If you like biking (or walking) and need a base to explore the Yorkshire Coast and the North York Moors National Park you might want to read on….
It was almost two years ago when I first went along to chat about plans for a new type of hotel aimed at cyclists and walkers that mixes the sort of service you get at an alpine chalet and, in this case, a seaside hotel. As somebody who has run a B&B for cyclists and walkers for almost 15 years, I understood what sort of services Bike&Boot would need to offer but the scale of his vision was completely on another level.
Back then, as we wandered around the dusty rooms of a closed down, tired and dated hotel, we chatted about bike storage, workstations, collaboration, bikes shops, bike brands, cycle routes and of course, coffee and cake.
Between then and now quite a bit has happened, not least a global pandemic that has threatened the very existence of many accommodation providers across the world. I’m sure it had an impact on the timescales for the team at Bike&Boot but I feel maybe, in some way, it helped them in their plans to take time to deliver something very unique.
Over the years we heard many opinions from our B&B guests on what they thought of Scarborough and most often it wasn’t based on first hand experience. Sure, there’s the obvious stereotype cliches involving chintzy B&Bs, sticks of rock, donuts, amusements, fish n chips and most people walking around looking like lobsters rather than eating one as part of a fine dining experience.
That is definitely doing “Scarbados’ a disservice though. In recent years, lots of investment is helping to change the original seaside resort into a cleaner feeling, more modern version of itself and as an active outdoor family we really do have a soft spot for the place. If you take the time to explore, it has some great places to eat, some great attractions and access to some fantastic walking and cycling both along the coast and inland to the North York Moors National Park.
Having been involved in the development of the new North York Moors Cycleway on the Cycle England project (that’s a whole other blog), I was really keen to see how Bike&Boot would fit into the growing ‘Cycling Friendly‘ scene (being promoted by the National Park. When we were asked if we’d like to come and stay for a night as part of their soft launch to help iron out any last minute glitches we jumped at the chance.
First stop was The Retreat. A great place to relax after a long walk or ride and to enjoy some free coffee and cake. Yep. You heard that right. Coffee and cake is laid on every afternoon bringing you a little bit of that ski chalet vibe.
As we wandered around we spotted lots of fun and quirky touches. There’s loads of information too, to help you make the most of your stay and huge wall maps to help you plan or brag about your routes!
The hotel is serious about offering all the facilities needed for those who enjoy the outdoors but it does it in a fun way with something to make you smile around every corner.
Downstairs is where you’ll find the activity friendly facilities with bike storage area, indoor bike wash and tool station with pump. For security, there’s CCTV everywhere and solid racking to lock your pride and joy to.
There’s also a dog wash area and even a cinema room showing free films three times a day.
After a bit of an explore we decided to have a stroll around Scarborough but instead of heading to one of our usual haunts, we decided to head back to the hotel for the full experience and to see what the Bareca had to offer in terms of food and drink.
One really nice touch is that despite having a great place to eat and drink onsite without having to step foot outside the hotel, the team have gone to a lot of effort to give you the inside skinny on lots of attractions and great places to eat and drink around the town.
After some great food and maybe one too many glasses of wonderful rose we went back to the room to put our feet up and catch a film before retiring for the night. Kudos if you can guess the classic we watched with our two teenagers! #kiducation
No matter how great the cycling friendly facilities and the general stay had been so far, there are a few basics that need to be right, such as a good shower (check!), a comfy bed (check!). So we only needed that decent breakfast to set you up for a long day on the bike….
OK, that’s the Holy Trinity taken care of. So, all bases covered then, friendly staff, a fabulous hotel, all the facilities us outdoor types need, great rooms, comfy beds, good showers and great food.
And I haven’t even mentioned access to some of the best cycling you’ll find in the UK. Access to the Cindertrack, the North York Moors Cycleway (watch out for another blog on that one) and only 30 mins from Dalby.
If you’re planning a cycling or walking staycation this year, you really need to add this to your list of options.