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Radio 1 Big Weekend At Carlisle

Carlisle

Situated just 40 miles West of Hexham, Carlisle, the county town of Cumbria, has a varied and interesting past. Its history began with the Roman’s who marked its site as one of high status. It was built as a settlement primarily to serve the Hadrian’s Wall. Being a coastal town on the point where three rivers converge, its site was perfect.

In the Middle Ages, the constant battles over borders led to the town becoming a military stronghold. It was thought to have been a prison for Mary Queen of Scott’s. Carlisle castle, still largely intact, now houses the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and the Border Regiment Museum.

Modern day Carlisle is a multi faceted and thriving market town. It has something for everyone and is in a surprisingly convenient location. Its vicinity to the M6 links it to the rest of England, in particular the south. Its link to Scotland lies on the M74.

Airports

Because of these road links, access to a range of UK airports is fairly straightforward. Ecocabs makes regular taxi transfers to Glasgow Airport and Manchester Airport from Carlisle. Obviously a taxi to Newcastle International airport from Carlisle makes a trouble-free start to any business or leisure trip. Airport transfers are a speciality of Ecocabs and we can accommodate most requests.

For the business traveller we can make a professional meet and greet. We have car seats for young travellers. We have spacious taxis and sizeable vehicles for the larger party.

We have minibus facilities at our disposal as well as people carriers and standard taxis. We can transfer parties of up to 8 people comfortably, with luggage, to and from any UK airport. We are easily able to accommodate specialised equipment such as bicycles, skis, pushchairs, golf clubs etc.

Railway Links

Carlisle Station (also known as Carlisle Citadel Station) is a major station on the West Coast Line with direct trains to Glasgow in the North and London Euston in the South. Ecocabs provides a convenient and reliable station transfer service to and from Carlisle Station, ensuring that you arrive in good time to catch that train. We also collect returning passengers and transfer from Carlisle Station to a destination of your choosing.

Bicycle Tours

The bicycle tours within Carlisle’s vicinity are varied and wide-ranging with the Coast to Coast (C2C) tour being the most well known. Others include the Rievers Route, Coast and Castles, The Pennine Cycle way and the Way of the Roses.

The co-ordination of Bicycle tours are a speciality at ecocabs. We have our own highly knowledgeable tour guide at hand to give advice on which bike tours to take and the sights of interest along the way. We have a fantastic trailer to make any bike transfer an easy process. Whether you are embarking on the challenging Coast 2 Coast route or taking the historical Roman Way, call ecocabs and we can organise your tour including baggage transfers, bike transportation, recommend, or even book, accommodation along the route, refreshment points and anything else you can think of.

So as you can see, ecocabs provides a wide variety of services and we will travel to accommodate your requirements. We believe that we serve the UK, not just our home town.

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C2C Cycle Bike Transfer & Tours

Cycle Bike Transfer & Tours

As the season progresses and the signs of spring evolve into glimpses of the approaching summer months, we at ecocabs are turning our attention towards the many outdoor activities that the beautiful county of Northumberland has to offer, in particular, cycling. We are receiving an increasing number of enquiries regarding our cyclist transport services and facilities for transporting bikes for those travelling to the region for our fantastic cycling opportunities. Only today we have received a call from a party of 4 cyclists wishing to be collected from Tynemouth at the end of their Hadrian’s Way cycle ride and transferring back to their start point. Of course we are more than able to accommodate them. At our disposal we have a bike trailer and a variety of vehicles ranging from a standard taxi thru to a 16 seat mini bus, with ample luggage transfer and bicycle storage space. We are also able to arrange or recommend accommodation, bicycle hire, rest and refreshment points, as well as recommend various routes.

The variety and combinations of transfers desired by our many, and often return, passengers are diverse to say the least. We can facilitate the transfer of baggage alone, whilst you and your cycling party complete a leg of your journey. We are able to transport any combination of 4 people, 6 people, and 8 people and so on, up to 16 people, their luggage and bicycles all at once.  We also provide minibus tours, with our own professional and extremely knowledgeable tour guides, of course. A guided bike tour in Northumberland could be just the thing to blow those cobwebs away and create many fond memories of an amazing holiday.

For those reading this and wondering what trails/routes are on offer, here is a brief synopsis of ecocabs favourites and most popular cycling holidays.

C2C route – 140 miles – This is a regular route for charity fund raising events as well as those seeking a personal challenge. The Coast to Coast route takes you through all aspects of Northern scenery starting in Whitehaven, Workinton or St. Bees and leading on to the beautiful rolling hills and serene lakes of the lake district, across the austere moors of the un-spoilt northern Pennines district and finally down to the to the coast at Tynemouth, Sunderland or Whitley Bay. There are now 2 new parts to the route. One section takes you via Ullswater and Great Strickland into Penrith, passing Lowther Castle. The other new section takes you via Durham along Lanchester Valley.  Cycle ‘sea to sea’ and let ecocabs arrange your baggage forwarding and a minibus drop off and collection service.

Hadrian’s Cycleway – 174 miles – The C2C route the Roman way! The route stretches the length of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site in the North of England. Along the way you will find glorious coastal views, breathtaking countryside, roman forts and museums, stunning modern attractions, charming villages and pretty market towns, all set in a World Heritage Site. You will ride through some of England’s most striking and natural countryside where you can enjoy the freedom of cycling in this untouched locale. It is normally cycled West to East but we can accommodate any direction you choose. Just let us know your bag transfer requirements and let us worry about logistics.

Rievers Route – This tour has the same start and finish points as the C2C route (Whitehaven to Tynemouth) but via Kielder Water reservoir. Again we can provide a full bike transport service using one of our minibuses or a combination of vehicles depending upon your requirements and party size.

Coast and Castle – 200 miles – Passing the world famous Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castles, this route takes you from Newcastle to Edinburgh via Berwick and Melrose. Quiet lanes will take you through the border country, followed by a gentle climb onto the Moorfoot Hills into Midlothian. A spectacular view of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth awaits you at the summit. Ecocabs bike transfer service can help you organise your route and transfer your luggage from hotel or guesthouse on to your next stop off point.

Way of the Roses – 171 miles – The Way of the Roses is a special cycle route celebrating 15 years of the National Cycle Network. It is a spectacular ‘coast to coast’ cycle route from Morecambe Bay (the Irish Sea) to Bridlington Bay, on the North Sea coast. The route crosses the northern part of Lancashire, the Red Rose County and takes you into the White Rose County of Yorkshire. Our 8 seat or 16 seat minibuses and bike trailer will help your tour run smoothly.

Pennine Cycle Way – 354 miles – there are 3 main routes to this long cycle ride; The South taking you from Holmfirth to Appleby (124 miles) ; The North taking you from Appleby to Berwick (150 miles); The Peak District (80 miles) taking you from Derby to Holmfirth. Much of the latter section is traffic free so call us to help you organise your baggage transfer well in advance.

Walney to Wear and Whitby W2W – 151 or 171 milesthis challenging route links Walney Island, just outside Barrow-in-Furness on the south western tip of Cumbria’s Irish Sea coast, with the mouth of the River Wear on the North Sea coast. You will negotiate the Lake District Peninsulas, the low fells of South Cumbria, the Eden Valley as well as many other outstanding areas of Durham and the Lakes, finally travelling down to the stunning Yorkshire Moors. Ecocabs can assist with any aspect of your organisation. We can collect you and your bikes and transfer you back to your start point, or simply transfer your luggage to each rest point.

Kielder – An extensive network of off-road tracks just perfect for family cycling holidays or days out awaits you. The range of routes in Kielder Water & Forest Park suit all abilities – test yourself at the skills area before you set off and you’ll discover which trails are right for you. Two of the best single track trails in England can be found there. To hand is the extremely challenging ‘Up and Over’ black trail and also the ‘Deadwater’ red trail. The forest is host to No Fear Night Rides, Demo Days and KTR’s Marathon Series. There is something for everyone in this beautiful location. Let ecocabs take the strain of organising your bike transportation up to the forest ready for your arrival.

So as you can see, Northumberland and the surrounding counties have a mass of opportunities to offer both the adventurous cyclist as well as the family holiday maker. Ecocabs can offer you a plethora of assistance whether it is locating accommodation, bike hire, bike transportation, luggage transfers or guided bike tours. Call us to discuss your requirements and have the holiday you desire.

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Wedding Transport

Spring is approaching

Well the hectic festive period is over and we at ecocabs can all breathe a sigh of relief. Our attention turns to the welcome signs of spring, as we begin to put winter behind us. The snowdrops push through and the birds serenade us as they return from warmer climes. The evenings and mornings grow lighter, as do the spirits, but in the world of transport, spring heralds the arrival of the next hectic chapter. Our focus here is now on ecocabs’ wedding transport services. You may be thinking along the same lines, if you are soon to be wed. Weddings are one of my favourite things so it is a welcome time of year for me!

Some of Our Favourite Venues

The key consideration when thinking about your transport is the venue and the influence that may have on your choice of wedding cars, both for your wedding party and your guests. Do you dream of a romantic wedding in a real castle? How about hiring a luxurious stately home for your exclusive use? Perhaps a traditional village hotel with roaring log fires will create the warm welcome you are looking for. Or maybe a magical summer garden party in magnificent grounds is more your thing. Northumberland has something for every taste and budget. With spectacular countryside and impressive coastlines it’s the perfect spot for the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. Venues such as The Alnwick Gardens, Bamburgh Castle and Chipchase Castle all spring to mind. However within ecocabs immediate locale, there are three main ‘mansion hotels’ that we could highly recommend. Namely Slaley Hall, Matfen Hall and Close House. Having worked alongside each location for many weddings over the years we can say with confidence that they are truly wonderful wedding venues in Northumberland.

All three were originally built with grand intentions and have been restored to their former glory with stunning results.

Matfen Hall is a Grade II listed 19th century country mansion and is still privately owned. Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett have carefully restored their family seat into one of the North East’s leading venues for weddings. In addition to the golf course, now open is their fantastic new Spa & Leisure complex providing the perfect place for the bride to relax before her big day. Just 11 miles from Newcastle International Airport yet situated in the most beautiful location, it makes and ideal venue. With dedicated wedding coordinators on hand to offer their advice and guidance, your day will be remembered for all the right reasons. They have a range of stunning rooms in which to hold your ceremony. The Great Hall, with its magnificent fire place, is quite stunning and The Dutch Garden provides a perfect backdrop for your photographs. In a nutshell, some of the services they offer include the services of a master of ceremonies, a red carpet welcome, discount accommodation as well as table plans, menu cards and use of the cake stand. Check out their website for the full list. http://www.primahotels.co.uk/matfen/wedding-en.html

Alternatively, Slaley Hall, which was originally built as a glorious Edwardian sporting estate, would provide a magnificent backdrop to your special day. It continued to provide accommodation and sporting splendour for many years until the 1980s when it was developed into the beautiful hotel that you will see today. In its moorland and forest location, Slaley Hall has a choice of splendid reception rooms to offer the discerning bride to be. A warm welcome, fantastic and locally sourced food, their wonderful attention to detail and the elegant charm of Slaley Hall will all create that elegant atmosphere you are looking for. On the eve of the wedding, entertain your guests with a game of golf or a trip to the spa or simply enjoy a relaxing stroll around the magnificent grounds.

http://www.devere.co.uk/our-locations/slaley-hall/weddings-celebrations.html

Close House, an elegant 18th century mansion, can also offer you a breath-taking wedding venue in its elegant and relaxed surroundings. The food and accommodation is second to none and assistance is on hand to help you every step of the way, offering advice where needed or providing solutions to your problems. From flowers to cakes, marquees to photographers, the wedding coordinators at Close House will help you find just the thing. You can even have exclusive use of the entire house, for the ultimate celebration.

http://www.closehouse.co.uk/weddings

ecocabs Wedding Car Service

Having chosen your venue and with so much still to plan and organise, wedding transport will be high on your list of priorities. The ecocabs wedding car service includes chauffeur driven car transfers between house, church/venue and reception and includes plenty of time for photographs before and after the ceremony. Your pleasant and friendly, fully uniformed chauffeur will provide you with the most professional service.  Our wedding cars in Hexham are decorated with white or ivory ribbons as standard, at no extra cost, and the cars all carry white umbrellas, for rain or shade.  Alternatively we can decorate the luxury wedding cars with coloured ribbons of your choice, to match your theme. The journey to your wedding venue may well be one of the most nerve-racking and emotional days of your life and the trip to your reception may well be the most wonderful, so there’s every reason to do it in style and comfort.

Each chauffeured car is prepared to exacting standards, with great care, for each and every occasion. Our stylish wedding cars in Northumberland are available for hire on an individual or collective basis. For the hire of all vehicles, a special package price is available. Special rates also apply for winter and mid-week weddings. Please contact us for details. For weddings taking place Monday to Thursday, 10 per cent discount can be arranged.

Depending upon your venue of choice, you may have simple needs for transport on the day, needing only one bridal car, or you may have many guests requiring transport to and fro. Minibus hire may also be high on your list of requirements. We can offer a 7 seat luxury minibus, in the form of our Mercedes Viano, as well as our smart 12 seat minibus and the slightly smaller MPV taxis. We also offer a meet and greet service from Newcastle International Airport, or indeed any regional airport of your choice, welcoming your well travelled guests to Northumberland in style. With a selection of premier Mercedes wedding cars available, as well as luxury minibus transport, we can fulfil most requests. We are very proud of our wedding vehicles:

The Mercedes S Class (seating four) The Mercedes Benz S-Class chauffeur car has always been the standard by which other chauffeur driven cars are judged.
The Mercedes E Avant Garde (seating four) The E Class Mercedes-Benz chauffeur car is an ideal wedding chauffeur car, spacious, luxurious and comfortable
The Mercedes Viano (seating up to 7) The luxury Mercedes Viano MPV will carry 6-7 passengers in impeccable safety and comfort. Perfect for your guests, it is much more than just a people carrier.


Once you are in a position to book your transport, you may have some pressing questions:

  1. How do I book? Simply telephone us or send us an email and we will get back to as soon as possible to discuss your needs. If you decide to use ecocabs wedding car service, we will ask you for a deposit to secure your cars. Soon after we will then send you a booking confirmation detailing the times, venues and any additional requirements you may have.
  2. Can you provide additional wedding vehicles for family members and guests? Yes, we can provide additional vehicles, minibuses and people carriers. It is our policy to provide excellent rates for wedding customers with additional transport needs.
  3. Will the car be dedicated to my wedding? Yes, we are at your service from the moment we collect the bride until we leave the happy couple at the reception venue. If the photographer needs extra time at after the ceremony then it is not a problem.
  4. Can I have coloured wedding car ribbons to match my scheme? Of course. Our standard ribbons are double sided satin in either white or ivory. However, if you would prefer coloured ribbons and can provide them or we are able to obtain them, then we are happy to decorate your wedding cars with them.
  5. How will the chauffeur be dressed? – Your chauffeur will be fully uniformed and very smart. He will attend to your entry and exit from the car giving assistance where possible. He will be friendly, helpful and polite; experienced in making your big day perfect.
  6. Can I arrange to view my wedding car? – We would recommend that you do this regardless, so that you know which wedding car to expect and that you are dealing with a reputable company. We can arrange a suitable viewing time when you will see the car and meet the driver.
  7. How much will my wedding car cost? – Our prices start from £140 for a fully decorated, chauffeur driven, and luxury wedding car. We provide excellent rates for any additional wedding transport for your bridesmaids, family and guests.
  8. How many wedding cars can I have? – We can provide up to 3 fully dressed wedding cars at any one time, all in matching brilliant silver.
  9. How do I pay? – You can pay via cash, cheque or credit/debit card via our office.

So, as you can see, ecocabs have it covered. Whatever your situation, budget or location, call us and we will be thrilled to provide the transport you need for your special day.

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EcoCabs First Blog – Is It Green For Go With EcoCabs?

This is my first ever attempt at a blog post, as well as my first ever job with a taxi firm. During my first week at work, as I learned about my new employer and my new role, I decided to write regular blogs to keep you informed of both my and the company’s progress.

You see, EcoCabs is no ordinary taxi firm. Established in 2007, in Hexham, Northumberland, EcoCabs aimed to address the very serious issue of carbon emissions and global warming. As the name suggest, EcoCabs is Eco friendly. The owner, Matthew Kirkby, was spurred on by his brother’s eco-friendly disposition, to develop a company that will reduce carbon emissions and, in turn, reduce greenhouse gases. If you live nearby, or indeed any where in the north east region, you will have seen the smart silver cars emblazoned with the green EcoCabs logo and the mantra ‘Taxis powered by bio diesel’, locally produced bio diesel being the way forward in green fuel and EcoCabs obvious choice.

Having studied in Ireland, Matthew’s brother, Michael, returned with an unbounded enthusiasm for environmental issues. Ireland, it would seem, is streets ahead in ‘doing their bit’. Having converted his entire family, it was then Matthew’s turn to take the reins. Upon acquiring an excellent phone number (key for a taxi firm); he set about developing his company.

One year later, in 2008, EcoCabs won two awards. Tynedale’s Young Business of the Year and Customer Service Awards were both bestowed on this up and coming ‘company with a conscience’.

First Things First

Vehicles and Fuel
Starting out with just 3 Passats (silver of course), Matthew set about having them adapted to run on the bio diesel. I my endeavours to understand the process, I found that the conversion is not only cheap to do but is also very simple. It is basically a matter of changing the fuel filters so that the cars can run on the plant based oil. Bio diesel is made primarily from vegetable oil, or even oil form animal fats. Not only are the emissions cleaner, but the vehicles last longer too because the bio diesel acts as a natural lubricant. The source is also renewable, unlike fossil fuels, as the plants used can be regrown. A win-win situation of which anyone can take advantage!

Currently, EcoCabs buys the fuel in 1000 litre tanks and has its own diesel pump on site. Ecocabs has established a link with a local supplier of the fuel, however there are plans afoot for a new bio diesel plant in the Tees valley. More about that as it develops.

EcoCabs is also in the process of fitting Eco tyres their vehicles. They are designed to have low rolling resistance, which basically means they minimise the energy wasted as they roll along the road. Fuel efficiency is enhanced and the tyres sustain higher mileage, thus meaning less wast. Their design also means that noise pollution is reduced too!
Drivers
Matthew has a carefully selected team of drivers. For not only would EcoCabs mae a difference to the environment, it would also be known for providing a highly professional service at all times. EcoCabs drivers are all uniformed, courteous, polite and helpful and are very knowledgeable about our local area. Having been on the receiving end of the selection process, I can confirm it is indeed rigorous and thorough! They are expected to fit the bill for a variety of jobs including wedding chauffeur, school transfers, organised tours of the local area, airport transfers and general taxi services. EcoCabs also provide an efficient same day courier service. Difficult to resist the brilliant combination of eco friendly travel and service with a smile.
The Office
Now Ecocabs’ Eco awareness does not stop at vehicles. Matthew knew that is was both vital and complimentary to his green ethos to extend his policies throughout the company. Within our office we now have procedures in place that all contribute towards protecting our environment. The printers run on EcoFont which shoots holes into the typed letters as they are printed so uses less ink and toner ….. up to 25% less. The energy saving light bulbs cut energy waste by over 3/4 and can last up to 12 times longer than standard bulbs. Our paper is 100% recycled. 35% of trees felled are for industrial paper making. A short ton of recycled paper saves 17 mature trees, 7000 US gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil and over 4000 kilo watt hours of electricity (enough to power the average American home for 6 months!).

We have a policy of recycling all envelopes, letters, packaging and other waste rubbish. The used tyres are also recycled. The staff are encouraged to walk or cycle to work and are well educated in effective ways of aiding the protection of the environment.

EcoCabs also donates to environmentally aware charities such as The Woodland Trust and has donated many trees to be planted to offset their carbon footprint.

The Story Now
The EcoCabs fleet has expanded somewhat since those early days. There are now luxury Mercedes cars and minibuses for those special occasions, minibuses for day to day transfers of children to schools, business men to airports and meetings or party goers to venues across the region, as well as a variety of other eco-friendly cars including several Skoda Octavia Greenline Vehicles. EcoCabs will be investing more money on the Skoda vehicles in future months, but more about those in subsequent blogs.

The services provided by EcoCabs are all encompassing and most requests are fulfilled. They are known in the area for being a firm that is punctual, polite and one that provides a top quality service. The liveried cars and other vehicles are instantly recognisable as they are all silver with the same green company logo on each. A number of high profile local businesses in the area are also clients of EcoCabs, including Egger, Slaley Hall and Specials Laboratory thus illustrating EcoCabs respected status within the locale.

The Result
If EcoCabs continues to influence the local clientele in the same vein over the following months and years, then the difference they make to the environment should be palpable. The long term results of global warming are expected to be catastrophic, with some already beginning to emerge. Sea levels are rising and climate change is noticeable. In an effort to put a halt to this damaging process, EcoCabs is offering an unsurpassed service so that clients will choose them first. If more and more customers choose the ecological option then the planet will stand a chance! So, if you choose Ecocabs because they are smart and reliable, or EcoCabs because they are green, Mr Kirkby will have achieved his aim.

Minibus fourstones

8 passenger seated minibus in fourstones

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Christmas Transport


Well, time flies when you are having fun, so the saying goes, and this is only my second blog. I had wanted to tell you all so much as I completed my ever increasing list of tasks and mini projects. I find 2 months on that I have neglected to do so.

However, with the time flying by as I write, my thoughts now turn to Christmas: at the time of writing only 9 weeks until the big day itself. The festive season is the busiest time of year for a taxi company and it will soon be upon us.  Many companies, schools, clubs and societies (not to mention the groups of friends) will already have their venues and dates booked well in advance and finally their attention will turn towards transport.

Lost in the excitement of party planning and what to wear, the transport is often left until the last minute. Avoid being met with sorry disappointment when you try to book late and get organised. One thing I have learned in the last 2 months, it pays to be prepared. On your list of ‘things to do’, make sure your transport gets a big tick, without delay.

Ecocabs has car, people carrier and minibus transport available to ensure your planned event runs without a hitch. We can accommodate up to 16 passengers in our Mercedes Sprinter and our smaller minibus can carry 8 passengers. If you have a large staff or sizeable group of friends then why not book both vehicles or a combination of minibus and taxi? Our fleet of 17 vehicles will more than accommodate you and your partygoers.

What we need to know

The key is in the timing. Come to us early and guarantee the seats. Call us for a quote with as much of the following information as you can. We will need to know the date, venue and number of passengers. Then we will need to know your set off and end of evening pick up times. Finally we will require a list of collection and drop off points, because as we all know, being dropped at your door is the perfect ending to an action packed evening.

You may be reading this thinking you have weeks to plan your transport but my advice would be to request your quote now. Imagine the prospects if everyone had to arrange their own taxis. Different prices, different companies, who will travel with who? Take the confusion out of the equation and travel together, in the style and comfort of an ecocabs minibus or taxi.

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