Are fam visits worth the bother? YES!

Cleveley Mere Huf HausIs it worth taking a day out of your busy schedule or sending your key staff on a familiarisation trip? Yes!!!

Yesterday I attended the Wyre Tourism Association familiarisation trip, I learnt loads about the Wyre area which I will be able take away and use when talking to people interested in visiting Lancashire along with some business tips that I will be able to pass onto Tourist Board members. The first stop was Cleveley Mere where all of the group were blown away by the Huf Haus. With its incredible interior and the view across the lake, it felt like the set of a James Bond movie. Roger, the owner, talked us through the developments that both he and his wife have made since they took the business over a year ago. The group were able to ask questions and took away some of Roger’s thoughts/ideas on how they have achieved an occupancy rate in excess of 90%.

All the group at Old Holly FarmNext on the itinerary was Old Holly Farm, the group was met by Alison who won the group over immediately with homemade cakes and biscuits from the café. Many of the group’s eyes glinted with excitement when we were then shown into play barn, but I was (I mean they were!) sadly disappointed when it became evident that it was for children only. A brief look at the goats and cows followed, then into the milking parlour to see where the cows are milked to make Old Holly’s ice cream. We then went onto The Crofters Inn where the owner, Nicola, showed us the impressive results of a major investment programme. Many of the group were pleased to see this former glory looking better than ever. I also know that more than one member of the group discovered how to lower the commissioned they pay to online booking agents! Thanks Nicola for that gem!

Lunch followed at the Cartford Inn, the duck that I had simply slide off of the bone and the crème brûlée I had for dessert was magnificent. Patrick, our host ensured that we were all full to the brim on his excellent food and laid down a clear indication of the quality of all Taste Lancashire participants.

It was time to walk off some of those calories by heading up to Cobble Hey, where the owner Edwina told us of their journey since they opened the gardens to the public. Now having a café, shop, animals, garden and education centre on site Cobble Hey has captured two very different business types and have had great results.

We then returned to Barton Grange Garden Centre where unfortunately l had to leave the group. I learnt so much about what Wyre has to offer the visitor along with some really good business tips that I will be passing onto members.

Zoe Viney

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