The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim hopes to spur a chain reaction by telling Whitehead visitors to “get on yer bike”.
Gearing up for the launch of a new e-bike rental and tour offering in the coastal town, Mayor Councillor William McCaughey has called upon tourists and locals to jump on Whitehead’s latest product offering.
E-bikes have been gaining popularity amongst bike lovers because they require less work from their users than regular bikes. Their ease of use, coupled with their versatility, means riding is guaranteed to be accessible and enjoyable for all users.
Whitehead Community Association, in partnership with new e-bike tour provider Pedals 2 Places, will operate seven e-bikes for guided tours in and around the Whitehead and Islandmagee areas.
Jeremy Jones, Director at Whitehead Community Association, explained more: “This exciting new tourism initiative will encourage active enjoyment and adventure in our beautiful environment. E-bikes will be available for private rental but also for a new guided E-bike tour.
“After introducing riders to their new e-bikes and how to use them, a guide will introduce riders to parts of Whitehead that many people won’t be aware of: the haunted Elizabethan Castle; the Dye Garden and Nature Reserve; the Jubilee Wood; a World War One aerodrome site; the Whitehead Railway Museum; and of course, Blackhead Coastal Path.
“We are grateful to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Tourism NI and the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for their continued support as we work together to inspire locals and visitors alike to make the most of our stunning range of sights to see and locations to explore.”
Welcoming the initiative to the town, the Mayor said: “New tourism products such as this will act as a further promotional boost to the Whitehead area. With an already strong tourism offering across Mid and East Antrim, I’m delighted that council is working collaboratively with a number of stakeholders to present it to a bigger and more varied audience.
“This whistle-stop tour of the area’s highlights will no doubt have visitors coming back for more.
“This new initiative has been funded by Tourism NI’s COVID Market Led Product Development Programme. Such investment in new and improved exciting experiences are not only aligned to Northern Ireland’s tourism brand – ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ – but they also aim to spread tourist traffic throughout the country, including Mid and East Antrim. Mentoring and marketing support from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) pilot ‘Rural Tourism Collaborative Experiences Programme has also proved invaluable.”
Anne Currie, DAERA Project Manager said: “We are delighted that this new guided E-bike tour has received assistance from Council through our Rural Tourism Collaborative Experiences Programme. This type of experience provides greater access to attract both local and international visitors to these areas, to enable them to see for themselves the unique offerings that we have to offer along our coastlines. We wish you every success going forward.”
Ciaran Doherty, Head of Regions at Tourism NI said: “As part of our Market Led Product Development Programme, we are pleased to support Whitehead’s latest innovative and sustainable product offering. The new e-bike rental and tour offering in the coastal town will give visitors another compelling reason to visit the area and Northern Ireland.”
E-bike hire – suitable for age 16+ – includes a fully charged e-bike, display noting distance covered, speed and mode of pedal assist, a fitted navigation device, a helmet, hi-vis vest and combination bike lock.
Online booking for e-bike rental and e-bike guided tours will be available soon via www.whitehead-ni.com with regular updates posted via www.facebook.com/whiteheadni.