A Welsh border hospitality business is offering holiday breaks with a difference for British classic car enthusiasts.
Ian Morris, owner of the Old Hand & Diamond Inn at Coedway, on the Wales-England border between Welshpool and Shrewsbury, introduces guests to the Morgan Driving Experience.
Guests are able to combine a one or two night bed and breakfast stay at the inn with hiring an iconic Morgan Plus 4 car for a day. As an added bonus, Ian throws in a delicious picnic hamper for two for good measure.
Ian began offering the Morgan Driving Experience packages five years ago and they run from March until the end of October. This year, he received 40 bookings with most guests keen to explore Wales and the Marches in style at the wheel of the Morgan Plus 4 which cost £65,000.
The Plus 4, which was purchased this year, is the second Morgan he has owned. The Morgan Driving Experience idea was prompted when he booked a similar package for his father-in-law in another part of the country.
“When he came back and told me about his experience, I thought that we could do something similar to allow our guests to explore Wales,” he said. “It has proved very popular here.”
The driving experience is a successful side line to The Old Hand & Diamond Inn, which has been providing refreshments and accommodation for travellers since the 17th century.
The inn makes an excellent base at the gateway to Wales and within 10 miles of Shrewsbury, Shropshire’s pretty county town.
It has a bar, 100-seat restaurant which serves local produce wherever possible and seven en-suite bedrooms, decorated in a traditional country style with exposed beams and rustic features.
To help promote both businesses, Ian has become a member of MWT Cymru, an independent organisation that represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.
“We joined MWT Cymru primarily to promote our accommodation and hopefully attract more guests from Wales,” explained Ian “We are based right on the Welsh border and tend to pull a lot of business from England.”
The Morgan Plus 4 is just one of a collection of vehicles owned by Ian, a self-confessed “petrol head”. His collection extends from sports cars to Second World War vehicles including a 1943 Willis Jeep that was used on D Day and a 1943 Dodge Truck.