Lowther Castle and Arragon’s Cycles work in tandem to offer bike hire all year round
The enchanting Lowther Castle near Penrith in Cumbria has teamed up with second-generation family-owned bike shop Arragon’s Cycles to provide year-round cycle and electric Mountain-bike hire for visitors to the Castle. Riders of all abilities can now explore a vast network of traffic-free cycleways winding through the 4000 acres of Lowther Park, which is just 10 minutes from the M6 (J40) at Penrith, at the northern gateway to the Lake District National Park. The Arragon’s team offers expert advice to help visitors book a bike perfectly suited to their day out and high-end models from Scott, Saracen and Ridgeback are available to hire including light-weight mountain and trail bikes as well as push-bikes and tagalongs for children.
The decision to make the bikes available to pre-book online on every day of the year but Christmas Day follows an enthusiastic response from locals and visitors alike to the soft-launch of the cycle hire in August 2018. Lowther’s off-road cycleway network takes in the gorgeous views and vistas that have captivated visitors since the Middle Ages. Each junction is signposted with destinations and distances for ease of navigation. Easy routes meander around the Castle while longer routes take in Askham Fell, Howtown, Pooley Bridge and Haweswater.
Sightings of local wildlife are common and Sarah Graham, owner of Arragon’s Cycles, said: “In the first Summer alone, customers reported seeing herons, deer, red squirrels – and one customer even watched a kingfisher – so the unspoilt landscape is a wonderful way to spend a few hours.”
Husband-and-wife team Phil and Sarah Graham are trusted locally and nationally for their cycling expertise and specialist advice. Arragon’s Cycles was voted North West winner of the Cycling Weekly ‘Britain’s Best Bike Shop’ award (and third overall nationally) – and Phil Graham is a First Class Honours Mechanical Engineer, who has worked as a member of the Neutral Services Mechanics at the 2012 London Olympic Games and as a mechanic for world-record-breaking teams in the Race Across America and Race Across Europe.
Commenting on a successful launch at Lowther Castle, Sarah Graham said:
“The opportunity to showcase some of our bikes to hire on the exciting new trails in the parkland at Lowther has been a great extension to our business, allowing us to offer a unique experience, something that more and more people are seeking out. We’ve been humbled at the way we’ve been welcomed into the Lowther family and look forward to working with the team to expand our offering, both in terms of bikes on offer and the ever-growing network of trails and routes.”
Arragon’s have just launched guided electric Mountain Bike tours from the Castle, while expanding its hire offer to include more types of bikes based on feedback from visitors – including gravel bikes and a range of child trailers, all of which are bookable in advance at www.arragons.com/hire
Head of Marketing and Events Claire Logan-Stephens said: “It’s great to have the chance to collaborate with such a wonderful local business to offer a whole new way for visitors to enjoy Lowther Castle and the Lowther Estate. We are delighted with the response from customers to the soft launch and we are delighted to confirm the cycles are now available to book online all year round.”
Lowther Castle is a favourite destination for days out and winner of the 2018 Cumbria Tourism award for Best Large Visitor Attraction – and visitors ‘making a day of it’ can park free of charge at the Castle and combine a roving cycling trip with a visit to the Castle and Gardens. Hungry cyclists will be pleased that the cycleways return to the Castle’s courtyard café for a well-earned hot drink and home-made cake. The Castle also offers a 10% discount on entry fees to cyclists.
Lowther Castle is open to the public every day except Christmas Day. The Castle offers group visits and tours for schools as well as an imaginative programme of events and exhibitions throughout the year.