Welcoming guests on two wheels is key goal for inn

Tourism businesses have been discovering more about attracting the fast-growing cyclist visitor market at The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17 May, 2016, 14:00
Gary Turner, Berwick town councillor Gordon McLean, Berwick North councillor Gavin Jones, Alnwick councillor Gordon Castle, and Jude Leitch, from Visit Northumberland.

It unveiled its new cyclist-friendly facilities and hosted the launch of a Cycle Tourism Toolkit at its Welcoming Inn Cyclists event on Thursday.

Located on the edge of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), on the 120-mile Sandstone Way and the Coast and Castles cycle route, the inn has experienced a massive upswing in cycling tourism since putting the spotlight on this expanding market.

It secured match-funding from the Northumberland Coast AONB Sustainable Development Fund to help boost its facilities and offer for cyclists, investing in safe and secure bike storage, bike stands, repair kits, pumps, bike wash-down equipment and distinctive signs to show passing cyclists it is there to welcome them.

The inn has also worked with 24-hour mountain bike endurance rider Rich Rothwell to create a special Explorer menu of high-energy, home-made dishes to eat at the inn, snacks to take away as a packed lunch or to eat on the go.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Gary Turner, from The Lindisfarne Inn’s parent company, The Inn Collection Group, said: “We’ve really tried to put ourselves in the pedals of customers arriving by bike and being prepared and ready to offer the facilities and extra touches they need to make their time with us as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.”

Iain Robson, of the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, said: “We have an aim of getting visitors to the Northumberland coast out of their cars and onto two wheels. Alongside walking and using the bus, cycling is a great way of exploring the coast and we know that cyclists, like walkers, spend more money with local businesses than car-bourne visitors. ‘Drive less – see more’ is our message to people coming to the coast this summer.”

The Lindisfarne Inn worked closely with social enterprise Cycle Northumberland to create its new bike tourism offering. That advice is now being shared with other businesses in the Cycle Tourism Toolkit, a series of factsheets packed with information.

The toolkits can be downloaded from www.cyclenorthumberland.org.uk