Bike and boot, Scarborough
A new hotel concept that focuses solely on the practicalities of cycling and walking in typical English weather. Inevitably, mud is a concern. âWe will have drying areas, a bicycle station with a cleaning area, a dog grooming and bathing station,â explains Simon Kershaw, general manager. “And a shower area for the guests too.”
With Bike & Boot, Kershaw and his business partner Simon Rhatigan are making a Â£ 2million bet that Britons are willing to trade foreign tans for a nice coat of the British countryside. The first, with 60 rooms, opens on Scarborough’s waterfront in May, but is already accepting reservations.
” In terms of facilities, it will be chalet ski level, ” said Kershaw. Hotel guests will have access to his “retreat,” with free tea, coffee and cakes. The secure bicycle storage will have CCTV and if the weather is really bad there is an on-site cinema and an all-day restaurant.
So far, hostels have largely led the way in terms of offering good facilities. They expect a reboot of classic tourist vacations; motorcyclists will not be forgotten, nor motorists. Both subcultures will have dedicated secure areas for parking and there will be charging points for electric cars. Kershaw and Rhatigan, with over 40 years of hospitality experience between them, have already identified expansion sites in the hilly areas of North Wales, the Peak District and the Forest of Bowland.
Country hotels slowly began to adapt as well, abandoning the ethics of hunting, shooting and fishing for less demanding activities. As vacationers think more seriously about their carbon footprint and the ethics of long-haul flights, Kershaw and Rhatigan’s niche offering seems like perfect timing.
Rates from just Â£ 70 per room, rising to Â£ 185 for suites,bikeandboot.com
This Postbridge, Devon hostel has the working essentials of a bicycle shop, drying room and laundry room. There’s a six-mile, family-friendly circular route that runs past the inn, while Bellever Forest has more trails that are good for first-timers as well. Walking and climbing are also superb, including circular and more difficult routes.
Private rooms, sleeping up to three, from Â£ 36, room only, yha.org.uk
Enniskeen Country House Hotel, County Down
This small hotel in the Morne mountains is run by a family of keen hikers. It offers a pick-up and drop-off service for walkers and cyclists, as well as plastic cards, packed lunches and thermos. Back at the hotel, a Victorian mansion built by a local tobacco and maritime rope tycoon, the drying room is equipped with dehumidifiers. Bicycle rental can be arranged, including electric bicycles. The hotel also offers rental of walking shoes, waterproof clothing and backpacks.
Double guest room from Â£ 100, enniskeenhotel.co.uk
Castle Hotel, Shropshire
Located in the small market town of Bishop’s Castle, this hotel has a history stretching back 300 years. He now has an avid cyclist in charge. There is a secure lockable space available for bicycles, as well as overnight clothes drying facilities. In addition, there is an external hose and brushes for cleaning the bikes, as well as a bike repair, pump, tools and first aid kit available. The Bishop’s Castle Ring and the Bishop’s Castle Challenge Walk offer many challenges for experienced walkers.
B&B from Â£ 110, thecastlehotelbishopscastle.co.uk
Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, Gwynedd
At the foot of Mount Snowdon, it was once a key training base for the successful ascent of Everest in 1953. There’s still a 1950s vibe, vintage studded boots on display and chintz furniture, over wood fires and hearty meals. It’s fair to say mountaineers are at the top of the heap here, but walkers also come in droves, and while there is no dedicated storage, cyclists can stow their bikes in the locked beer shed.
Double B&B from 95 â¬, pyg.co.uk
White swan, Yorkshire
A cheerful pub in the market town of Pickering, well positioned for Tour de Yorkshire highlights, as well as Dalby Forest, which hosted the World Mountain Bike Championships. Owned by a cycling enthusiast, the equipment has been carefully thought out, including a drying room, lockable storage and a workbench. There is a real pub feel with open fireplaces, as well as Feast, a cafe that can provide a packed lunch.
Double guest room from Â£ 150, cygne-blanc.fr
Mansion Ruthin and Llangollen
Just beyond the Welsh border of Chester, the Ruthin hiking trails around Clwydian Range, Dee Valley and Offa’s Dyke mean this hotel has a strong walking heritage. Highlights of road cycling include the Horseshoe Pass running from Llandegla – just outside Ruthin – to Llangollen and there is also the mountain biking center at Coed Llandegla. At the Manorhaus in Ruthin there is a lockable storage space for three bicycles; its sister hotel in Llangollen can accommodate six people. As Chris Frost, co-owner of Manorhaus says: âIf you have a Â£ 5,000 bike you want to know that it will be properly stowed – and you want to stay somewhere nice.
Double from Â£ 80 room only, manorhaus.com
Bunk bed and breakfast, Yorkshire
Basic but well thought out accommodation which is part of the Dales Bike Center in the Swaledale Valley. There are 14 bunk beds, with shared facilities plus a cafe, repair shop, laundry area, and most importantly, 24-hour access to cakes via an honesty box (there is usually a selection of about 15 different pastries). Nearby rides include the 30 mile Tan Hill Loop.
guest rooms from Â£ 58, dalesbikecentre.co.uk
Selkirk Arms, Dumfries & Galloway Hotel
In the artistic town of Kirkcudbright, this friendly hostel has ample lockable storage space for bicycles, with a key and adjustment area with washing and lubrication facilities. Owner Chris Walker has a variety of routes to share on Strava. If you don’t bring your bike with you, nearby Galloway Cycles can hire bikes from Â£ 30 per day. On foot there is the River Dee and the Solway Coast to explore.
Double guest room from Â£ 99, selkirkarmshotel.co.uk
Easily accessible by train, this luxury hotel near Ambleside has a partnership with Arc’teryx that allows guests to borrow everything from boots, jackets and gloves to backpacks. It’s part of the Langdale estate, so guests have 14 hectares (35 acres) to explore – with the Hodge Close mountain bike just beyond – and can take some relief afterward. There is a secure storage room for bicycles and bicycle rental available nearby.
Double Bed and breakfast from Â£ 314, 01 539 438 062, brimstonehotel.co.uk
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