Love holidays? Make a break your business

The desirable Rother Valley Guest House is on the market.
The desirable Rother Valley Guest House is on the market.
Promoted by Ernest Wilson

Could you keep the holiday feeling going all year round? Running a bed and breakfast could be the break you need.

You’ve savoured the scenery, hiked hills, chatted with strangers, and just chilled out.

But as the summer draws to a close, it can quickly feel like those feel-good holiday vibes are all in the past.

If there was a way to keep the holiday feeling going, then who wouldn’t take it?

For Rotherham bed and breakfast owners John and Pat Drayton, every day might not exactly have been a holiday, but they been able to play a key role in making other people’s breaks memorable.

One of the most interesting elements, says John, has been the chance to meet so many people from diverse backgrounds.

“We get a lot of people from abroad. We’ve just had guests from Spain and New Zealand. We’ve seen a lot of people in the past five years who have come from Australia.

“Of course, as a bed and breakfast landlord or landlady, you don’t have to spend a lot of time with your guests – and often they want a bit of space anyway – but it’s interesting to find out a bit about them and make them feel welcome.”

John, 68, and Pat, who’s 59, are now preparing to retire after five years at the helm of their thriving business. Now on the market, Rother Valley View Bed and Breakfast, with its six guestrooms, cosy dining room and peaceful gardens, is set to enter a new era.

Whoever takes it on, will have a ready-made holiday destination that’s already seeing the benefits of its prime location, close to the site of Gulliver’s planned £37m resort and theme park, and handy for Meadowhall and Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield and Rotherham.

As John points out, the couple were newcomers to the tourism sector when they decided to extend the family home to create a self-contained guesthouse facility.

“The house was big even without the extension,” recalls John. “We decided to create a bed and breakfast business without really knowing what it would be like.

“We were still getting organised, it was dusty and we had builders about, but we already had people ringing up and asking to stay.

“We had a good feeling about it straight away.”

The bed and breakfast went from strength to strength and the couple soon began to enjoy the flexibility of being their own bosses.

“Once we’ve organised breakfast, the laundry and tidied up, the rest of the day is our own to do as we please,” explains John.

Running the business has been remarkably straight forward. Thanks to a wealth of positive reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, bookings often take care of themselves with potential guests clicking on the Rother Valley View website from across the world.

The guest house also has a strong reputation among more local visitors, with families often taking over the rooms for family occasions, weddings and funerals.

As a result, even when it’s running at 40 per cent capacity, the business racks up more than £55,000 turnover a year, with the potential to hit £144,000 when it is running a full capacity.

That, says John, is entirely possible, as tourism in the area prepares for a boost from the new Gulliver’s venture at Rother Valley Country Park.

“We have already had people getting in touch to book for Gulliver’s even though it’s still two years away.

“That’s what has made us think it’s time to let someone else take over, so they can take full advantage of the opportunities it will bring.”

But could running a bed and breakfast mean having to forgo your own holidays? The couple, who are just back from a fortnight in Benidorm, insist it means extra freedom to plan your own time out.

“You can choose when you open, and when you want to take a break,” adds John. “We always have our summer holiday and a break at Christmas.

“Everyone needs a holiday.”

Rother Valley Guest House, Worksop Road, Swallownest, has six en-suite letting rooms plus a four-bedroom owners’ house, mature gardens, and space to extend further (subject to planning permission). It is currently on the market for offers over £655,000.

To find out more visit commercial property specialists Ernest Wilson & Co. Established in 1956, its experienced team has concluded thousands of

commercial property deals – from guest houses to hairdressers, hotels to pubs, with finance options and support throughout the sale process.

Call 0113 238 2900 or visit the website www.ernest-wilson.co.uk