Author Topic: can the walking community help me please???  (Read 649 times)

closp

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can the walking community help me please???
« on: 21:54:08, 13/07/20 »
I am looking to start a family run business in the Peak District that offers walkers, bikers and general explorers of the district to have a luxury overnight stay. I am looking for advice from you all to create the off grid accommodation around the walking community and trailers the experience to your taste and interests. So please fire away any thoughts and suggestions (i.e. would you like the perfect view of the district to enjoy your evening? would you like a ready made meal? would you like it pet friendly? ect) I would like to thank you in advance and please feel free to ask any questions.


Thank you
Chloe

WhitstableDave

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #1 on: 22:32:19, 13/07/20 »
Sounds great Chloe; my wife and I often use overnight stays and luxury is always best!

But do you really mean 'overnight' - as in just the one night? We've done that many times, but only when we're on the way to somewhere else. For example, we stayed overnight in Cumbria last summer on our way home to Whitstable from the Highlands. If we were going to the Peak District for a walking holiday we'd want a full week.

As to requirements... we would want vegan meals (although we really prefer self-catering).  :)

Birdman

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #2 on: 09:22:09, 14/07/20 »


I myself am not really your target group because I always go for free or ultra cheap options. However, lots of walkers are interested in comfortable options.


If you are located off the grid, I would value a cosy dining/ socialising area where you can eat home-cooked meals. If you are aiming at hikers and bikers, they are often tired in the evening and not so eager to go out for a meal, so if you offer that option... Including the availability of a nice range of beers.


One thing that is highly valued by long distance walkers is a laundry service (or even just access to a washing/ drying machine).


Well, this is my personal perspective and others may have very different views.


My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Ridge

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #3 on: 09:48:38, 14/07/20 »
Homely, comfortable and friendly as opposed to luxury.


When I get to you soaking wet and covered in mud I'll take off as much as I can in the porch but don't want to worry as I climb the stairs that I am dripping mud on a pale, expensive carpet. I also have to put those things down when I get to my room.


Drying and laundry rooms. Plenty of plugs for chargers.


I'm not going to have anything halfway decent to wear so in the evening I need to feel comfortable in shorts, Tshirt and flip-flops.


Food should be good sized portions of home cooking and, unless you can offer lots of options, fairly boring so that there is something for everyone. Always have sausage and mash, lasagne, burger and chips and vegan curry available.


Squidgy sofas, a real fire, no TV and a local beer make for a perfect evening.


Breakfast should run for as long as you can stand to do it. I may want a very early start or I may want a lie in after yesterdays long walk.


If, for a similar price, I can hire self catering accommodation and walk to a local pub each evening to eat I would probably decide to do that.

Jac

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #4 on: 09:59:59, 14/07/20 »
All of the points above plus

as decent a reduction as you can afford for singles

and
a hot tub - we were lucky enough to find one a couple of times when walking the Wessex Ridgeway - bliss after a long hot and dusty day on the trail.
So many paths, so little time

watershed

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #5 on: 10:22:20, 14/07/20 »
It probably depends what your site limitations, budget and footfall potential are.
I stayed a night at the Glen Clova Hotel in 2018, I was walking through, from Braemar, looking for a campsite. It was raining and when stopping in for a refreshment was told they had room in their Steading rooms. I booked the night had a bar supper, and left very satisfied, and dry, after an excellent breakfast.
A smaller version of their set up would certainly tempt me if I was planning a route nearby.
It has all of the previous comments covered.
I didn't see if they had a boot room/drying room/laundry, but that would be valuable, as it should help keep the rest of your property cleaner.

https://www.clova.com/

Ridge

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #6 on: 10:32:18, 14/07/20 »
As an aside.
If you don't have to be in the Peak District there is a business for sale on the Pennine Way which sounds similar to that which we are all describing. It is the only place to stay at that point and trying to book a room during the season can be a nightmare as they are so busy. They also run a transport service so that you don't have to walk 1 huge day it can be split in half and they get 2 days occupancy.
I've no interest in it but my PW trip this summer is entirely scheduled round when they had availability.

Birdman

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #7 on: 10:32:33, 14/07/20 »
no TV


Yes, this is very important! Even better would be to have a phone jammer installed and no wifi, so it would be a really social place where you can enjoy beers with other walkers and bikers :)
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

Booga

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #8 on: 10:39:23, 14/07/20 »
Best of luck with your business.
My suggestions have pretty much been covered already but the things that come to mind for me are:
Secure bicycle storage, perhaps a hose for spraying down muddy bikes/boots, and the ability to wash/dry clothes, even if it's just a sink and drying room.

Food options that cater for everyone, the aforementioned vegan curry/casserole etc is actually a good thing to have on the menu as vegan options will also be suitable for vegetarians, omnivores, those with egg/dairy allergies, some religious requirements etc. Keeping a non-dairy milk in stock is really appreciated by those who want tea/coffee without dairy for whatever reason.
Location near the Pennine Way or accessible by bus etc may prove popular, also a camping option for those happy to hike and camp.
Finally price point. Keep it at a decent price or maybe offer bunkhouse/camping too for those who just want a place to put their head down. :)

Birdman

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #9 on: 10:58:01, 14/07/20 »
The plan of OP was to create a luxury overnight stay. But the reactions so far indicate more demand for budget, non-luxury, more practical place to stay with laundry, drying room, safe bike storage, generous portions of non-luxury food, no need to look smart, tent pitching area in the garden, etc.


In my experience, there is often (everywhere in the world) plenty of choice in luxury options but a shortage in budget, practical options. Of course the latter is less fun for owners, because they like to put their heart into things like beautiful room decoration, fancy food etc and making a good profit margin, instead of simple cheap big filling meals and dealing with muddy boots and laundry. But the latter is often much more interesting for serious walkers and bikers.
My travel and walking reports: https://www.hikingbirdman.com/

barewirewalker

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #10 on: 11:47:08, 14/07/20 »
Hi Chloe,
I enjoy good hospitality, although I am not particularly wealthy I can pay for quality when I am in the mood. I have done the rougher end as well but I walk with my wife, who enjoys being spoilt (however she can cope with the rough). Location is important, a shrewd business man can spot the place to purchase the property for a business to be successful and by making the correct connections for trade.

I have stayed at many farmhouse B&B's, I hold very critical views on landowners but the places I have felt most welcome are those hosts who understand their immediate terrain and how it interlinks beyond their boundaries. As an ex farmer, I often recognise lack of understanding between host and visitor, which can be quite revealing. You seem to be getting good general advice about internal comforts, but how will your outreach philosophy reflect in the services you have to offer.


We stayed at a village pub in mid Wales, where our host freely offered to run us 30 miles so that we could walk a 10 to 15 mile linear back to his pub. The walk was particularly memorable, he did not charge us for this but when I discussed the route we did, he said that there was a local taxi driver in the village, who could have done the run. I suspect Ray was very high in the local rural mafia, so he was doling out some very valuable advice about possible routes, also providing us with a free verbal passport, which on the one occasion we used it with great effect.

Where Sherperage is possible, local networking could be a valuable asset. This will greatly add to the quality of linear walks, not just with being enroute for a national trail. Having put some time into local authority representation, there is a sad lack of research into the relationship between the hospitality trade and the access network. I following some very high quality stays in a particular Welsh valley both in hotel and self-catering I felt I had to write a risk assessment into the visitors book based on the best routes being high on the valley rim, yet the small farms that had become private dwellings, which originally accessed the hill grazing had approach drives a mile or so long and not enough of these were rights of way. Escape routes were few and the risk if weather change was incompatible with the access network.

Now I like a good wine list and would rather go to the local for a pint, where the draw on the barrel is high enough for good a quality pint. I can remember the ambience of the Waterloo Hotel by the Waterloo Bridge in  Betwys y Coed, before it was pulled down, wet waterproofs, steamy boots, buzz of conversation and waiter service. Another era, but a good hotelier will get the ingredients right for other generations, hopefully!
Best of luck  ;)

BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

Islandplodder

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #11 on: 13:32:56, 14/07/20 »
A lot of places in tourist areas only take 2 night bookings.  If you are walking or cycling through it can be a nightmare finding places which will take a booking for a single night, so that is a point to bear in mind, a lot of us are looking for single nights.   A single room or two is always helpful, not many places have them, but accommodation providers who have single rooms have told me they are always full.  Other than that, I think most things I can think of have already been covered.  Except maybe the odd room with a bath rather than a shower.

BuzyG

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #12 on: 13:59:32, 14/07/20 »
Two different modes from me.  With Mrs G along then a typical B&B set up works perfectly.

On my own, all I want/need is a cheap comfy room and bed for the period of the stay. Plus somewhere to shower and prepare food for the next day.  No frills.  YHA type accommodation.

archaeoroutes

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #13 on: 08:50:32, 15/07/20 »

Yes, this is very important! Even better would be to have a phone jammer installed and no wifi, so it would be a really social place where you can enjoy beers with other walkers and bikers :)


That would be me out. I cant afford the time away from wirk, but wifi means I can still get stuff done. And being forced to yo socialise ruins the peace and solitude of the experience.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

Islandplodder

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Re: can the walking community help me please???
« Reply #14 on: 09:47:59, 15/07/20 »
Just because wifi and phone is available doesn't mean you have to use it. You can switch your phone off, as I often do once I have assured the OH I have survived the day.