January 2014: Visitors and awareness up!
In 2013 HistoricBritain.com built on the growth of the previous years and for the first time undertook a dedicated PR campaign to raise the awareness of the historic buildings available to rent. This highlighted the delights for holidaymakers looking for accommodation that is a little bit different from their usual hotel break, as well as the advantages to owners the additional revenue can bring.
Charlie Ramsay said “We were delighted with the coverage that HistoricBritain has received over the last year, with features in The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Huffington Post as well as many regional titles. This has driven an increase in visitors to our site, as well as raising the awareness of this unique accommodation.”
January 2013: HistoricBritain.com continues to grow
We are pleased to announce further growth in properties and tours on HistoricBritain.com to over 500 historic treasures around the country. Booking values at these properties across our network trebbled as number of visitors grew and a higher proportion of visitors made a booking. Customer satisfaction was very high, with the average rating of 4.4 out of 5 for Overall Experience.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of the SpeedyBooker (of which HistoricBritain is a part) commented "In 2012 HistoricBritain.com consolidated its recent growth and became much better at acheiving bookings, not just visitors. This means happy property owners and managers, and judging from the customer ratings, happy customers too! We look forward to further growth in bookings and properties in the future, so if you are interested in advertising your B&B or hotel, please get in touch."
January 2012: Visitor numbers double in 2011!
HistoricBritain.com is on the up! We are proud to announce that unique visitors to the website reached 119,885 in 2011, double that in 2010. Our visitors are also increasingly finding what they want to book thanks to the increased number of B&Bs and Hotels on the website. These acheivements are thanks to the hard work of the HistoricBritain team.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of the SpeedyBooker (of which HistoricBritain is a part), commented "2011 was another giant step forward for HistoricBritain.com, and we look forward to maintaining the growth in visitors and properties in 2012. We are building a site of international reputation that showcases some of the best and most characterful British places to stay and visit."
June 2010: 103% growth in visitors
We are pleased to announce that, on a rolling twelve month basis, we have passed 50,000 unique visitors to our website for the first time. This represents 103% growth over the previous 12 months. In addition, we have recently passed 400 properties on the website.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of HistoricBritain.com commented "Whilst we are very pleased with the growth in visitors to the website, which we will continue to drive, our main focus at present is on increasing the number of properties on the website. Only with a critical mass of properties can customers make comparisons and therefore book with confidence. The next few years will see a significant acceleration in both properties and visitors."
September 2009: Sunday Times article: Stately Homes Paying the Bills by Charlotte Hunt-Grubbe.
Today we were covered in an article on how historic houses can make money:
'Help is at hand in the form of the entrepreneur Charlie Ramsay, 28, whose company Historic Britain is gently nudging the reluctant to fling open their doors. “Britain’s history is not as accessible as it could be,” he says. “It can be daunting letting strangers into the house; and they worry about having to field calls day and night.” From Ramsay’s reports, there’s a lot of money to be made. The company’s website has had over 30,000 visits this year from customers attracted to an exclusive B&B or a tour of an undiscovered cultural gem. Bookings through Historic Britain and Ramsay’s other venture, University Rooms — which has opened up 12 universities, including 17 Oxford and Cambridge colleges, for bed and breakfast — have totalled over £1.2m so far this year, double last year’s take.
'Users just have to type in the ages of guests they would prefer to accommodate — unruly gap-year students can be vetoed — then wander off, prune the roses and wait for an e-mail saying who’s coming and how much money they’ve made. For some, says Ramsay, having company is a blessing, not to mention the bonus of seeing their gardeners raise themselves from the potting-shed floor and race, rabbit-like, around the flower beds. “It keeps him on his toes,” says a retired general who opened his garden to the public for this sole purpose. '
September 2008: Update
We have had a successful start with our first six clients (all colleges in Oxford and Cambridge) and generated them bookings for over 9500 room nights so far this year. With this under our belt, and following a great deal of time invested into "fine tuning" the website over the summer, we today begun our campaign to sign up new clients, with a view to having a decent number live on the website in time for a busy spring and summer 2009.
April 2008: Unique bed and breakfast accommodation service now available for visitors to Oxford and Cambridge
Visitors to Oxford and Cambridge are benefiting from an exciting new service in these historic cities: the ability to book bed and breakfast accommodation in the famous University colleges.
Oxford and Cambridge are both popular destinations for British and International visitors alike: Oxford receives roughly 8.8m per year and Cambridge receives 4.6m (source: National Statistics). In both cases, their world famous universities are the main reason for this, giving the cities the majority of their historic buildings (both universities date from the 13th Century), green spaces, and inspiring views. In Oxford, there are an incredible 900 buildings that are either listed or have been recognised as having historic or architectural merit, and the joy for visitors is that they are all located within a very neatly packed single square mile.
Both Oxford and Cambridge Universities are world class academic institutions: consistently ranked the top two in the UK, they also rank second and third globally after Harvard (source: QS Ltd; Times Higher Education Supplement, 2007). Students travel from all over the world to attend, both for the excellent higher education but also to experience student life in the hallowed cities.
Many famous graduates have helped to spread the reputation of the universities, both through returning to far corners of the world, and through their subsequent achievements. From Cambridge, these include Sir David Attenborough, actors John Cleese, Hugh Lawrie and Sacha Baron-Cohen (Ali G), the author Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Princes Charles and Edward, poets Siegfried Sasson and William Wordsworth, Economist John Maynard Keynes, Prime Ministers William Pitt and Oliver Cromwell, and Sportsmen Mike Atherton. In total Cambridge has produced 82 Nobel Laureates. Its speciality in science is reflected in the following contributions:
- Understanding the scientific method, by Francis Bacon
- The laws of motion, by Sir Isaac Newton
- The discovery of the electron, by J. J. Thomson
- The unification of electromagnetism, by James Clerk Maxwell
- The discovery of hydrogen, by Henry Cavendish
- Evolution by natural selection, by Charles Darwin
- The Turing machine, the basis of modern computers, by Alan Turing
- The structure of DNA, by Francis Crick and James D. Watson
Oxford, for its part, has had a role in educating four British, and at least eight foreign kings, 47 Nobel prize-winners, three Fields medallists, 25 British Prime Ministers, 28 foreign presidents and prime ministers including Indira Ghandi and Bill Clinton, seven saints, 86 archbishops, 18 cardinals, and one pope. Seven of the last eleven British Prime Ministers have been Oxford graduates, including Tony Blair. Oxford’s strengths in the arts are reflected in several famous authors (including Evelyn Waugh, Graham Green, Aldous Huxley, JRR Tolkien, Oscar Wilde and Lewis Carroll) and actors (including Michael Palin, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant).
In addition, the cities have featured in several films including the recent Harry Potter films, where various parts of Oxford University have played roles: the Bodlein Library’s Divinity School was used as Hogwarts Sanatorium, the Duke Humphrey’s Library was used as the Hogwarts Library, and Christ Church college’s dining hall was used as the Hogwarts dining hall. And all corners of the University were used in The Golden Compass.
It is the combination of being able to trace the footsteps of these famous graduates and actors and the ability to experience life inside the universities that is making the college bed and breakfast service so popular. Drawing one’s curtain back to see an Oxford quad or Cambridge court, stumbling down a creaking 500 year old wooden staircase en route to breakfast in a magnificent dining hall is an experience that few forget. In addition to this, the colleges are all wonderfully central and the rooms (starting from £40) are more affordable than local hotels. Most are single but twins are available. All have their own washbasin and an increasing number now have ensuite bathroom facilities.