A pub landlord is planning on attracting holidaymakers to Cow Roast by setting up a campsite on disused land behind his watering hole.
George Lima, 54, first took over the Cow Roast Inn in December last year and has been working hard to polish its image after he admitted that it used to have a previous ‘bad reputation’.
His newest idea is to make use of the overgrown land behind the pub on London Road, in between Tring and Berkhamsted, and turn it into a campsite in time for next summer.
Mr Lima, who lives above the pub with wife Delcy, 53, and children Anthony, 19, and 15-year-old Jennifer, said: “I would hope it would bring more tourism to the area, because we live in a beautiful part of the world for walking.
“I believe it’s the only campsite in Dacorum and the nearest one is Ivinghoe. Customers who I’ve spoken to about it say they think it’s a really good idea.”
The application for the site, which can hold up to five caravans or motorhomes and up to 10 tents, has been been given the green light by Dacorum Borough Council.
But official planning permission is not required because the actual certification can be issued by the Caravan and Camping Club, based in Coventry, as long as the rules about small, privately-run sites are followed.
George, who has backgrounds in retail and finance, said: “I’m hoping we could have Scouts come and stay on the site, but nothing is firmed up yet.
“We’re aiming to be open by next summer but we have to convert the garage into a toilet block first so it is early days.”
George, originally from Chesham, revealed that there is some interesting history on the site, which used to be a Roman burial ground.
He said: “I know there was a lot of pottery dug up there, as well as the body of a Roman woman.”
And because of its rich history, George says the family aren’t the only people living in the pub.
He said: “We have ghosts here with us, but they don’t mean any harm. I’ve got some video footage of a poltergeist in the bar!”
Since the Limas moved in, the foursome have made the change back to traditional British pub menu and say their Sunday roasts are ‘a big hit’.
The family say they want to be come part of the community, and plan several ‘fun nights’ including an upcoming Halloween fancy-dress party and the Cow Roast Christmas Choir come December.
Visit www.cowroastinn.com for more.