Bikers have their first taste of Glentress

Glentress Peel Opening. Hugh McKay of Forestry Commission Scotland, Claire Bony of GT Restaurants Ltd who manage the cafe and Simon Todd, Manager of the bike shop run by Alpine Bikes.
Glentress Peel Opening. Hugh McKay of Forestry Commission Scotland, Claire Bony of GT Restaurants Ltd who manage the cafe and Simon Todd, Manager of the bike shop run by Alpine Bikes.

THE new £8.5m visitor centre at Glentress opened last week.

The Forestry Commission Scotland’s state-of-the-art mountain biking facility, near Peebles will cater for the estimated 300,000 people who visit the forest annually making it the top tourist attraction in the Borders.

Hugh McKay, Forestry Commission Scotland’s recreation and tourism manager for Dumfries and the Borders said: “Glentress Peel is quite a stunning site with four iconic buildings and we’re sure that visitors will be really interested to see inside for themselves.

“We’ll be working hard with our business partners Alpine Bikes and GT Restaurants to keep Glentress Forest a very welcoming place to go.”

The area is regarded as a Mecca for mountain bikers and has a reputation as being popular with walkers.

The facility includes a large café, bike shop, bike hire and changing rooms, showers and toilets. The centre has been built on sustainable principles using timber from the forest and is set in 12 acres

Parking for 150 vehicles has been created and interpretation panels provide information about the forest.

Edinburgh-based Alpine Bikes won the tender for the shop and Glentress Hotel owners Claire and Olivier Bony have set up GT Restaurants after winning the cafe contract.

On the other side of the road, mountain bikers Tracy Brunger and Emma Guy have a lease to operate The Hub cafe until March next year.