King's Reach B&B Story
Taste of Place Trails Stories
Kings Reach Bed and Breakfast isn’t like other B&Bs in Argyll – its owners, Sara and Sean, are vegan, and run their bed and breakfast in line with their own lifestyle. They want everyone to feel welcome at Kings Reach, though, and encourage non-vegans to stay with them and experience a different way of life.
The start of the journey, literally
In 2017, three years after visiting Scotland for the first time, Sara and Sean quit their jobs and sold their house and drove to Scotland with all their possessions in the back of the car. They had no clear plan or any real destination, and a vague idea that they’d quite like to run a bed and breakfast. They settled near Inverness for a while but couldn’t find anywhere that fit their brief but, when they expanded their search to Argyll and quickly came across Kings Reach, they realised they had found just what they were looking for. When she first chose to move to Argyll, Sara says, she didn’t know much about it, but since embedding herself in the area she’s fallen in love with the history and landscape. She loves the tranquillity, describing it as “a breath of fresh air. It’s like a little bit of Scotland all to yourself.” She describes a feeling of having been here before, and a deep connection to the natural landscape.
Experience a true way of life
Sara and Sean always knew their B&B would be vegan – “that’s the way we live our life,” Sara says, “there’s no way we could consider serving animal products because it’s not something we would consume or buy. The business is who we are. The way we live our life is the way we run our business.” She says “you can veganise anything” and talks me through the B&B’s breakfast menu, which includes a full cooked breakfast and an American pancake stack, alongside fresh bread which is baked by the couple every day. Sara appreciates that their way of doing things isn’t for everyone, but hopes that people who embrace a “flexitarian” diet can visit them to experience something a bit different alongside vegans who will find travelling easier with places like Kings Reach to welcome them. Sara emphasises that everyone is welcome at Kings Reach, regardless of their lifestyle choices. Alongside the bed and breakfast, they also have two self-catering properties which can be rented out for exclusive use, where guests are free to eat whatever they choose but which are also vegan friendly.
Making a difference by offering choice
Sara and Sean’s presence in the area has had a wider impact, with the local pub (which is a five minute walk from Kings Reach) now serving an extensive vegan menu, thanks in part to the B&B’s guests visiting them for dinner. Sara says they are “attracting a different kind of tourist to Argyll” just by existing. She says “people are going to come here who would never have thought of coming to Scotland, even, and now they’re coming to Argyll”.
Argyll has clearly become a very special place for Sara, who speaks affectionately about her adopted home. Comparing it with other parts of Scotland, she says “I prefer the landscape here because it’s just such an interesting landscape, the coastline wiggles in and out and the wildlife around here is just mind-blowing. I really do think it’s a little gem.” She describes her view from the guest house, with Dunadd Fort at the end of Kilmartin Glen sitting in the distance. She likes to think of the bed and breakfast as a “peaceful haven”, a retreat for people after they’ve been out enjoying nature and exploring the natural landscape.
Inviting, in every sense of the word
It is evident that Sara is as passionate about Argyll and all it has to offer visitors as she is about ensuring the values of her business are in line with her own values as a person. Above all else, her ambition for Kings Reach is to be a welcoming, relaxing retreat for people of all walks of life, free from judgement and stereotypes. She wants to share her home with people who are open to different perspectives, and with the option of delicious vegan breakfasts served every morning or your own self-catering retreat in rural Argyll, it certainly sounds like it would be difficult for anyone not to feel at home at Kings Reach.