the only sensible way: by making custom eel toys and having a contest to see who can throw them the farthest. Of course, the festival isn’t just about Eels. The Eel Festival Weekend generally features an (eel-based) food safari and a more vaguely defined food and drink festival on the last day of the event.

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The second day of the event traditionally includes an annual competition for Town Criers, the best cry takes all and we can only assume that they win something suitably Eel related. If Eels aren’t to your tastes, never fear; the festival will also have a hog roast and pizza for those feeling the eel burn – or if you’re just that little bit squeamish!

A Little Cheesy

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The UK might be host to more strange festivals and traditions, but one stands out among all the rest. World-famous, Cheese-Rolling is one of those strange facts of life that many in the UK just (as the saying goes) roll with. The origins of the ceremony are vague, with several different origins noted, from pagan to the more mundane. Today, it’s simply an organic event.

The most popular and well known Cheese-Rolling festival takes place near Gloucester on the Spring Bank Holiday and allows competitors from all over the world to take part: racing cheese down Cooper’s Hill. The cheese has been known to reach speeds of up to 70mph, so standing in the way may not be the best idea.

If you’re in the UK on holiday, or as a resident, there’s all sorts of fun to be had over the Spring months. Quirky, zany and just a little bit bizarre, these are the Spring Festivals you don’t want to miss. In the UK later in the year? Then be sure to check out these Autumn Festivals in the UK.

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