Opening soon

Its been tough, taken longer and cost more than we planned but we are almost there and I can’t wait.

Its the 11th of April 2017 and we may open for business before the end of May.  The property needed fully rewired and we took the opportunity to replace the fire system for an upgrade.  The electricians from Lewis Contracting have been great and the work is flying along.

Vanessa and I are heading up this weekend to crack on with some redecorating and gardening.  In favor of a fresh start we have changed the name to Underhill Guest House (let me know what you think) and I am currently busy drawing logos for business cards and signs.

Perhaps stubbornly we have opted to have a go at the website ourselves instead of paying a professional.  Yes we may have already regretted this several times but Vanessa and I really want to maintain an informal, personal approach to the business, so hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Right, back off to B&Q for more supplies, hopefully see you here soon.


Our 10 year plan

Shortly after I left the army and began teaching, Vanessa and I spent a night in a bed and breakfast in the Lake District. 

We often stopped there on the way to Glasgow to break up the 450 mile trip from Kent.   The owners were lovely, really friendly and they were younger than we’d expected, maybe only 5-10 years older than us.

Well it turned out that he was ex-military and while we were chatting I couldn’t stop thinking this guys lifestyle sounds perfect and he’s no different to me a few years from now.

The plan was hatched.

I researched the business model for guest houses and how profit efficient they were, what turnover could be achieved in various parts of the UK, Canada and Australia and what lifestyle they might afford.

We quickly decided the plan that would suit us best was a 6-8 guest room Bed and Breakfast in Keswick in the Lake District.  We began a 10 year plan in 2009 of saving to get the deposit and capital required.

Keswick is my favorite town in the Lakes, its pedestrian center is relaxed even when busy.  There’s markets, shops, tourist information, pubs, cafes and restaurants and its perfectly located for some of the best walking and cycling.

Describing the Lake District as ‘beautiful’ knots my stomach, frustrated that my lack of vocabulary or creativity can’t do it justice, I love it!  It is beautiful (sorry) and close enough that Vanessa and I can visit friends and family in the south of England.

A few calculated risks and some good luck later we are just about there.  We are deep into the process of buying a 7 bed guest house in Keswick. We hope to be doing business early 2017, it is going to need some work and it will be a steep learning curve but we are both determined to make it one of the most welcoming, fun places in the lakes.

Wish us luck x