Forestry Commission Scotland’s new visitor centre in Glentress Forest, near Peebles, is now fully open for business.
The new state-of-the-art development, known as Glentress Peel, will cater for the 300,000 plus mountain bikers and walkers that flock to the forest every year, making it the top tourist attraction in the Borders. The popular Hub cafe and bike hire shop, which lost out in the tendering process to run the new cafe, will remain open until the end of the year.
Built on fully sustainable principles and using timber from the forest, the new Peel centre offers modern facilities including a large café, bike shop, bike hire and an orientation building with changing rooms, showers and toilets.
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 Glentress Peel development is set in 12 acres of landscaped greenspace, connected by paths and a road. New car parking for 150 vehicles has been created and new interpretation panels will help visitors learn more about the forest. The Hub cafe, which is just across the road from the massive new development, is run by former mountain bike athletes Emma Guy and Tracy Brunge who have built up a loyal customer base over the last 10 years. Emma and Tracy have expressed their disappointment at the failure of their bid and the decision by Forestry Commission Scotland not to allow them to keep trading from their current site, however they say they are determined to make this a fun year and that they will go out with a bang.
This weekend Glentress and The Hub host the annual women’s freeride and coaching event that is Air Maiden. The Freeride Park will be closed for general users to allow the competition to go ahead but all other trails in Glentress are open as usual. For details of this and other events and news see The Hub’s website. See Walkhighlands for details of the Glentress Circuit walk from nearby Peebles taking in some of the walking trails at Glentress and with plenty of chances to watch the mountain bikers, check out the new visitor centre and sample the cakes at the cafes.