Local businesses cycle to success with major award

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd February 2017 -  NI Year of Food & Drink Awards at the Culloden Hotel.Award 5 Best NI Tours & TrailsSarah Travers, host of the NI Year of Food & Drink Awards is pictured with John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, presenting Far & Wild the award for Best NI Tours & Trails for Cycle Sperrins. The inaugural awards celebrated the collaborative efforts of all from the food, drink and hospitality industry during the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016, with an gala awards evening at the Culloden Hotel.Pictured left to right: John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, Sarah Travers, Lawrence McBride and  Kevin Hickey.Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd February 2017 - NI Year of Food & Drink Awards at the Culloden Hotel.Award 5 Best NI Tours & TrailsSarah Travers, host of the NI Year of Food & Drink Awards is pictured with John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, presenting Far & Wild the award for Best NI Tours & Trails for Cycle Sperrins. The inaugural awards celebrated the collaborative efforts of all from the food, drink and hospitality industry during the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016, with an gala awards evening at the Culloden Hotel.Pictured left to right: John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, Sarah Travers, Lawrence McBride and Kevin Hickey.Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

An initiative designed to helped tourists to cycle in hte North West has scopped a major award.

Cycle Sperrins won the Best Food Tour and Trail category against worthy competition from a host of other trail-blazing small and medium sized enterprises in food tourism at a prestigious ceremony in the Culloden Hotel last week.

“When Far and Wild established a cycle tour in 2015, we wanted to create a four day circuit that clients could easily complete as part of a short holiday break.” said Lawrence McBride, Director of Far and Wild.

“We imagined cyclists arriving into the City of Derry Airport, hiring a bike and guide from us and heading into the hills to discover the best places to eat and stay that the Sperrins has to offer.”

Ten local businesses along the route joined us a partnership to provide food, accommodation and things to do and see and Cycle Sperrins was born.”

Since then, Cycle Sperrins has been used by local cycling enthusiasts in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area in particular. Visits to Tamnagh Foods under Dart Mountain to sample their speciality cheese, and organic lunches at Bradkeel Social Farm in Plumbridge have all highlighted the great potential of food tourism on the city’s doorstep.

“The challenge for the future is to interest cyclists from further flung European countries, as well as the rest of Ireland and Scotland, Wales and England,” added Lawrence. “We know we have a fantastic product. Our issue is that it is a bit of a hidden gem. With this award, the word is out, and hopefully it will keep on spreading.”

Cycle Sperrins won one of four awards brought home from the Year of Food and Drink Awards to the North West.

Derry City and Strabane District Council received both the Judges’ overall special award for Derryand the North Westa food tourism and hospitality destination - ‘Destination Delicious’ .