Best of British Getaways 2023

SME News- Best of British Getaways 2023 | 6 Best Boat & Canoe Hire Attraction - Wales In the picturesque spa town of Llandrindod Wells, Lakeside Boathouse is a gem of the Welsh countryside. Surrounded by woodland walks and luscious green, the boating lake offers visitors the opportunity to discover the town’s beauty from the water with its fleet of canoes, kayaks, and rafts. Owners Lee and Jenni Percy founded the enterprise in 2020 to restore the lake to its former glory and create a vibrant hub for the community. Lakeside Boathouse has overcome all the odds during the pandemic and thrived with the support of valued locals and tourists. Here we talk to Lee and Jenni about their success as they celebrate receiving the award for Best Boat & Canoe Hire Attraction – Wales. If you visit Mid Wales, the green heart of Wales, Llandrindod Wells is renowned as a location of natural beauty as well as Victorian history. With its charming shop fronts, heritage trail, and impressive museums, the town is teeming with stores, cafes, and things to do. Lakeside Boathouse is one of the town’s star attractions, offering a variety of family activities with Dragon and Pelican boats, canoes, kayaks, rafts, and even SUPs (stand up paddling boards) for hire. When Lee and Jenni first opened Lakeside Boathouse, its only offerings were a small gift shop, three Dragon pedalos, and a fishing club on the 13-acre lake. In its first year, the business could only partially open due to Covid-19 restrictions. Despite this, Lakeside Boathouse expanded its activities with the addition of three extra Dragon pedalos, three Canadian canoes, ten open-top kayaks, and ten SUPs. The owners went on to convert the gift shop into an award-winning ice cream parlour, named No. 1 Ice-Cream Parlour in Powys 2021. The boathouse also boasts a selection of oldfashioned confectionary, hot and cold drinks, and local Welsh gifts. Dedicated to their community, Lee and Jenni were part of a small group of people who set up LCE (Llandrindod Community Events), a project that provides low-cost events throughout the year. Its first mission was to restore the town’s raft race which was met with widespread success and support from the Mayor and local businesses. Lee Percy shares, “Year Two was a great year for the business. We trained 60% of our staff to British Canoeing Instructor Level and expanded our fleet by adding a further nine canoes, nine kayaks, and ten SUPs. We were proud to become a British Canoeing Delivery Partner, offering Instructor Courses, SUP, Kayaking, and Canoeing lessons, as well as private hire options. We also trained our staff to MIAS (Mountain Bike Instructors Award Scheme) standards and now have a mountain bike centre with a selection of scooters, electric and normal bikes to hire. LCE provided many events throughout the year including an Easter fun day, a Pirates Festival, and a Spooky Halloween evening.” Since then, Lakeside Boathouse has continued as a British Canoeing Partner, now offering Foundation Safety Rescue Courses and British Canoeing Instructor Courses. The business has also added two new rowing boats as well as two multi-person SUPs. The Paddle Club has attracted numerous new members, young and old, who wish to improve their skills and confidence. LCE has also grown with over 800 people attending its events. Through collaboration with Sports Powys, Lakeside Boathouse provides a ten-week wellness program that provides the opportunity for local people to try all its activities for free. Approaching its fourth year of business, the boathouse has further expanded its offerings with Team Building, Groups, Stag and Hen Parties, Cycle Hire, Bushcraft, Outdoor Cooking, and Fishing Lessons. Lakeside Boathouse nurtures a supportive relationship with its community and is passionate about bringing local people together with low-cost activities and free events. With its stunning location, the business continues to attract visitors from across the UK who are delighted to discover the diverse entertainment and events available. The hardworking team at Lakeside Boathouse is dedicated to providing customers with memorable experiences and great value for money. With boating escapades, cycle hire, and engaging community events, Lakeside Boathouse has something of interest for everyone. In the near future, Lee and Jenni aim to introduce Archery and Axe Throwing as additional activities for wet and windy days when the water is inaccessible. Established during the pandemic, Lee and Jenni’s steely determination has led the business to great success. Powys County Council initially granted the owners a 5-year contract, which has since been extended to a further ten years. Moving forward, Lakeside Boathouse will continue to provide exciting activities for the entire family and grow the business for years to come. Honoured with a title in this year’s Best of British Getaways, the boathouse has proven itself to be one of Mid Wales’s most exciting attractions. We are excited to see what the future holds for Lakeside Boathouse. Contact: Lee and Jenni Percy Company: Lakeside Boathouse Web Address: