Special Offers

The Lion Hotel

Tuesday Steak Nights:  Steak night special every Tuesday night at the Lion.   Two main courses...


Judges Lodging museum Celebrates Welsh Government ...

Judges Lodging museum in Presteigne Celebrates Welsh Government support,; new displays and new summer trails

Date Posted: 31/07/2018


Borderlines Film Festival in north Herefordshire

Borderlines Film Festival, with a cornucopia of films and special events at 39 venues throughout Herefordshire and Shro&helips;

Dates: 27/02/2019 - 15/03/2019

Mortimer Country Newsletter Spring 2018

pdf of Newsletter

Mortimer country consortium Newsletter  Autumn 2017

pdf of Newsletter

Mortimer Country Consortium. Newsletter 8.  Oct  2016

PDF of Newsletter

Mortimer Country Consortium. Newsletter 7.  Jan  2016

PDF of Newsletter

Mortimer Country Consortium. Newsletter 6.  May 2015

Here is the latest information from our newsletters:

Yes, it’s bluebell time again, the swallows are back and nesting, the cowslips are in full flower, the cricket season is well underway and the visitors are coming to Mortimer Country.  Let’s make it a good season for us all!  (PS. Look out for the Mortimer Country Photographic Competition coming soon from your committee.)

AGM and your new committee.

Those of you who came to the AGM in March will know that there were no new committee members elected and so your hardworking team remains the same: Jenny Beard, Kay Dartnell, Rick Noordegraaf, Elaine Povey, Cynthia Prior and Kim Smith.  We would love to have more people on the committee (we meet roughly every month) so do please consider whether you would like to join us.  After all, many hands make lighter work. Contact any one of us for details of our next meeting.

Welcome to new members.

A warm welcome to:      Jay Farm Fly Fishery,    The Castle Inn, Wigmore,    The Bateman Arms, Shobdon                      and    The Fabulous Cob Oven Co.

Membership for the remainder of 2015.  

One or two of you did not renew their membership in time to be included in the brochure.  However, if you would still like to be part of Mortimer Country Consortium it isn’t quite too late. Web only membership for the remainder of the year is just £25.  This tempting offer applies to any other business in our area.  If you know of someone who should be part of Mortimer Country please encourage them to join us.  Cynthia is our Membership Secretary:  mocktreebarns@care4free.net  01547 540441

2015 Brochure. 

The new brochure was produced in good time – many thanks to Jenny Beard and Matthew Lloyd our new graphic designer (aka the ‘cob oven man’).   Your hard-working committee have been distributing them far and wide, but we could do with more help with this.  If you need brochures for your own use, or can help with distribution, please contact any committee member.


Web Site.  

Kay continues to work very hard to ensure that www.exploremortimercountry.com works well for us all, BUT it is important that we all help with this, so here are things that we can do:

1. Promote the site in our own literature and web sites.  Here is just a quick snapshot of some of the phrases that people are looking for.  Do you have links to some of these key words on your own site?  Every little helps.


- holiday cottages on the River Teme with fishing

- Shobdon Food Festival

- self catering near Croft Castle

- walks form Aymestrey

- What’s on in Wigmore

- Walking in Bucknell


2. Check your own entries and let Kay know if you need any amendments. info@wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk

3. Let Kay have details of any special offers or promotions.  Also news items and events for inclusion.

4. Tweet, Pin and Facebook folk - help spread the word about Mortimer Country.  Every page, event and news item has share buttons - so it's really easy to tell your friends & customers about events & news. - just click on the logo to tweet away.

5. The paper brochure is now available online as an E-brochure. It’s really easy to forward the link to visitors:    https://view.publitas.com/mortimer-country-ltd/explore-mortimer-country-2/     



Mortimer Country Walking Festival.   

We now have a great list of walks throughout the summer. Check out the Walking Festival page. Please share this with your customers (or come on one of the walks yourself). You can either share the walking festival page - or send them a link to our walking festival e brochure - the link is: https://view.publitas.com/mortimer-country-ltd/mortimer-country-walking-festival/ This was a really popular scheme last year and generated lots of publicity for Mortimer Country too - so please help by spreading the word.


Shropshire Hills Art Week. 30th May – 8th June

Jules McRobbie gave us a most interesting talk about this at the AGM. This year will be even bigger and better than last year with some events in Mortimer Country. Mary Campbell will have her studio open in Leintwardine as well as the big exhibition at Aardvark Book.  This year's SHAW exhibition at Aardvark is twice the size of last year's event, and includes a fantastic selection of painting, sculpture, photography, pottery, craft and jewellery. 15 professional artists are exhibiting in a show curated by Shannon Donovan and Andrew Eastwood. It will run on until 14th June so extra time to pop in and see it.


Visit Herefordshire. 

Big changes are afoot with our county tourism organisation!  You may already know that VH is to become part of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of the Chamber CEO Mike Ashton.  This is going to affect us all.

 A series of county wide ‘road shows’ is being organised to allow everyone to meet Mike Ashton and hear about the plans. Do try to get to one of the local ones if you can. Details are:

Friday 29th May 11am - 12.30pm The Riverside Inn, Aymestrey

Tuesday 9th June 11am - 12.30pm Kidwells House, Hereford

Tuesday 9th June 2pm - 3.30pm National Trust Berrington Hall, Berrington, Nr. Leominster


Eat, Sleep, Live Herefordshire.

Meanwhile, as well as changes with Visit Herefordshire, there is also a new web site being launched soon which aims to promote the county and is offering FREE advertising for the next six months – sounds like a bargain!  Heidi Chamberlain of Minx Media is launching the site:  www.eatsleepliveherefordshire.co.uk  Heidi has long associations with the county and a lot of experience in promoting tourism and other businesses here.  For more information email Heidi at info@eatsleepliveherefordshire.co.uk   but be quick – the free offer ends on 31st May.


Volunteer with The National Trust.

Both Berrington Hall and Croft Castle are looking for more volunteers. If you’re interested please make direct contact.   Berrington  01568 615721   Croft Castle    01568 780246   



Best wishes to you all for a great summer.


Cynthia Prior

01547 540441

Leader Funding - 25 July 2104

A new LEADER Programme in Herefordshire will be launched in January 2015 for 6 years (subject to a successful bid for funds).  

What is the Herefordshire LEADER programme?

LEADER aims to encourage strong economic growth and improve the productivity and competitiveness of local businesses in rural areas.  Here are information sheets If you want to find out about the criteria for applying for a Leader grant and a form for submitting a Leader Grant bid.

Mortimer Country Consortium. Newsletter 4  May 2014

Explore Mortimer Country brochure 2014.

These have been available for a few weeks now and many of you will already have your stock to give to visitors.  If you haven’t seen them yet, or need more, please contact Elaine, Kay or me. Leominster TIC also has a good supply and will be happy to let you have some – just call in and ask for them.

Remember to take some with you if you are travelling outside Mortimer Country and know of a good place to put them.  If in doubt check with us first.

Mortimer Country Walking Festival and other walks in Mortimer Country.

When we started to look at all the walks taking place in Mortimer Country this summer we realised that there was potential for us to celebrate this by having our own ‘Mortimer Country Walking Festival’. Jenny and Kay worked hard to put together the flier for this festival showing some of the main guided walks taking place in Mortimer Country throughout the summer.  It is now important that we circulate the information and even more important that we encourage people to take part.                                   See: http://www.exploremortimercountry.com/page/60/walking-festival-in-mortimer-country.htm         for the list of walks – there is something for everyone.

The Explore Mortimer Country web site now has lots of other ideas for walks covering all parts of our area (thanks for all your efforts with this Kay).  Just click here: http://www.exploremortimercountry.com/page/53/walking.htm

Knighton Walking weekends.  You may like to encourage your guests to venture just ‘over the border’ to take part in one of these events.  See separate programme circulated with this Newsletter.

Shropshire Hills Art Week. 31st May – 8th June – Painters. Illustrators, Textile Artists, Jewellers, Embroiderers, Sculptors, Stone Masons and more.

This exciting new venture is co-ordinated by Jules McRobbie. Visit www.shropshirehillsartweek.co.uk for full details.  It’s good to see that two of the venues are here in Mortimer Country – Aardvark Books and Mary Campbell’s home in Leintwardine.  Encourage your guests to get out and enjoy this – leaflets available from Ludlow VIC.

Local History.

If you are fascinated by landscape history then you may well want to get involved with the Deerfold History Project. This covers a far wider area of former forest than just Deerfold and is the brainchild of Dr Stuart Davies, a local landscape historian.  See the separate information sheet circulated with this newsletter. It was given out at a recent meeting to launch the project which was held in Lingen

Our guest speaker at the Mortimer Country AGM was John Grove from the Mortimer History Society. He gave us a fascinating snapshot of some of the extensive history of the Mortimers and some of this has now been added to the web site (Click ‘About the Area’ then ‘Mortimers’ and ‘Castles’). Go to the Mortimer History Society’s own web site at www.mortimerhistorysociety.org.uk for a vast amount of information about ‘our’ famous family – you’ll soon be hooked!

We plan to work more closely with both the Mortimer History Society and Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group in the near future to develop ideas for promoting Mortimer Country.

Castle Connect Shuttle Bus

This great little bus is running again on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays until the end of September.  It links Ludlow with Knighton, Clun and Bishops Castle taking in Leintwardine, Brampton Bryan and Bucknell along the way. If you’re not on the route then why not encourage guests to park in one of these villages and let the bus take the strain for the rest of the journey.   You don’t have to be at a designated stop – just ‘Hail and Ride’. It’s very reliable and the friendly drivers will provide useful information for your guests.  We’re really lucky that we can take advantage of this AONB initiative, at least in the north of Mortimer Country, so do make the most of it this summer.  As always it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it ‘.  Why not give it a try yourself?                                                                                              See:  www.shropshirehillsshuttles.co.uk    for the timetable and ideas for using the bus?   It’s free with a bus pass!                                                                                                                     

If you run a business along the route why not consider offering discount for entry, free cup of coffee, or some other incentive to holders of a valid ticket.  Steph Hayes at the AONB office would be pleased to hear your ideas. Contact her at:  stephanie.hayes@shropshire.gov.uk

Open Farm Sunday.  8th June

If you’re an Archers enthusiast you’ll know that this is coming up soon so why not turn fiction into fact and go along to a local farm not far away. They’ll be lots to see and do for all ages at this award winning farm.

Brynmawr  Organic Farm, Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire SY7 8QU (satnav and google direct you there) 10am – 4pm   Contact: Trevor Wheeler 07799 681134 or Jackyharrison51@hotmail.com

New Chef at Old Downton Lodge

Karl Martin has recently joined the team here and will be pleased to welcome you or your guests as non-residents, but do book first to be sure of a table. www.olddowntonlodge.com

Oaker Wood Leisure – near Leominster

If you have Families staying with you don’t forget Oaker Wood Leisure has activity days for children and teenagers in School Holidays:   Summer Holidays – From Tue 29th July to Thurs 21st Aug. Every Tues, Wed and Thursday           www.oakerwoodleisure.co.uk/holiday 

Oaker Wood also has ‘grown up’ activities for groups of 3 or 4 people – Quad Biking, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Target Shooting or Adrenalin Experience.  A nice contrast to the normal quieter activities for our guests in Mortimer Country!


All activities need to be pre-booked.  01568 780111   www.oakerwoodleisure.co.uk

If you have items for the next Newsletter (scheduled for August/September) please let me have them.

Best wishes to everyone for a successful summer

Cynthia     01547 540441   (MCC Membership Secretary)



Mortimer Country Consortium - North Herefordshire – Newsletter 3. February 2014

AGM date and arrangements.

The date of the AGM is Monday 24th March in the evening and will be an informal social event with opportunity for you to chat with other members.  The venue and time will be confirmed shortly.

As always, we are keen to have new committee members, so do please consider joining us and helping to run YOUR local tourism association.  With the changes taking place with Visit Herefordshire – see below - it is even more important that we have a proactive local tourism group working to support all tourism related businesses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Visit Herefordshire.

If you are not current members of Visit Herefordshire, you may not have heard about the major changes that are taking place with VH.  Things have been moving at quite a pace, so here is a synopsis of the current situation to bring us all up to date.                                                                                                                             In response to further cuts in public sector budgets affecting the sustainable delivery of tourism services within the county, Visit Herefordshire have needed to refocus their priorities and staffing levels. From April 2014 they will continue to market the county through the press and PR; maintain the Visit Herefordshire website; organise the Flavours of Herefordshire Festival; run the Herefordshire Walking Festival (with volunteers) and business development. From the 31st March Visit Herefordshire will cease to be a membership organisation.

 Walking Events.

We have recently been considering how we can improve the profile of walking in Mortimer Country.  We all know that there is a host of great walks in and around our area.  It would be good to share these with a wider audience.  Look out on the web site for a calendar of Walking Events that are coming up in Mortimer Country over the next few months and encourage your visitors to get involved. Even better, get out and about yourselves!   If you’re planning a walk please let Kay Dartnell know info@wheelywonderfulcycling.co.uk  so that she can add it to the calendar. 

Herefordshire Festival of Walking.  There will be at least two walks in Mortimer Country during this county wide event.  This popular annual festival is now in its 13th year and this year’s dates are June 14th – 22nd.     Nine days exploring the joys of summer, walking through the glorious Herefordshire countryside.    An opportunity to walk in the footsteps of King Offa and King Ethelbert, sample the Bounty of Three Counties, along the banks of Bodenham Lake and the River Lugg observing the bird life and fauna, walk the nine miles of The Malvern Hills End-to-End or spend an evening in the stunning scenery of Paradise Valley.  Look out for the full programme when it is published soon.

Arts Alive

If you’re not already on the Arts Alive mailing list just email  ian@artsalive.co.uk  and ask to be added.  This will keep you up to date with the impressive range of events taking place on our door step - live music, theatre, films – something for everyone. 

Events in the local area

Most of you will already be getting the regular calendar of events from Leominster Tourist Information Centre.  If not, then please email  gillding@gmail.com to be put on the mailing list

Market Competition –

(a little food for thought from Jenny Beard, secretary of MCC)

There are close to 250,000 tourism business in the UK; 80% being micro businesses employing fewer than 10 people. This is a fair reflection of Mortimer Country membership; with the common factor being that the majority are individual and owner managed.

The visitor market continues to move towards shorter stays, secondary holidays, including more amenities, higher quality levels of facilities, customer service, flexible ‘experiences’ and value.  There is a marked rural growth in high quality ‘boutique’ style accommodation both in urban and rural locations and branded budget hotel rooms close to major visitor attractions.  By 2016 Travel Lodge and Premier Inns will have 70-80% of B&B business in the UK. Gone are the days when the ethos of budget hotels was low price with limited service and trimmings, they are evolving into the mid- market. All of this comes at the expense of and a threat to smaller businesses. 

You may mutter ‘no threat to my business ‘  but Ludlow our nearest ‘visitor’ attraction has a Travel Lodge, currently offering Spring Saver double rooms from £25 per night offering clean, bright facilities and all the amenities required for a short stay. Certainly no food served but very close by is The Squirrel, offering ‘all day’ food with special deals ‘kids eat free’ and 2 main meals for £10.00. I know that this is not comparing like with like but more than ever consumer choices are made on price or value for money and the ease and flexibility of deciding what, when and where to stay or eat and drink.

Market expectations are very rapidly changing – be prepared. Take time to compare your inward looking perceptions of your business with the perceived perceptions and observations of your customers.  Are you ahead of the game?

Mortimer Country Web site

Having read the article above you may be wondering what you can do.  We all know that Mortimer Country offers so much more than cheap ‘standard’ accommodation and meals, but we need to make sure that we are telling people about it online.      Any web site is only as good as its content so please help us to keep www.exploremortimercountry.com  looking fresh, inviting and up to date to encourage visitors to ‘away from the every day’.  

  • Check your own entry carefully and add any special offers
  • Provide details of any relevant news or events

Doing either of these is so easy.  Just click on the link at the very top of the web site and fill in the form.

If you have ideas for new content for the site then Kay Dartnell would be very pleased to hear from you.

If you have items for the next Newsletter (scheduled for April/May), please let me have them.

Best wishes to everyone for a successful 2014,

Cynthia     01547 540441   (MCC Membership Secretary)


Mortimer Country Consortium - North Herefordshire – Newsletter 2. October 2013

Dear Mortimer Country Members, Welcome to the second Mortimer Country newsletter.  I hope you found something of interest in the first one.  If you missed it then look in the Members area on the web site - see below for how to find it. Do please let me have any items for the next newsletter or for general circulation to members.  Remember that MCC stands for Mortimer Country Consortium - that means we're here to help and support each other. 

Visit Herefordshire.

The VH 'Road show' in Wigmore last week was very poorly attended – just four of us in fact!  This was an opportunity to give the VH team some feedback and suggestions for the future direction of the organisation.  

Also it’s not too late to book advertising space in next year’s Visit Herefordshire brochure.           Email Sandra at VH for details.

Remember to keep your entry on the VH web site up to date.  Apparently the idea of members being able to update their own entry has not materialised, but Sandra will be happy to do this for you and to put on any special offers etc that you may have.


Oaker Wood Leisure Half Term Activities

Take advantage of the last few rays of Autumn sunshine and encourage your children and teens  out into the fresh air.

Oaker Wood Leisure near Leominster have some great Multi- Activity Days for 7-12 year olds (Tues 29th and Thursday 31st October) Activities will include a range from Climbing, Zip Wires, Halloween Hide and Seek, Fire Building, Target Shooting together with some special Halloween Woodland activities. A full day of activities costs £22.50.

For teens there are 2 all day Paintball sessions for 12-16 year olds (Thursday 24th and Wednesday 30th October). Full day costs £30.

For more information and to book:   01568 780111

Quality in Tourism – 50% off offer.     Information from Gill Ding at Leominster TIC  01568 616460

For those of you who are accommodation providers thinking about joining the star rating scheme run by VisitEngland, we have a great offer that will benefit both you and the TIC. We have been invited to promote the rating scheme for places that have not yet been assessed. You will get a 50% reduction on your first year and the TIC gets the equivalent as a commission! Fantastic! Win, win.

I know you will be thinking; 'How much is it though?', and the answer, unfortunately is ...that depends. Rates depend on what category you are in and what time of year you join, as there is a sliding scale.

If this offer is of interest to you, please let me know and I will let you have a voucher that entitles you to the offer. There is no obligation once you get it, but you will be referred to people who can advise you further. Have a look at the www.qualityintourism.com website and we can take it from there.


Why not encourage other accommodation providers that you may know in the Mortimer Country area to take advantage of this great offer (and use a little of the money they will be saving to join MCC)?


Business Support – especially new/young businesses.

The Marches Business Support Project is a flexible programme of free business support offered to residents of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) (Hereford, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin) regional area who are looking to start up their own business or become self-employed. The business support package includes one to one professional advice and guidance by business advisors, business planning and financial advice, marketing and sales support, networking opportunities and a range of specialised workshops.

This project also offers advice and guidance to new and young small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) about how to improve business performance and overcome the challenges of building a sustainable business.

All courses are FREE* to attend (*subject to eligibility criteria) 

A River Lugg Adventure

You may be interested in having a look at this which came to me from Mark Jickells.  He obviously greatly enjoyed his walking adventure in Mortimer Country back in August.

I am writing today to share with you a micro adventure my brother and I undertook from the source of the river Lugg in Radnorshire to the confluence of the Wye in Herefordshire. It is not intended to be spam in any way for I am sharing this link out of the love for our environment, Herefordshire and the natural world.

During our walk we passed through Aymestrey and the old Mortimer’s Cross Mill. A beautiful time and indeed camp in the woods I feel video 3 and 4 puts the area in a great light.

You can find the link to the ‘Source to Sound’ playlist on You Tube.  Please bear in mind they are videos produced by non-film makers at present. If you are a Youtube member please feel free to subscribe, like or comment.

Newsletter on the web site

Have you clicked on the ‘Members’ area of the web site yet?   You’ll find the first newsletter there and several other useful bits of information to help you run you business.  It’s easy to find.  Just go to www.exploremortimercountry.com and click on ‘Members’ right at the top of the page. 

While you’re on the web site have a look at your own entry and let Kay know if there is anything wrong.  You may like to add a 'special offer' to help market your business over the next few months.

Remember to link your own web site  - the necessary code is available down the left hand side of the site.  The more links there are, the more prominence the web site will get with Google and that’s good for us all ......


Best wishes to everyone,

Cynthia Prior 01547 540441

Business Snippets


This is the first of what is planned to be a regular sharing of business information and trends with our members.

Headline information from the recently published Visit Britain 2012 English Domestic Tourism Survey indicated:

-       6% fewer holidays were taken in rural destinations. Towns/cities saw an 8% increase, with 13% in London

-       Over half the increase in domestic holiday volume since the onset of the recession has come from the most affluent AB social grade. The amount these consumers spent rose by 19% compared to 2011.

-       5% more trips taken to visit friends and relatives (VFR) for holiday purposes. Visits for ‘duty’ reasons dropped by 8%.

-       Business travel increased by 3% but average spend per trip is as 2008, a drop of over 10% in real terms.

-       Domestic holidays held steady at 14% above pre-recession averages. However these are getting shorter – leaving the average break at 3.4 nights. A drop from 4+ nights in 2011.

-       Number of day visits increased by 11%.

-       Weather did not impact on the overall number of holidays but behaviour was affected. Warm March – 16% rise, April 10% fall and July 19% fall. 

-       Booking on Line a further 11% increase to almost 22 million. 112% higher than in 2006.

-       Spending on food and drink rose by 29%

-       Spending on ‘entertainment’ rose by 24%

-       Over ¾ of all domestic holidays are taken by car. 2012 saw a 16% increase in trips taken by train – now 12% of the total volume.

This indicates that families are finding that their discretionary income continues to be under considerable pressure. They are looking for ways to economise – one way being reducing the duration of domestic holidays and increasing the number of day trips.

Destinations that are outside the day trip radius of a major conurbation are under considerable pressure whilst those inside are seeing increased business.

Accommodation businesses are being hit hard due to increased day trips.

Yes times are tough with revenue under threat.  For Mortimer Country Ltd and members the challenge will be how to outperform external competitors. We all need to sharpen our efforts to work collaboratively with knowledge and insight as the key to competitiveness. Key tourism statistics, fact sheets, major surveys and key trends can all be found for FREE on visitengland.org/insights.  Also take a look at www.visitwales.co.uk our next door neighbours.

Protected Landscapes

-       Mortimer Country is set in a working landscape with farming, forestry and tourism as important industries. Geographically we border the Shropshire Hills AONB protected landscapes.  Some of our member businesses are within the AONB. This gives Mortimer Country the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Shropshire Hills AONB tourism and travel initiatives to strengthen and maximise opportunities for our members to:

-       Aid sustainable economic development through increasing occupancy levels and overnight stays and retaining visitor spend in the local economy.

-       Help conserve and enhance our wonderful landscapes.

-       Provide great experiences for our visitors in understanding the special character; quality and bio-diversity of our area.

The Traditional British Pub

A key message from Jonathon Neame, Chair of the British Beer and Pub Association, is that the traditional British pub is an important factor in attracting foreign tourists. Creativity is required to make each pub different and appealing.

Digital Marketing – 2013 and beyond with SoLoMo

Technology - help or hindrance?

The last few years have seen the use of the term SoLoMo (Social, Local and Mobile) in digital marketing. Technology has helped the tourism industry innovate, with interesting planned changes taking place. You may have read about them and already in the ‘zone’ of SoLoMo.

So –Social

Recent changes to Facebook; (specifically Facebook Places) embraces SoLoMo to the full.  If you are a tourism business with good communication techniques and a physical product (hotel, self-catering, b&b, leisure facility, attraction, pub, restaurant, tearoom etc.) then you will be able to extend your social reach.  The new Facebook graph search will allow peer to peer recommendation and has been built around the need to work via a mobile device.

There are 1 billion+ active worldwide users of Facebook.  Recent research indicated that 70% of these followed links posted by family and friends.  In the future it will become more important that businesses are ‘socially active’ to ensure that they are communicating with their customers via Facebook to encourage them to refer and recommend.

Google + social media platform and its functionality (+1) of a social layer to other Google services (Chrome, YouTube, Mail, Business Pages, Apps) allows Google users to +1 a link of picture, video and gives the user a more balanced view of a specific business.  91% of the world’s population use Google search there are benefits to encouraging customers to +1 your site, shared items and You Tube).

Lo – Local

The importance of content on your website and your other sources of on line information will grow considerably. No longer are websites static pieces of marketing material. They need to be constantly managed, kept up-to-date and relevant.

Facebook Places has an innovative ‘checking in’ feature. It allows the user to tag your business and allows you to respond.

Fantastic localised pictorial, editorial and videos from all different types of media will become essential in the future for independent businesses.

Mo – Mobile

The iPhone and the growth in usage of smartphones has been huge.  Recent statistics (March 2013) highlighted that 50% of Google searches are now through a mobile device.  40% of which  are ‘localised’ searches within the UK.  20% of all travel e-commerce transactions were through a mobile device.

 3G (with soon 4G) offers greater download and upload speeds, with increased areas hosting free Wi-Fi the trend is to switch to smartphones; with the consumer expectation that the experience is the same as a standard desktop. ‘ Local’ products - restaurants, attractions, B&B, hotels, inns/pubs  are more likely to be viewed via an iPhone or smartphone.

Twice as many Facebook people logged in via a mobile device than through a desktop.

4 out of 5 tablet owners use the device to help with searching for luxury related travel and holiday information. 

Mobile is no longer a luxury. What works on your website needs to work on a mobile. If it doesn’t then it needs to be changed.

SoLoMo should be embraced and not ignored.  Has the time come for your business to review its digital strategy? Use digital technology to grow your business and market share.



Mortimer Country Consortium - North Herefordshire – Newsletter 1. August 2013

Dear Mortimer Country  Members,

Welcome to the first Mortimer Country newsletter.  We hope this will become a regular feature to help us to keep in touch with one another and share information around the membership. 


New Members and local business news.

A warm welcome to Willem, Pippa and their staff at Old Downton Lodge.  Non-residents are welcome, so why not book a table for your guests or treat yourselves.

The Castle (formerly The Compasses) in Wigmore has now been refurbished and is open with a restaurant. 


How’s business for you?

The poor weather at the beginning of the year (to say nothing of the Easter snow!) didn’t auger well, but hopefully the glorious sunshine that finally arrived has brought visitors to us all.  It would be good to have any feedback.

For those of us with accommodation there is the perennial question of which inspection scheme to go with.  We all ‘jump through the hoops’ and it would be interested to have any helpful feedback to share with other members, including your thoughts on continuing with inspections.


Explore Mortimer Country leaflet.

These have been out and about now for several months and we hope that they have been of value, both in encouraging people to come to Mortimer Country and also in helping them, to find their way around once they’re here. 

We’ve used Caron Distribution again this year to get them to outlets throughout the Marches and over into the West Midlands.  It’s always difficult to know exactly where they end up so do let us have any useful information on this that you glean from visitors.  We would also be very pleased to have your ideas about where they should go.  There may be places that we’re neglecting.


The New Website.


The new web site has been ‘up and running’ for several months now.  Do have a look if you haven’t done so already.  There are still things to be added and revised.  We’re working hard on these, but one thing that we can all do to improve the ranking is to link to the site from our own web sites.  You’ll find the necessary code by clicking on the link which is on every page of the web site.



Business Snippets.

Jenny Beard has spent some time looking through the latest (2012) Visit Britain Tourism Survey.  It makes interesting reading and she has extracted some of the key information for us. The world of marketing and social media is also changing rapidly. You’ll find some useful information on all this in ‘Business Snippets’ which you’ll find it attached to this Newsletter email.  Many thanks for your hard work with all of this Jenny.



At Mocktree Barns we are very pleased to have retained our Gold Green Tourism Business Award.  We’ve been part of this nationwide sustainable tourism assessment scheme since 2008 and it’s done a lot to keep us on our ‘green’ toes. The inspection can feel a bit like the VB one, but the good news is that this happens only every other year.  If you’d like to know more please get in touch with us.



A newsletter is only as good as the news that’s in it, so please let me have your items of interest for the next one as soon as possible.  We’re aiming to have Edition 2 ready for circulation by the end of September.

In the meantime let’s enjoy the last few weeks of summer and encourage our visitors to come and do the same in Mortimer Country.

Best wishes to everyone,

Cynthia     01547 540441

Membership Secretary.

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