A pair of cycling enthusiasts aim to breathe new life into old bikes with their latest venture in Llangollen. During a four-month cycling trip through Turkey, Beth Ward and Robin Hughes came up with the concept of making bicycles a more significant part of people’s daily lives in the UK. They also realised that this would necessitate the installation of more electric power systems in the machines. They left their day jobs back home to concentrate on launching Drosi Bikes, a Ruthin-based social enterprise that retrofits unwanted older bikes with electric power.
Robin had previously worked in the fishing industry as a marine surveyor, while Beth had studied product design but had spent the previous few years working as a project manager in the social enterprise/charity sector.
They started in their garage and are about to open a new, fully equipped community bike workshop on Parade Street, in the former Fringe theatre site.
Their goal is to encourage new riders to get in shape for a fraction of the cost of a new electric bicycle.
“When cycling around Europe, we quickly realised how much more bikes are used in daily life for stuff like getting the kids to school or going shopping,” Beth said, remembering how their new business was motivated by their international trip.
“As our vacation progressed, we were increasingly convinced that we could do whatever we could to make a difference,” the author writes. “After a year of preparation, Drosi was launched just as the Covid pandemic hit its first peak and Wales was in its first full lockout,” Robin said.
“I noticed that there were more people walking. People were dusting off their old bikes that they hadn’t rode in years because they had the time, the roads were cleaner, and they had the time.” People are beginning to realise that one of the best features of e-bikes is their ability to ride for longer periods of time. You can either pedal or use the motor; either way, you’ll be more involved and the car will be used less.
Drosi is a play on the Welsh word trosi, which means convert, and the duo claims that they can convert e-bikes for a fraction of the price of off-the-shelf e-bikes (around £860), and that all people need to do is supply the bike.
They plan to open their new Llangollen workshop in mid-May. They’ll be collecting bike donations for recycling, hosting volunteer events, and offering a variety of donation-based programmes to encourage people in the city to cycle, such as a DIY workshop where people can come use the equipment and rent e-bikes, as well as converting and repairing bikes (full price for people living outside the LL20 postcode).
Linlithgow, a small and picturesque town less than 30 minutes by rail from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, is a charming place to visit if you want to see Scotland in a different light than the Highlands. Hikes take hikers along the Linlithgow Canal, the Avon River, and the town loch, which takes about an hour to circle.
Linlithgow Royal Palace, where Mary, Queen of Scots was born and where many other Scottish kings and queens lived, is now a dramatic shell of a house overlooking the loch (adult £7.20, child £4.30, reopens 30 April). The Linlithgow Museum, which is open to the public, recounts the town’s history as a Royal Burgh.
Grow Wild sells locally grown produce and organic groceries, and Easygo and Elevation Cycles rent out bikes and electric bikes on the high street, which is lined with 17th-century pubs and independent shops. You should take them to Beescraigs Country Park, which is a free 369-hectare space landscape products near me in the Bathgate Hills landscaping Shop near me.
You may have passed on the Linlithgow Distillery’s Easter gin, but other exclusive flavours can be pre-ordered and picked up for nightcaps in your hideaway. Craigs Lodges’ funky triangular wooden cabin with veranda (sleeps five, from £173 for three nights in May) may be a good choice.
In the county of Moray, the town of Forres is situated. The name of a bay where a small boat can be found is Findhorn Bay. Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith This detail has been made available to you by The Guardian. The bay of Findhorn is located in the Scottish Highlands. Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith Fergus/Alamy/Keith
Forres is one of Scotland’s oldest cities, located 25 miles north-east of Inverness and almost on the Moray Firth. It is as charming and off-the-beaten-path as they come. It has an imaginative streak running through it, with galleries and art shops in the centre, and a short walk north will take you around Findhorn Bay to the splendid fishing village of the same name, where you can enjoy seafood, a long sandy beach, and handcrafted ceramics at the Findhorn Pottery.
The rose-colored Brodie Castle (£5 for greenhouse, NTS members free) is a few miles away, with bloom-filled gardens featuring large swaths of daffodils – 400 varieties of them– in spring; the evocative ruins of Elgin Cathedral (adult £9, child £5.40); and along the coast, Nairn, with opportunities to spot dolphins and minke whales. That’s without even considering the beauty of the surrounding Highlands.
In May and June, Easter Wood, a simple studio annexe attached to an eco-house (sleeping two from £50 per night), is a nice place to stay. Dalvey House (sleeps 18, from £2,647 a week in May) is a grand mansion with expansive grounds – but maybe this will be a safer option for a large community once the rules are fully relaxed.
Coleraine is a town in Northern Ireland, in the county of Londonderry. Close-up of a barrel: In the United Kingdom, the Bushmills Distillery is a well-known whiskey distillery. Alamy has sent this image to us. This detail has been made available to you by The Guardian. In the United Kingdom, the Bushmills Distillery is a well-known whiskey distillery. Alamy has sent this image to us.
Coleraine is an excellent base for exploring the Causeway Coast, taking day trips to the incredible big sandy Atlantic beaches only a few miles north, and visiting Bushmills, with its famous distillery and inn (pubs in Northern Ireland are still closed, and the region’s roadmap lacks precise dates). The Mountsandel Fort (free), a Mesolithic site in the Mountsandel Forest that dates back to 7000BC but is now only grassy lumps and bumps, is one of the most fascinating sites in this tiny but prosperous town on the River Bann. Nearby is the mediaeval Dunluce Castle (adult £4.50, child £4), perched on a rocky outcrop above the sea and doomed to succumb to coastal erosion before so many more decades pass.