The cycle café right next to historic park with mouth-watering cakes and pizza


A husband and wife team with a joint passion for cycling decided to launch their own cycle cafe during lockdown – and are now reaping the rewards of their prime location close to a 1,000 acre parkland where young and old can cycle at leisure. Kay and Craig Tierney opened their Apus Peak cycle cafe last year transforming an empty retail unit just close to the entrance of Tatton Park in Knutsford.

The independent business is driven by the Tierney’s passion for cycling, and offers services and bike repairs as well as exercise classes alongside the main cafe space where there’s a cabinet bursting with home-made cakes and brownies. They also installed a wood-fired oven to be able to make fresh-made pizzas and are fully licensed to serve beers and wines as well as soft drinks and a range of hot drinks.

Based on Tatton Street, the couple have benefited from the huge numbers of people getting out to do their daily exercise in the town and into the park, as well as visitors traveling to the area. Tatton Park is a National Trust estate, but people walking or cycling are free to roam the 1,000 acre parkland, with charges only applying if you are driving and using the car park there or visiting the mansion house or attractions.

Read more : Inside the farm shop cafe near Manchester named best in the UK with massive breakfasts and burgers

Husband and wife team Kay and Craig both worked in completely different careers before COVID-19 struck, but always had a huge passion for staying active. As the lockdowns of 2020 got underway, and with four children of their own to entertain, the pair started to think about a change of career and the vision for Apus Peak started to take shape.



Craig and Kay Tierney outside their cycle cafe Apus Peak in Knutsford

Like many others, they were spending even more time outdoors and decided that their love of being active and its huge benefits on wellbeing was where they wanted to focus their energies. Their aim was to make Apus Peak open to everyone – covering all levels from experienced cyclists to those looking to get on their bike for the first time and across every aspect of cycling culture.

The venue is designed to be a community space to help everyone get active as well as providing a great new space to meet, shop, eat and hangout. It features a full bike maintenance workshop and bike store including the ‘Guru Bike Experience’ – the world’s most advanced fit system for cyclists. This includes a large range of cycling accessories and clothing too.

It has swiftly become known as a cycling pit stop, and also now organizes community cycles every weekend – ranging from 60 mile trips to the Peak District for those with more experience, as well as 20-mile ambles around all the country lanes of Cheshire.

Kay, 37, says: “It was an idea in the back of my head for a very long time but it was lockdown that gave me the impetus. It’s been an absolutely fantastic journey.



Cakes at the Apus Peak cafe

“From the moment we opened the doors in August last year, the weather was beautiful and we’ve got big open plan windows and with the location there’s such a lot of footfall with cyclists and families going in and out of Tatton Park. We’ ve had amazing feedback, and it’s been really really busy from the get go, we’re thrilled.

“We had been looking at lots of places but we think we’ve found the perfect place here.”



Kay and Craig inside the cycling hub

Craig had previously worked in the property world, while Kay had a background in hotels and hospitality – and so knew exactly what she wanted from the café side of the business. With both having a shared passion for fitness, they were also keen to make the space comfortable for all.



The cafe has the vast Tatton Park estate on its doorstep, which is popular with walkers and cyclists

Kay said: “I wanted to make people feel comfortable not only in the surroundings, but comfortable around sport. We wanted to create somewhere that people feel relaxed but where the coffee and service was spot on, but where they’re encouraged to try out cycling.To encourage people even after lockdown to keep on exercising.

“The café is a beautiful space to sit in, but we also specialize in bike maintenance and bike fit, we’re dealing with unusual bike sales, a brand called Vielo, all the bikes are made in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.”

The food concept in the café is casual and locally-sourced – with cakes from home bakers in Knutsford from £3.10 for flapjacks and banana bread through to £4.95 for large cake slabs. Coffees are made by baristas from freshly-ground beans from Pott Shrigley’s Kickback Coffee, and pizzas all made on the premises, ranging from £7 to £10.

The café is open seven days a week from breakfast to early evenings – and the venue can also be booked for private hire events. Kay adds: “All of the team here are cyclists and have their own stories and reasons for being part of the business – everyone at Apus Peak is passionate about cycling and staying active and they are all very happy to chat to customers and provide advice and inspiration.”



Inside Apus Peak Cafe

Kay, 37 and Craig, 49, live in Lymm with their four children aged 7, 9, 10 and 13, and say that getting a better work-life balance was also one of the reasons behind both taking the plunge to give up their ” day jobs” to launch the cafe. They took over the old Laura Ashley building on Tatton Street to become Apus Peak, as part of Bruntwood Works’ vision to support new and emerging businesses in that part of town.

Kay said: “We both have a massive passion for being active, especially with our kids, and after months of spending so much more time cycling and out together in the fresh air, it didn’t feel right to go back to the industries we were in before. We’ve put all of our passion and love into this instead, and so far it has been absolutely brilliant.”



Apus Peak offers outdoor seating – the entrance to Tatton Park is just along the street

Charlotte Wild, Head of Retail and Leisure, from Bruntwood Works said: “Wellbeing and sustainability are both at the heart of Bruntwood Works and so we’re delighted to have been able to support this brilliant new business and help get it off the ground and add so much to the town. As well as bringing something unique and innovative to the high street, it’s wonderful that Kay and Craig’s vision is also helping the community to stay active and supporting health and wellbeing for everyone.

“They have created a real destination and we’re excited to see what they do next!”

Apus Peak, Tatton Street, Knutsford, WA16 6AF, opens Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am to 4pm, Wednesdays 10am to 7pm, Thursdays 10am to 8pm and on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.

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www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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