A BYRNESS hotel that is popular with walkers has won a national award for the warm welcome it gives its visitors.

The Forest View Inn was among 100 accommodation providers across the country to receive the VisitEngland ROSE award.

The prize recognises the owners, management and employees who go above and beyond to make their customers’ experiences extra special.

Nominations are triggered following the annual VisitEngland quality assessment visit and observations by the assessor, but other evidence, including online customer reviews, are also considered.

Owners of the Forest View Inn, Joyce and Colin Taylor, have been in charge at the popular hostelry for 13 years.

“It’s really special because it’s an industry award based on customer service and experience. It’s all about going the extra mile,” Joyce said.

“We have no idea when the inspector was here; the first we heard about it was when I received an email saying we had won!”

Joyce and Colin plan to take a break over the coming winter months after a long summer of non-stop work.

“If you’re walking the Pennine Way, you have to go through Byrness. That means we were inundated with visitors every day.

“It was phenomenal; the weather definitely helped, but people who stay here book far in advance, so its impossible to predict.”

The annual Pennine Way spine race in January will see the hotel reopen free of charge for the week of the event to support staff and competitors involved.

Joyce added: “It’s a really gruelling challenge, so we’ll be open around the clock providing a place to stay and meals for anybody taking part. It’s our way of helping out.”

The Pennine Way is a 268-mile walking path that starts in Derbyshire and ends in Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders.