Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Innovative Product Planning Design and Development

The Challenge

To turn the relatively inaccessible grounds of the Beech Hill Country House Hotel into a guest-friendly, easily accessed woodland with trails for walking, cycling and horse riding.

The Role

To work with the hotel to:

  • Develop a design concept for a trail system within its grounds
  • Secure a funding package for trail design and construction
  • To procure and oversee the design and construction team
  • Deliver an interpretation plan for the site


The Results

  • £115,000 of external funding secured
  • New 3.5km trail system for walkers, cyclists and horse riders developed
  • Day visitors to hotel have increased by 25%
  • Day visitor spend within the hotel’s restaurant has increased 15%
  • The hotel has gained a significant increase in overnight stays as a result of outdoor activity packages



“Working with Outdoor Recreation NI to develop multi-use trails here in the grounds of Beech Hill Country House Hotel has delivered unprecedented benefits to our business.  It has significantly improved our product by making it more attractive to more people.  Since the trails were built we have witnessed more day visitors coming to walk, cycle and enjoy time in our cafe/restaurant. We take weekly bookings from special interest groups who want to use the trails to explore our historic features and wonderful viewpoints, and afterwards they will stay for coffee and a scone. On the back of the trails we have also been able to develop strong, successful partnerships with local businesses to offer a range of outdoor activity packages to attract overnight guests.  This includes mountain biking, horse riding and cycling breaks. These popular new packages are only possible because of our multi-use trails.

The trails have allowed us to expand our business and become a true destination in our own right.  Derry City and Strabande District Council is promoting us as a hub for rural tourism in the area; summer bookings for the activity-based breaks are high; group bookings for day visits are consistently strong; and the car park is always full!

At the outset of this project we had no idea how a simple trail could impact our business so much.  We have climbed another rung in the ladder, moving from a traditional country hotel to a valued local resource and an exciting tourist destination.  Our experience with ORNI in developing this project was seamless – they handled everything from funding to contractors and delivered an excellent product in a professional manner.

And we are not standing still… the trails have shown us how valuable the outdoors can be for our business.  We are looking at new, innovative ways to use the trails to attract new groups and guests to the property”.

Conor Donnelly, Sales and Marketing Manager, Beech Hill Country House Hotel