'It's great to be back' - High Peak landlords and B&B owners celebrate reopening
High Peak hospitality businesses have celebrated welcoming guests back indoors this week after a tough year.
Jason Waplington, who previously ran The Milton’s Head for ten years, took over The Swan on Buxton’s High Street 17 months ago. But restrictions mean the pub has been closed for 13 of those months.
He said: “It’s been a really tough year for us.
"We’d only just opened up and then we had to shut. Thankfully a lot of the regulars showed up on our first day and it was really good to catch up with everyone.
"I think it’s going to be tough going forward as a lot of people will have got used to drinking at home. A night out in the pub costs more than drinking at home and I think a lot of people will be reluctant to give that up but here it is more of the social side and catching up with friends which a lot of people have missed.”
From Monday pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues were allowed to open indoors, with the rule of six in place inside, and groups of up to 30 outside.
And while the Navigation Inn in Buxworth has outside seating and was allowed to welcome guests outdoors in April, landlord Roger Cockerell said there is nothing quite like a pint inside a pub.
“The weather is so hit and miss, one minute it’s raining the next it’s sunny so I think it has put people off coming out but now we can welcome people back indoors it has changed that,” he said.
"It was great to be back and we were much busier than we would normally be on a wet and windy day in May which was good.”
Hotel and B&B stays are now back on the agenda too and this has been welcome news for those in the tourist industry.
Husband and wife team Gerard and Maggi Heelan run the Roseleigh Guest House on Broad Walk.
Gerard said: "We’ve been really supported by Visit Peak District who have put on lots of courses to make sure we were up to speed with the new rules.
"We have been doing this for 23 years so it was just picking up where we left off and carrying on.”