Meet Kathryn, Senior Front Hall Host at Bike & Boot Scarborough

You’ll always be greeted by a friendly face when you arrive at our Scarborough seafront hotel!

In this Q&A, we spoke to Kathryn, our Senior Front Hall Host. We found out her favourite thing about Scarborough, what she likes best about her role, and her advice on how to make a great first impression.

Tell us about yourself and your role at the hotel. What is your previous experience and how did you become a Front Hall host?

My role at the hotel (and that of my team) in my eyes, is to be the face of Bike and Boot. We are the first to see the guest on arrival and we are the last to see the guest on check-out.

I have been employed in hotels since the age of 19. I have worked in most parts of the country, including the Lake District, Oldham, Manchester, Surrey, Kent and London.

I have experience in virtually every hotel role, including being a Chambermaid, Waitress, Secretary, working in HR and wages, Food and Beverage Manager, Restaurant Manager, Working in the Bar and Reception, Duty Manager, Wedding Organiser, and eventually Deputy General Manager at a hotel in Oldham.

Bike and Boot interested and intrigued me as soon as I saw the job advert, and the position even more so once I had an interview. I would be a Host rather than a Receptionist sat behind a desk – what could be more enjoyable?

What is the best thing about your job? What do you enjoy the most?

The best thing about my job is talking to people! I do like to chat and I’m able to do that, being a Host rather than a Receptionist. The self-service kiosks do the checking in and out, so I’m able to have a conversation with people as they arrive or check-out, rather than being bogged down with paperwork.

Do you have any advice on how to give a great first impression?

First impressions are really important in the hotel industry – you have only one chance to do it!  Always smile, be polite and be helpful.  When guests arrive with us, sometimes they have had a bad journey, or the kids or the dog may have been upset in the car. When they arrive, all they want to do is get in the room and start their holiday. We can make that happen by making their check-in as swift as possible, and helping take some the stress away from them.

If you could recommend one dish from the Bareca menu, what would it be and why?

My favourite item off the menu would be the Beetroot and Goats Cheese Flatbread, plus the Vegan Burger. I’m a pescetarian, so these two items are great and really tasty.

What’s your favourite thing about Scarborough and why?

My favourite thing about Scarborough is the wonderful sunrises we get, over the sea. Every one of them is different, but just as spectacular as the one previous.  When I do an early shift my ‘office’ looks out over the bay – a view I will never get sick of.

What’s your favourite dog breed and why?

This is a difficult one – as we get so many dogs in our Scarborough hotel it’s hard to choose. So many dogs are really pleased to see you and enjoy a bit of pampering, and others are just so cute.  From Yorkshire terriers to Great Danes, we have had them all I think.  If I had to choose, I would go with a Lhasa Apso or a Jack Russell!

When it comes to dog walks in Scarborough, there’s lots more options than just the beaches! If you’re looking to avoid the sticky sand and salty sea, you can venture to one of our local parks and woods, or go further afield to the North York Moors and beyond.

In this blog, our dog-friendly hotel has listed the best local dog walks in Scarborough that avoid the beaches.

Peasholm Park

This park is great for those looking for a peaceful walk with their pooch. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome to trek around the vast lake, natural glen and little ponds. Just please don’t let your dog pee on the very pretty and very rare trees. And maybe don’t take your pooch on a dragon boat.

Raincliffe Woods

Just a couple of miles out of the town centre, Raincliffe Woods has three trails for you to follow with your pup: Rowntree, Graham and Wallis – you can bet we love these names! The Wallis route is the most strenuous, so might be best avoided if you have a small dog that loves to be carried. We’re looking at you, chihuahuas.

The Mere

If you ask any of the locals what the best dog walk in Scarborough is, you can bet that they’ll send you on your way here. The famous Mere is the Lakeland that you can find down at the Weaponness Valley. We promise this location isn’t as threatening as the name implies.

Dalby Forest

Drive a little further out of Scarbs to Dalby Forest – it’s well worth it! There are a whopping 12 walking trails to choose from, including some easy access routes for the laziest of pooches. The Crosscliff View trail is one of their shortest walks, but you’re rewarded with stunning scenery to have a gander at!

Broxa Forest

Looking to make the most of the North Yorkshire Moors? Broxa Forest is the place for you! Follow the wooded walk to discover stunning views – and even look out for the Northern Lights! Let your dog be at one with the wind, as you investigate whether that glint you thought was an aeroplane is, in fact, one of nature’s best wonders. Will you ever know?

Our dog-friendly hotel in Scarborough is in the prime spot for you to access all the best walks of North Yorkshire. Even better? After a day of wild adventures, you can clean your smelly pooch down in our Wadobi. Find out more about how our hotel caters to your four-legged-friend: https://bikeandboot.com/scarborough/dog/

As a bike-friendly hotel, we’re full of wheely good advice when it comes to getting out and about. Our seaside town is famous for its routes, trails and location.

Here’s a few of the best places to visit on a cycling holiday in Scarborough.

Cinder Track

Starting off with the big one! This route should be at the tip top of your bucket list of things to do in Scarborough. Go off road and venture through the North York Moors National Park, cycling from Scarborough to Whitby. Here you’ll take in epic views as you journey along our famous coastline, feeling the salty spray in your face (we mean from the sea, you mucky pup).

The Sea Front

For a shorter ride with all the fun of a long one, trek by Scarborough’s South Bay. This place is best enjoyed when it’s quiet and no one is trailing around with their amusement pennies and grabber wins. For the best Instagram piccies, journey at sunrise or sunset to see the best view in the whole of the UK – in our opinion, but we are biased.

Dalby Forest

Okay so this one isn’t in Scarborough, but dedicated cyclists will want to give this location a shot. Here there are loads of different trails for bikers of different abilities, from easy to moderate. There’s also a bike shop in the grounds, if you need anything at all. Being a forest, there’s lots of trees so make sure you don’t crash into any.

Bike & Boot

Of course, we have to blow our own trumpet. We’re THE best place to visit on a cycling holiday in Scarborough. We’re completely bike-friendly and ready to wheel you in with our charm. Our on-site Wadobi facilities have secure bike storage, a service tower, tyre pumps, a washing station PLUS electric bikes to rent out. You lucky thing.

To find out more about our hotel facilities for cyclists, visit our dedicated webpage: https://bikeandboot.com/scarborough/bike/

From an ice-rink to a Santa meet and greet for dogs, it just snow happens that there’s tons to get up to in our seaside town this winter! We’re absolutely sleighing it.

In this blog, our hotel has listed the top things to do in Scarborough this Christmas.

Take your Dog to Meet Santa Paws

Did you know the big man is visiting our seafront hotel in Scarborough this winter? As the best dog-friendly hotel in the world, of course we had to make a fuss of our VIPs (that’s Very Important Pooches, FYI). Santa will be stopping by to take piccies with your pups on the 19th of December, between 12pm and 4pm. If you’re looking to come on down and would like more info, check out our page: https://bikeandboot.com/santa-paws/

Scarborough hotel

Go Ice Skating

For the first time EVER, Scarborough’s bagged it’s very own ice rink! Open daily from the 3rd of December, the rink is for people of all abilities so anyone can give it a go. Whether you’re skating around like Torvill and Dean or clinging to the side of the rink for dear life, you’re bound to have an fantabulous time. If you’re wanting to go, book your tickets in advance and head to North Street Car Park.

Get Involved on Boxing Day

Scarborough is home to loads of Boxing Day traditions that boot-loads of people turn up to see every year. First up is the Fisherman and Fireman football match, which started way back in 1893 – gosh! Each team must wear wacky hats – if one falls off, the other team gets a free kick. 

There is also a raft race, where teams build their own creations and compete in the Harbour. Things get messy at the start line, where both opponents pelt eggs and flour at the rafts. If all that’s not enough, there’s a ritual building of a Mile of Pennies along the seafront. It begins on the curb outside the Lifeboat House, if you’re looking to spend a coin.

Stop by the Bareca

Open all day over the festive period, our Bareca restaurant in Scarborough is the place to be this winter! Alongside our usual menu, our venue is serving up twisted festive favourites until the 3rd of January. Expect sautéed sprouts, Christmas turkey pizza and mince pie affogato. We’ve also got hot spiced apple juice, winter whiskey sours, festive fizz cocktails and more. Treat yo’ elf.

Scarborough restaurant

Whitby Krampus Run

We have the same council as Whitby, so it’s basically Scarborough – right? We think we can get away with it in this blog! This tradition started in 2013 when a lone Christmas monster prowled the streets. Now the parade has grown in size, becoming a wild celebration where creatures take over the town. This event will take place on the 4th of December, starting at Whitby Bandstand.

Things to do in Scarborough

Head to the Theatre

If you fancy a trip to see a pantomime this Christmas, look no further than the Stephen Joseph Theatre. They’ll be showcasing the World Premiere of Jack and the Beanstalk for families to have some fee-fi-fo-fun! We’re hosting a giveaway on the Bareca’s Facebook page for one of you lucky lot to win some tickets to the show and a voucher for our venue!

Things to do in Scarborough

Visit Bike & Boot

Get away from home this season and escape to our dog-friendly hotel in Scarborough. After long walks along the beach and cliff tops to blow away the cobwebs, crash in one of our hotel rooms. Our Sleepeeze beds are soft as snow and will leave you feeling cosy in no time at all. If you venture out of your room, our free Film Club is showing classic Christmas films all afternoon, and our Retreat is full of board games, free cake and unlimited hot drinks. We’re the place to be!

Hotel in Scarborough

To find out more about the festivities taking place in our hotel this winter, check out our webpage: https://bikeandboot.com/tis-the-season/

It’s back to school season and that means lots more time without little people to worry about (yay!). It’s been lovely having the kids about in the summer hols, but now it’s time for the parents to have a break.

Here at Bike & Boot we’re all about enjoying yourself in the wildest ways, and we’ve picked out our top ideas for couples activities whilst on holiday in Scarborough.

1. Make friends with alpacas at Thorny Beck

What better way to soak in the glorious views of the North Yorkshire Coast than with an alpaca by your side? Escape from the everyday hustle and bustle with a calming walk along the forestry and pastures, accompanied by a new furry friend you handpicked yourself. Thorny Beck is open all year round so if it rains, al-pac-a coat (get it?!). Ps. dogs are still our fave.

Hotel in Scarborough

2. Walk (or fall) on water at North Bay Railway

Ever wanted to roll around on water in a giant plastic ball? At the North Bay Railway you have the chance – lucky you. If you’re really feeling brave then try the skytrail adventure- a two level rope bridge and beam course that’ll be sure to get your heart-rate up. Just try to avoid activities too soon after your fish and chips!

Holiday in Scarborough

3. Take a tour in Terror Tower

We promise our showers aren’t as scary as the one in the Bate’s Motel, but if you want to double-check then you can. Reignite your fear of the dark on this tour of genuine famous film sets from thriller movies. If you’ve got the guts to take the walk then be our guest (and don’t worry, we wont turn off ALL the lights at night…).

Scarborough Hotel

4. Watch a live performance at the Stephen Joseph Theatre

Our seaside town is full of artistic culture and we love this vintage theatre. Soak up the magic of the arts and visit the lovely Eat Me Cafe. The Stephen Joseph Theatre was established in 1955 on the first floor of the public library, and was the home of the FIRST theatre-in-the-round company in England. Shakespeare who?

Scarborough Hotel

5. Relax onboard the Regal Lady

You might not expect much excitement from an ex-war boat but this Dunkirk Little Ship has history and fun inside, with the chance to explore the Dunkirk memorabilia or even visit the cinema room. This pimped-out boat also has a bar so you can enjoy the beautiful view of the Scarborough Harbour with a pint in-hand. And if you really want to get into the spirit, you can take a ride on their smaller passenger boat, the Spirit of Dunkirk, which makes trips into the bay. Sorted!

Scarborough Hotel

6. Stumble out of the Stumble Inn

It wouldn’t be a holiday without a few drinks, and if you love that small pub vibe then you’ll love it here in Scarborough’s first micropub. The cosy atmosphere at the Stumble Inn makes it a great place to finish a long day (after visiting the Bareca, of course), with the chance to sample one of their five real ales or 10 ciders and perries before you buy. Just like us, they’re very dog friendly so bring your pooch along too!

Scarborough Hotel

7. Visit Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre

We know what you’re thinking- another theatre? Yes…but hear us out, this one is actually a music venue. Originally built in 1930, the Open Air Theatre is the biggest in Europe. The Queen herself relaunched it in 2010 and since it’s revamp it’s seen artists from the likes of Boyzone to Elton John on it’s stage. If Scarborough’s good enough for Elton, what more do you need to know?

Scarborough Hotel

So there’s our top picks for things to do in Scarborough as a couple. It’s time to leave the kids at home and come and see what all the fuss is about!

Most people would agree that there’s nothing better than a good old bike ride. The feeling of soaking in the crisp air whilst pedalling along – it’s truly unmatched.

However, do you feel like the ride is over all too quickly? Or generally underwhelming? Missing a little spark? Well have no fear, as Fat Lad at the Back is here to share some of our top tips to have the best ride of your life.

Explore nature’s backyard

Some people cycle to achieve PB, lose weight or simply to get from A to B. It sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it? And it’s those types of rides that you end up forgetting about your surroundings. If you really think about it, it’s incredible to find out what’s lurking beyond the towns and city centres. Fields full of flowers, breath-taking views, friendly animals and so much more. So, why not turn off the Strava for a day and go out and explore. Just see where a single path might take you, as you never know what you might discover.

Dress to the max! 

Comfort is key – especially when you’re cycling. No one wants to bear the continuous ache of sore plums or end up catching a chill from the British breeze. Our solution? Easy. Getting yourself kitted out in the best gear, of course!

The perfect way to start off with a strong outfit is to start with a good jersey. Using top quality, Italian technical fabrics with unique designs, our cycling jerseys are longer in length and have more room across the shoulders, chest and around the middle for a perfect fit, that will leave you looking and feeling great. If you’re a sleek style rider, we recommend our Incognito or Horizon jerseys. Or if you want something with a bit more character, then our Pie and Cake jerseys are perfect for you (and these are available in long sleeves if you want to be extra warm in the colder months!).

Hotel in Scarborough

Now for the bottom half. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but this is where we really shine. Our padded bib shorts are known for their top-quality comfort as the foam moulds to the body of the rider, to provide the best support where needed (and they look pretty stylish too).

Hotel in Scarborough

Next up is a jacket! By using the latest fabrics, our jackets give you the best protection from all of the elements whilst still being breathable. Perfect for layering up!

And finally, you can’t go wrong with a few accessories! Like our socks, caps and neck doo dahs, they’re the ultimate finishing touches to any look. Then you’re raring to go! And not only will you feel comfortable, but you’ll look FLABulous too!

Have a cheeky catch up

Riding with friends instantly makes the experience better. It makes you feel less lonely, is great support and moral when you need it – with enough laughs to supply you throughout the week ahead. So why not use your rides for a good old catch up!

If you’re in the market for some cycling pals, then check out our FLAB social rides. Ran by volunteers of the Fat Lad At The Back community, it’s a place where like-minded people meet and ride together. Everyone is welcome, whatever your ability.

Happy tummy, happy people

If your ride doesn’t have a scheduled cake or pie stop then you’re cycling wrong! It’s almost criminal! By having an end destination or little stop along the way, you can muster more motivation to keep going when it gets tough. It makes you want to pedal faster as you’ll be one step closer to tasting a sweet treat. Plus it’s always good to give yourself breaks to make sure you don’t burn yourself out. Did you know it’s rumoured the more cake stops there is, the happier you’ll become.

Have fun! 

It sounds cheesy but go and have fun! And with our top tips your rides will be far from boring. So go out and get cycling!

To find out more about us at Fat Lad at the Back, visit our website: https://fatladattheback.com/

The incredibly talented local indie businesses of Yorkshire deserve credit, and Emily Nicholson’s fantabulously unique pet photography business is one of them!

Emily from Pet Stories Photography recently joined us at our hotel, to take some pup-perfect piccies of the dogs here, so we caught her for a chat. In this Q&A, our Scarborough hotel got to know Emily, her business and her rescue pooch, Alan.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a self-taught photographer, animal lover and quite a sentimental person. I’m from a small sleepy town called Glossop in the High Peak, on the outskirts of Manchester, and over the years have been so lucky to call many UK cities home. A few years back, myself and my other half finally settled in Sheffield, just over the hill from Glossop, and we absolutely love it. We have such an appetite for adventure so it’s the perfect location for dog walks with our rescue hound Alan, as well as bike-rides and wild swims.

Can you talk to us a little about Pet Stories Photography?

Pet Stories is a niche photography service capturing pets’ unique personalities and the special relationship they share with their owners. We are based in Sheffield, but travel nationwide to meet and photograph pets and their people.
I launched Pet Stories four years ago now and it has to be the best job in the world! I get to greet so many personalities and sometimes I have to pinch myself that I get to do the work I do. Influenced by the lockdown, Pet Stories evolved into a talent agency with a sister service called The Pet Stories Agency, at the beginning of 2021. Already we’ve achieved so much this year and I’m excited to see how the business grows.

How did your business come about?
In a past professional life, I worked as a trend forecaster. However after struggling with anxiety, I left this fast-paced role, picked up a camera and found myself taking more and more photos of my best pal, Cavalier King Charles, Ted. Capturing Ted was a welcome distraction and the best possible therapy at the time. I learned how to use the camera and so I learned about Ted too. His daily habits and the aspects of his personality that I adored so much.

Capturing Ted and everything I loved about him made me realise that other people might want to have their pets photographed in the same way. Sadly, Ted is no longer with us and passed away in 2019. I miss him dearly, he was the most gentle and devoted boy. I will be forever thankful to him, for his patience, pro posing and above all, his encouragement to launch Pet Stories.

When I first launched the business, people thought I was mad to go so niche and not to go down the wedding photography route. Now, there are so many unique and amazing pet photographers. I would go as far as to say, pet photography is just as popular and in demand as wedding photography.

You steer away from posed photoshoots to show pets and owners as natural as possible. Why is this?

Pets are such a valued member of the family and yet, sadly they only get to spend a fraction of our lifetime with us. I find studio-style shoots can often lack identity or show the unique personality of a pet. On a Pet Stories shoot, I visit people and pets at home, accompany them on their favourite or most meaningful walk, or tag along with them to a much-loved coffee shop.

Pet Stories shoots are all about capturing people’s lifestyles with their pets. So, there have even been times when I’ve had the pleasure of joining a pet and owner in more unique situations such as on epic hikes or wild swims. Every pet and owner relationship is different and that’s what I want to capture for my clients. These genuine moments between pet and owner will be memories that will be so dearly cherished for years to come.

What is the best thing about your job?
There are just so many aspects of my job that I adore. Every pet is different which means every shoot is different. I never really know what to expect and I love that. It’s just a fun time for all and I happen to take photos in the process.

One thing I absolutely love is that I get to experience the favourite walks and parts of the UK, which I never would have come across if it wasn’t for the pets that enjoy them on a daily basis. It’s such a privilege to be able to share these special and meaningful places.

Another aspect that makes my job so great is seeing how pets make people feel so at ease. I’m a naturally anxious person – so not only do the pets I photograph make me feel instantly relaxed, but I can tell they take away the anxiety and awkwardness for their owners too. There have been occasions where I’ve had a shoot booked for photos of just a pet, but during the shoot, the owner has felt more relaxed and has become open to having photos together with their sidekick. These spontaneous yet natural moments are always the photos my clients love the most and the ones they choose as prints. Just them and their pet, being themselves and having a special moment together.

Animals don’t always behave! Do you have any funny photo shoot/pet stories?
Call me crazy but I have always said the more chaotic the shoot, the better! I love it when pets are naughty, or a little wild on a shoot as there’s atmosphere and more often than not, lots of chuckles by embarrassed owners that I love to capture. This is what owning a pet is all about and in my opinion, a chaotic scene always makes a better photograph!

One great example of this is when I photographed a family of Spaniels; a mum, dad and their three pups all living in the same house. When I arrived, the pups were zooming in and out of the kitchen and it was so interesting to see how their mum barked and told them off to calm down. It was a beautiful sunny day and after some shots at home, I ventured with the family to a river at the back of the house. It was the first time the Spaniel pups had ever been for a swim and it was such a special moment. As you can imagine, the water-loving Spaniels were all doggy-paddle pros, and were completely in their element. Again, mum and dad were there to keep a close eye and it was so interesting to document the whole family together. It was a privilege to be there for those first moments.

Finally, what is your favourite type of pet?
I genuinely love all pets and my dream is to live in the middle of nowhere with chickens, goats, rabbits, guinea-pigs, a donkey and all the rescue dogs I can accommodate. I have such a soft spot for guinea-pigs and remember as a child, I had such a close bond with my own piggie Cyril. They are such endearing little creatures and the way they chirp and communicate their feelings makes that bond even stronger.

Do you have any pets yourself?
I have a rescue dog, Alan who is three and a half. Alan’s mum was taken in as a pregnant stray in Cyprus and so Alan was born in a rescue centre. Once named Loco (which explains a lot!) he came to us at four months old – a little tornado that loved to chew and bite everything in sight. I have such a passion for rescue pets and for raising awareness on responsible pet ownership. We donate 5% of every shoot or model booking to The Wild at Heart Foundation, the charity who brought Alan home to us.

Alan is quite a nervous soul, but we have learnt so much about his personality and I just couldn’t imagine life without him. He needs us and we need him. He’s almost human-like in his expressions, noises and everyday routine. He loves to be with his pack (me and my other half Nik) and I love nothing more than when we get out into the Peak District and explore the great outdoors. Alan never strays too far and always holds back and checks in with us. And, it goes without saying that he’s a bit of a pro at posing and he genuinely loves it when I get my camera out. He will happily sit there and work those angles!

To find out more about Emily at Pet Stories Photography, visit her website: https://www.petstories.co.uk/

10 Rules for a Yorkshire Hotel

Not just any hotel can be a Yorkshire hotel you know – we’re made of strong stuff! There’s lots of unwritten criteria our hotel in Scarborough has to meet in order to earn our keep. Here are 10 rules we have to follow….

1.It’ll always be reyt

No matter what, everything will always be all well and good in the end. Your dog’s got a sandy bum? It’ll be reyt. Seagull stole your fish and chips? It’ll be reyt. A motto to live by, if you ask us.

2.Offer a proper brew

There is only one tea in our county, and that’s Yorkshire Tea. Fact. To introduce our guests to the good stuff, we give out free hot drinks in our Retreat and even serve a dedicated gin in the Bareca!

3.Always turn the big light on

If you didn’t know already, the ‘big light’ is the main light in a room. Even if the light is small, that’s what we call it. As a proper Yorkshire hotel, we make sure we’re lit up like Blackpool Illuminations for your arrival.

4.Owt’s better than nowt

Translated: anything is better than nothing. True to this value, we give out plenty of freebies including teatime cake, hot and soft drinks, unlimited use of our film club and more. You lucky thing!

5.Know the difference between dinner and tea

Around here, dinner is your midday meal and tea is what you have on an evening. We serve both at our Bareca and don’t take reservations – but we might look at you odd if you get your dinner and tea mixed up.

6.Don’t be mardy

No matter what, you’ll always see us with a smile – not just from our staff, even our windows grin. I mean, who could be down in the dumps when you’re surrounded by so many cute and happy hounds in our dog-friendly hotel?

7.Red roses don’t exist

At our Scarborough seafront hotel, we’re very against red roses. Who cares if they’re romantic? The Yorkshire white rose is the only flower for us, thanks very much.

8.Offer up a bargain

We like to avoid the cries of ‘”ow much?!” in our hotel by offering up some fantabulous special offers. Check out our Wheels & Deals page if you don’t believe us.

9.Always look a bobby dazzler

You can guarantee we’ll always be looking our best for our guests. Our hotel was spruced up by interior designer Rachel McLane Ltd, who made us stand out from the crowd with bikes on the walls, carpeted lifts and flip-flop clocks. You’ll not find another seafront hotel as cool as us!

10.Have pride in tha’s roots

Not that you can tell, but in true Yorkshire hotel style we’ll talk about our region as much as we possibly can. We’d be surprised if you can get a word in edgeways.

We do hope we’ve persuaded you that our Scarborough seafront hotel has what it takes to be in Yorkshire. Join us for a sleepover and book your staycay today.