All posts by Felicity

We love our new loo, do you?

I have a thing about beautiful bathrooms, do you?

Here at Hoe Grange Holidays we are always striving to improve our facilities, and our latest project has been the refurbishment of Hipley log cabin wet room, with a super new Closomat loo. We love it and hope you do too!

Our aim is to provide a home from home relaxing holiday and we feel a beautiful bathroom is a must! Our updated luxurious facilities will leave you stress free, so you can truly relax and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of our special countryside.

New stylish shower room

The wet room in our Hipley log cabin has had a stylish transformation.Gone are the dark walls, the stark, basic builders pack with tiny wash hand basin and functional unattractive toilet. DIY David has worked wonders and the shower room is now bright and attractive with many stylish features!

Accessible shower roomNo more wet feet!

Both the slope of the floor and the size of the shower drain have been increased. You are no longer sploshing around in half an inch of water after your shower, whilst trying to get yourself dry! The flooring is non-slip, yet not rough underfoot, and wheeling a shower chair across the space is a breeze.

A helping hand

Motionspot are specialists in accessible design and helped us with the contemporary styling by providing a shower riser that is also designed as a strong and sturdy corner grab rail. To make life easy there is a handy holder for your soap and shampoo.

The overall look of the shower room is now sleek and contemporary as we have removed the cumbersome separate grab rails and added a large Pressalit Care wash basin with integrated handrails.

Above the wash basin is a bright back lit mirror with demister and shaver point. We replaced the old radiator with a large heated towel rail, which will be much more useful.

A new super loo!

The star of the show is the super Closomat Shower toilet. It is ideal as it combines a conventional WC with integrated washing and drying, to give people independence.

The Closomat shower toilet is designed to properly support the user and position them correctly for effective washing and drying. What we liked about The Palma Vite is the fact that it looks like a typical toilet and you can choose whether to use it as a traditional toilet or activate the shower and drying function. This means it is suitable for all our holiday guests.

Closomat shower toiletWe chose to have integrated drop down arm supports for flexibility for transferring from wheelchair to toilet from either side. They look neat and streamline and can easily be placed up out of the way. There is plenty of transfer space. The toilet seat and arm supports are in a contrast blue colour which is helpful for the visually impaired.

The Closomat is great because it looks like a typical WC, but you can choose to use it as a conventional loo, or trigger the douching and drying processes. It perfect for everyone, whether or not they are disabled.

Removing the old wet room walls and sorting out the floor levels was a mammoth task for David. We hope you agree that it was all worth it, and that the shower room is now better equipped yet sleek and stylish.

To complete the refurbishment we also put down new practical flooring in the wheelchair accessible twin bedroom and a warm cosy carpet in the master bedroom. We are really pleased with the new contemporary fresh look.

Hipley accessible bedroom

The Japanese use these sorts of wash and dry toilets all the time – what could be better than a waft of warm air!! We are hosting an Open Afternoon on Friday 15th March between 12.30 and 3.30pm in support of Disabled Access Day – why not pop  along and see our new toilet.

Boma peak district

In the spirit of Disabled Access Day you could be adventurous and try out something new too. You can test our robust Boma 7 off-road wheelchair over the farm fields. We now have both a joy stick control and a handlebar steering version. All welcome to join in a fun afternoon!

Felicity 

Everything you need to know about bringing your horse on holiday

Hoe Grange is a popular destination for those who want to bring their horse on holiday. Our stunning Peak District countryside is undulating and interesting to ride through. Trekking along you always want to discover what lies over the next hill or round the next bend.

You can stay in a cosy log cabin, a gorgeous glamping pod or even a vintage gypsy caravan – the choice is yours!

bring your horse on holiday

Riding holidays are a fabulous way of exploring the area, it’s amazing what you can see from the back of horse that you might miss when walking on foot or in a car.

10 reasons why bringing your horse to Hoe Grange is so popular!

  1. On arrival the tarmac  farmyard is large and ideal for unloading and there is plenty of space for manoeuvring. There’s no need to worry about reversing your trailer or parking your horse box.
  2. All 6 stables are sturdy and spacious with plenty of room for larger horses and are disinfected ready for your use.
  3. The farm is in a peaceful location and horses who arrive on holiday quickly settle in the grazing paddocks. There are two paddocks which can be split up into smaller areas with electric tape if you need to separate horses from one another.
  4. Your horse will love munching on our Hoe Grange hay – our meadows are sustainably managed and the grass is sweet.
  5. Tally ho! There is plenty of scope for a good gallop across the farm fields!
  6. As riders ourselves we know all the best riding routes and can help you make the most of your horsey holiday. We have some amazing off-road trails and bridleways. Unsurprisingly the most popular ride is over the hill to the pub for a pint!
  7. BHS Weclome HorsesHoe Grange Holidays is accredited with the British Horse Society Horses Welcome Scheme, which means you can book with confidence knowing that your horse will have 5 star accommodation! Also we only take one group of horses at a time which is better for infection control.
  8. After a long days riding you can relax back on the decking and watch your horses and ponies at play in the paddock – a real treat especially if your horse is at livery and not kept at home.
  9. FirepitHoe Grange is a great place for groups and we offer extra experiences for you all to enjoy. What better way to spend the evening than toasting marshmallows round the fire-pit, relaxing in the log-fired hot tub under the stars, or creating and cooking your own pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven?
  10. local produce delivered to your glamping podIf you want to self-cater you can order #LoveLocal Peak District groceries to be delivered to your log cabin or glamping pod ready for your arrival. Or if you fancy a complete break from the kitchen we know the best places to eat out. We can recommend some amazing local pubs – we’ve made it our mission to try them all out especially for you – it’s a hard life!

There are many more reasons to choose Hoe Grange Holidays if you want to bring your horse on holiday. If like Oliver and I you have joined the Your Horse #hack1000miles challenge you will definitely have the opportunity to clock up some extra miles during your holiday in the Derbyshire hills.

The Peak District is also quite hilly so your horse should go home really fit.

If you want to know more watch our video of Frequently Asked Questions on bringing your horse on holiday or contact us via email info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk

Happy Hacking!

Felicity 

 

Save money on your holiday and book direct with us

Book Direct logoBooking your holiday direct with the owners is always the best way to make sure you get the cheapest deal and don’t pay over the odds. Most of our holiday guests book direct, but you may have found us on other websites such Trip Advisor or Air BnB.

Did you realise that by booking through these large OTAs, (Online Travel Agents), you could inadvertently be paying a lot more for your holiday?

7 Good reasons to book direct

Today 6th February 2019 is #BookDirect day – an international campaign to encourage guests to book directly with the owners of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and glamping sites, because it is better for everyone!

We only have a relatively small marketing budget so many small businesses like ourselves have to advertise with the larger national and international accommodation websites to get our message out there.

1. The Best Price

It’s Simples! Our own website lists the best price for our log cabins and glamping pods – there is NO extra Booking Commission, NO Booking Fee and NO Service Fee Always book direct! Only this week a guest booked through one of the major OTAs and has unnecessarily paid 20% more for their holiday – they could have spent their money on a night out at our local pub!

Ye Olde Gate Inne Brassington

If you know the name of the accommodation, all it takes is a quick google search to find the website!!

2. Online Booking

Booking direct with us online only takes a few simple steps. It’s quick and easy and there are flexible payment options so you can pay by card or bank transfer.

3. Book with confidence

Your booking is immediately secured and you’ll get e-mail confirmation. We handle all of our booking details securely and will never pass your details on to third parties.

4. Cut the costs

As well as adding cost, booking with an Online Travel Agent adds an extra layer of complexity to your booking. Cutting out the middleman keeps everything simple and avoids any confusion. It also cuts down on the charges we have to pay so we can keep our prices competitive.

5. The little extras that make the difference

Our website is the only place you can find the full selection of offers, discounts, or extras to enhance your stay. You can book stabling for your horse, or treat yourself and book a log-fired hot tub, a pizza oven evening, or a firepit experience.

log-fired hot ub

6. Book with confidence

We have the best local knowledge of our special Peak District and can help you make the most of your stay in the Derbyshire hills. We can help you decide which log cabin best suits your needs, what specialist equipment is available, and organise a #LoveLocal delivery of delicious locally sourced groceries for when you arrive.

 

 

 

We want our guests to enjoy their stay and are happy to share the best dog-friendly places to visit, the most scenic horse routes, the best places to eat and the quirkiest local traditions such as Ashbourne Shrovetide. Communication is the key and something that you definitely don’t get when you book elsewhere!

7. No hidden charges

By booking direct you know exactly what is included, there are no hidden extras or nasty unexpected charges.

How Can You Help Spread the #BookDirect Word?
  1. Always book direct and encourage everyone you know to do the same
  2. When you get a great deal booking directly, TELL everyone about it
  3. Share our message using the #BookDirect hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms
Booking Direct with Hoe Grange Holidays

The good news is that most of our guests already book direct and therefore get the best deal! #BookDirect with us rather than through a third party and you can spend the money you save on enjoying yourself on your holiday!

We hope you find our online booking process easy, however you can email us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk or if you prefer to chat in person just call us on 01629 540262.

Felicity 

How to be smart and save energy

Big Energy Saving Week starts today Monday 21 January 2019. This national campaign is designed to help people cut their energy bills and get the financial support they are entitled to.

#energysavingweek focuses on how you can save money on energy costs by switching energy supplier or tariff, and how to make your home more energy efficient. Whilst it’s really important to understand your energy bill so you can determine if you are getting the best deal, it’s the little things that can make a big difference to your energy consumption.

Smart Meters

Smart meterA good way to start is by having a Smart Meter which will tell you how much energy you’re using in near real time. It’s a really easy visual way of finding out what appliances, lighting and heating etc are using the most energy and the cost to you in pounds and pence (as well as kilowatt hours).

The Smart meter tracks trends over days, weeks or months so when you make changes you can see the results.

A Smart meter is a great incentive to make the effort to change lots of little habits that can make a big overall difference to your energy consumption.

Top 10 energy saving tips

Small changes can accumulate to make a big difference. Once you have made sure your house is well insulated and doors and windows are draught proof, you can make savings by following our top ten energy saving tips:

  1. Close doors, turn the central heating down a degree or two and wear a jumper!
  2. Close the bedroom curtains at dusk when it’s cold outside to stop heat escaping through windows – that way your room will be cosier come bedtime! Thermal curtains will minimise heat loss
  3. Bleed your radiators to make sure you’re getting the full amount of heat possible. If the top is colder than the bottom you should bleed your radiator.
  4. Turn off radiators in any rooms you’re not using. Why spend money on heating rooms you’re not in?
  5. Shut the front door – leaving the front door open whilst you bring in shopping or chit chat to a neighbour lets a lot of cold air in. Close the door in between bringing in the bags or invite people inside for a chat instead.
  6. Turn off the lights when you leave a room – saves around £14 per year
  7. Switch off electrical appliances when not in use. It’s amazing the amount of electricity used by the TV or computer monitor when left on standby. Also don’t forget to unplug your chargers and transformers. All those little power supplies to charge mobile phones, toothbrushes, and other personal gadgets are burning energy when they’re not in use.
  8. Only boil the amount of water you need – a full kettle uses a significant amount of energy costing around 2.5p. Another little saver is to put the lid on saucepans when bringing up to the boil. It not only saves energy, but also time!
  9. Be water wise – use a bowl instead of running the tap when washing up and see around a £25 saving per year. Knock one minute off your shower time and you could save £19 on energy and water bills!
  10. On bright days open the curtains to let the sunshine warm the house. Even in winter sunlight streaming through a window can increase the room temperature by several degrees. All that sunshine and looking out of our log cabins or glamping pods over the farm fields will cheer you up too!

Solar panels and wind turbine

Although we generate our own electricity using wind and solar technology we are still mindful of our energy usage. We hope you have found this blog useful and that our top ten energy tips will inspire you to make a few little extra changes – the devil is in the detail!

Green Tourism Gold AwardAt Hoe Grange Holidays we are proud to be Green Tourism and support their #energysaving campaign. As a Gold Award holder the sustainable measures we have in place ensure that when you stay with us in our spectacular #peakdistrict you will leave a lighter carbon footprint.

Felicity 

Four Shires Bloodhounds meet at Hoe Grange 2019

January weather is usually cold and frosty, but this winter has been extremely mild and dry. However, the weather last Sunday for The Four Shires Bloodhounds meet here at Hoe Grange was extremely wild and windy!

Four Shires Bloodhounds

The Four Shires Bloodhound Hunt is so called as it covers the shires of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. It attracts riders of all abilities and ages who enjoy cross country riding whilst tracking the scent of a human runner. Welcoming all, the hunt have a second field for novices and less confident riders who prefer to take the course gently or avoid the jumps.

The Hounds

Did you know that Bloodhounds have a highly developed sense of smell, up to 800 times great than other dogs? That is why they make such superb hunting animals. Bloodhounds were originally bred for hunting deer and wild boar, and since the Middle Ages for tracking people. This breed is famed for its ability to distinguish human scent over great distances, even days later.

Four Shires Bloodhounds

However the forceful cross winds on Sunday meant the scent of the runners drifted and the hounds were working quite wide of the trail. Things were a little chaotic at times as the hounds couldn’t hear the huntsmen calling them either!

On the top fields of our farm it was quite difficult to stay upright on your feet – I don’t know how the riders stayed on their horses – horses tails, hounds ears, riders jackets and hat covers were flapping and flying about!

Master Huntsman Chris Kane had trouble gathering the pack together on the tops but was ably assisted by his wife Deb and the other Whipper-Ins.

Four Shires hunt

 

The Quarry

The human runner or “quarry” was Paddy Wright who is a Derbyshire Cross Country Champion and fitness instructor. Being a runner over our hilly Peak District terrain is not for the faint hearted and you certainly need to be extremely fit to keep ahead of the hounds!

This year Paddy was joined by Tom Ough, a journalist from the Daily Telegraph, who drew the short straw; his editors wanted an article on what it is really liked to be chased by a pack of hounds!

Tom’s experience is to be featured in The Telegraph next Sunday – I wonder if he will mention losing his trainer – the mud in Derbyshire can be extremely sticky!Runner

 

Hunting with bloodhounds is often referred to as hunting the “clean boot”, although the runners shoes are definitely far from clean by the end of the day!

Tom was nervous about being caught by the pack, but he needn’t have worried. Bloodhounds are large but very gentle-natured and despite their name the runner suffers nothing more than a few licks!

bloodhounds catch runner

The cross country course

The course averages 12 or 15 miles and is a pre-planned route so that the hunt can avoid worrying sheep and cattle or damaging crops. The runner can also adapt the route if he spots any unforeseen dangers. The route is split up into shorter sections called lines to allow the huntsmen to collect the hounds and the runner to get ahead.

People often think that Bloodhounds started being used after the ban on fox hunting. This is certainly not the case. The Bloodhounds have been hunting across the Derbyshire countryside for many years. The famous Mitford sisters enjoyed hunting and it is only fitting that Duchess of Devonshire is the current President of the Four Shires Bloodhounds.

I didn’t ride Oliver this year as he gets over excited with so many horses and the baying hounds – hounds, horses and humans all love a good day out in the countryside as you can see from the photos on our Facebook page.

The video below explains more about the Four Shires Bloodhounds and how Ellie from Countryfile also found being the human quarry a tough job!

Felicity 

I don’t function without coffee!!!

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that I run on coffee and chocolate. In fact coffee is so important we have even had our own blend created for us by artisan producers Andrew and Deirdre from Peak Bean.Peak Bean Coffee logo

I first met Deirdre on a fact finding tour of Scandinavia a few years ago, during which we toured a local coffee roasting house. She said then that it was something she and Andrew were looking to do in Derbyshire. A couple of years later they launched Peak Bean and began to produce high quality fresh coffee. We met with them and after a few samples and experimental blends hit upon what we have called “Rich Rainster Roast”, a blend of Arabica beans sourced from Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica as unfortunately no one has yet started to grow coffee beans in Derbyshire!!Hoe Grange Coffee in your welcome pack

We leave sachets of our Rich Rainster Roast in the cabins, pods and gypsy caravan as part of our welcome pack and have further supplies available to purchase in our little shop, all in handy 42 gram sachets, I myself have a bean to cup machine with an IV line for direct infusion and so buy the same beans, unground, in handy 1kg bags, which don’t last very long at all!.

Birdhouse Tea Blue John blend

 

If Coffee is not you drink of choice we also stock Birdhouse Tea blended in Sheffield. They produce such delights as “Blue John” a blend of Assam and Darjeeling with cornflower petals, Part of their Peak District collection inspired by Britain’s first national park. ” home to wild and wonderful landscapes, impressive peaks and picture postcard English villages. Blue John is a celebration of the underground wonderlands of Castleton and the semi-precious mineral mined only in the Peak District”

David

Christmas Gifts For Loved Ones Inspired by the Peak District

Have you made your Santa list? It’s Santa’s List Day so here to help is our top ten Christmas gifts for loved ones inspired by the Peak District. We have some wonderful #LoveLocal products to share with you!

Christmas Gifts for the Alcohol Lover 

1. Aldwark Artisan Ales – Local, Award-Winning Beer

Us Brits love our tipple at Christmas, so looking at what alcohol-related Christmas gifts the peak district has to offer seems like a good place to start! Set out in a converted milking parlour, the Aldwark Brewery is located just half a mile from Hoe Grange.

This project has taken vision, lots of hard work and the support from the local community but is well worth the wait. Aldwark Brewery beer is available in your local pubs including the Twenty Ten in Matlock and The Jug & Glass in Lea. Their Nostrum Gold is a classic session ale nicknames “The Moorish One” and we can see why; it’s light and surprisingly refreshing for its bitter notes.

craft ale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts for the Foodie

2. Brock and Morten – Locally-Sourced Oils

Everyone has a family member that takes control of cooking on Christmas day. Getting the Turkey centrepiece perfect has become a right of passage for any Christmas day. Christmas gifts for the foodie in your life are always one of the most important. Brock and Morten supply the finest rapeseed oil found in all our welcome packs at Hoe Grange.

Containing the lowest saturated fat content of any oil, less than half that of olive oil and packed with over 10 times more Omega 3,6 and 9 than olive oil, Brock and Morten’s rapeseed oil is a cut above the rest. Ideal for cooking at high temperatures or drizzling on a fresh salad, Brock and Morten also sell locally produced honey and Christmas gift hampers.

Brock and Morten oils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bullion Craft Chocolates – Handmade, Ethically-Sourced Chocolates

We all end up eating far too much chocolate over the festive period, even those who stave off chocolate for the majority of the year can’t resist an advent calendar or a variety box at Christmas. Why not take your chocolate experience to the next level and visit one of the many shops in the peak district that stock Bullion Craft Chocolate.

Focused on ethical sourcing and superior flavour, Bullion use the finest cocoa beans from across the world to produce the most wonderfully intense and complex chocolate bars you can get this Christmas.

With beans from Haiti, Bolivia and Guatemala and produced in the Peak District their Christmas gift range is a must-have for any chocolatier this Christmas!

bullion craft chocolate

Christmas Gifts for the Homeowner

4. Lomas and Lomas – Nature-inspired Homeware

lomas and lomas

The Peak District’s natural beauty is undoubtedly its greatest asset. Inspiring countless books, paintings and poems, it’s vast limestone hills, flowing rivers and walking routes are famous all over the world.

A Christmas gift to celebrate this beauty makes a great present for anyone who loves to bring the outdoors in. At Lomas and Lomas they sell unique nature-inspired homewares and handmade gifts inspired by the natural landscape of the Peak District. From cushions to lampshade and kitchenware, they have a wide range of items any home interior enthusiast will love.

Christmas Gifts for your Pets

5. Coconut Blush – Eco-Friendly, Chemical-Free Products

dog-friendly productAnother entry from our Hoe Grange welcome pack! Coconut Blush make natural soaps and skin care products handmade in the Peak District.

Started in her home in 2005, Jane Malcolm wanted to solve the problem of eczema her two young children were having. The result – A range of eco-friendly, all natural soaps, hair-care and skin-care products and a thriving business that is now 11 years old. Everything they make is 100% Paraben & SLS free – with no artificial fragrance.

Don’t forget to get your pets a Christmas gift, Coconut Blush now sell a range of shampoos and paw salves for dogs.

Christmas Gifts for the Craftsman

6. Annie’s Eazi Candles – Personalised Candles

With so many Christmas Gifts available online now we can often get overwhelmed by choice ultimately forgetting to shop and #LoveLocal. One of our previous blogs covered candle makers On A Wick and A Prayer located in Tissington village close to Hoe Grange.

Owner Annie lights the way for unique and personal Christmas gifts. Producer of handmade candles inspired by the Peak District, over 18 years later Annie’s business is stronger than ever. With Christmas coming their build your own candle kits means you can completely personalise your own candle. From wicks to colours to scent your loved ones will love your thoughtful gift this Christmas.

make your own candle

 

Christmas Gifts for the Art-Lover

7. Juliet Forest – Hand-made Stained Glass

Glass dishes by Juliet ForrestCreating beauty from staining glass is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of art we have in England. Modern techniques might make it easier for many skills in the manufacturing industry but the skill of hand-staining glass remains a complex art.

Juliet Forest began making stained glass six years ago as a hobby and started her full-time business in 2014. Her artwork can be found throughout Hoe Grange including our glass flowers, welcome plates and the glass windows in all our pods.

If your loved one enjoys the beauty of painted glass as artwork, Juliet Forest’s work is the perfect Christmas gift.

8. Lucy Palmer Jewellery

lucy palmer jewellerySpeaking of handmade gifts from talented artists in the Peak District, Lucy Palmer is the Derbyshire Dales foremost jewellery maker. Crafted in her workshop, all her beautiful jewellery is inspired by nature and folk tales.

Using a wide range of decorative techniques including the ancient Korean technique, ‘Keum Boo’ to fuse gold foil to silver, Lucy crafts truly unique Christmas gifts that you really can’t get anywhere else.

Christmas Gifts – An Experience

9. The Clayrooms – Pottery Workshops and Courses

Set up by ceramic specialist Sarah Heaton and experienced school leader Helen Cammiss The Clay Rooms boasts nearly 50 years worth of combined experience.

Capable of running workshops and courses from beginner level right through to advanced pottery abilities, this makes a great Christmas gift for anybody interested in enjoying a new experience or expanding their pottery skills.

If you have a friend or family member interested in joining a community of fellow artists and craftspeople then why not purchase a membership for The Clayrooms? Membership includes 18 hours of studio time per week, in-house materials and technical support – plus a chance to exhibit once a year!

10. Hoe Grange Holidays – Experience Voucher

Last but definitely not least, at Hoe Grange Holidays we love Christmas. We understand Christmas is all about spending time with people you care about. Therefore, this year instead of giving your father a pack of socks or your mum a new hairbrush, why not give your loved ones a Hoe Grange Holidays gift voucher.

An experience with Hoe Grange Holidays is a gift that they will long remember. Our vouchers can be gifted at any amount or can be bought specifically for one of our amazing experiences. Spend an summer’s evening in the beautiful peak district with your very own pizza oven, this can be a fun and creative evening, ideal for families – and who doesn’t love pizza?

If you’re after something more romantic why not buy a voucher for an winter’s night in our log-fired hot tub and sauna or gather around our fire pit and gaze up at the stars, the perfect couple’s getaway. Whatever your loved ones enjoy, we have the Christmas gift for them! Vouchers available fro £25 upwards.

Hoe Grange Gift Voucher

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in purchasing from Hoe Grange or wish to book a stay with us, call us on 01629 540262 or email us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk. Simply fill out our contact form and we will get back to you right away!

For more ideas find out what was on last years Christmas list

Felicity 

7 fascinating facts about World War 1

Lest we forget 100 years onAs the centenary anniversary of the end of World War 1 approaches I thought I would share a few fascinating facts about The Great War.

Trench warfare has always fascinated me. It’s almost impossible to imagine what it must have been like at the front line being under relentless attack, with the noise of artillery and the constant dangers of shells and gunfire.

However, World War 1 posed many other dangers such as boredom, trench foot, gang green and having to eat your ration surrounded by rats!

1. Britain’s secret weapon

One of the most effective weapons in World War One was the humble handwritten letter, which helped keep up morale among the troops!

A staggering 12 million letters were delivered to the front every week.

Today we think Amazon is speedy, but amazingly during World War 1 it only took two days for a letter from Britain to reach the front in France. Letters were sorted at a purpose-built depot in Regent’s Park before being shipped over the channel to the trenches. By the end of the war, two billion letters and 114 million parcels had been delivered.

Post was important for two reasons
  • Receiving news and gifts from home was one of the few comforts soldiers had on the Western Front. Difficult to believe but most soldiers spent more time fighting boredom than they did the enemy. Writing letters was one of the few hobbies available to them and it was a welcome distraction from the horrors of the trenches.
  • Letters sent home were censored. The British Army claimed this was to prevent the enemy finding out secret information, but it also prevented bad news from reaching the home front. Letters from serving soldiers kept families informed of the well-being of their loved ones, but more importantly helped to sustain public support for the war across the home front.
2. The youngest British soldier was just 12 years old!

Hard to believe but Sidney Lewis was just 12 years old when he lied about his age and joined the army during World War One! Sadly he was just one of thousands of eager underage boys who enlisted and ended up fighting alongside their adult counterparts on the front.

It makes you wonder why they would want to go to war, but for some it was an escape from their dreary lives and dreadful conditions.

How could this happen?
  • Officially you had to be 18 to sign up and 19 to fight overseas. However at the time most people didn’t have a birth certificate, so it was easy to lie about your age.
  • Recruitment officers were paid two shillings and sixpence (about £6 in today’s money) for each new recruit and would often turn a blind eye to boy’s ages.
  • Some officers believed the fresh air and good army rations would benefit some of the more under-nourished lads.
  • Medical checks were made to make sure a potential recruit was fit enough to fight rather than if he was actually old enough.
  • The minimum height was just five feet, three inches, with a minimum chest size of 34 inches, so a sturdy 16 year-old was very likely to be let through.
  • The rule of thumb seemed to be if the volunteer wanted to fight for his country and was physically fit enough to do so, why stop him?
3. Thankful Villages – why the lack of celebration?

A Thankful Village is a community where everyone who went to fight in World War One came back alive. Bradbourne just 3 miles from Hoe Grange is one of just 54 thankful villages in England and Wales.

You would think that being a Thankful Village would be a cause for real celebration, but at the time it was actually a source of embarrassment and shame for many.

The number of men who died in World War 1 was devastating and these villages were surrounded by others where loved ones had not returned.

For the Thankful Villages, it was almost as if they had not joined in the sacrifice. They benefited from the peace after the war but felt as if they had not paid the price.

Bradbourne a Thankful Village However just because everyone came back alive, didn’t mean they were unaffected by the terrible traumas of war and what they had been through. In those days Post-traumatic Stress Disorder was not a recognised condition, and many found it hard to fit back in to civilian life.

Bradbourne is one of an even more elite group of villages, one of just 15 said to be doubly thankful, as again during the Second World War all those who fought against Hitler’s Germany and its allies came back home.

Perhaps the fact that they were all farming families and enlisted together played a role in the survival of their small group?

4. WW1 sparked the invention of plastic surgery

Did you know that plastic surgery was pioneered during the First World War?

A million British soldiers died in World War One, and double that amount came home injured. For many of those lucky enough to return, the wounds they suffered in Europe would leave them permanently disfigured.

The biggest killer on the battlefield and the cause of many facial injuries was shrapnel. Unlike the straight-line wounds inflicted by bullets, the twisted metal shards of a shrapnel blast could easily rip a face off. Not only that, but the shrapnel’s shape would often drag clothing and dirt into the wound.

Improved medical care meant that more injured soldiers could be kept alive, but urgently dealing with such devastating injuries was a new challenge.

At the start of the World War 1, little consideration was given to the trauma of facial injuries. It came as something of a surprise that so many victims survived the field stations to the point of treatment.

Hrold Gillies Plastic surgeonSurgeon Harold Gillies was horrified by the injuries he saw and took on the task of helping victims, setting up a specifically-designed hospital in Sidcup. It treated 2,000 patients after the Battle of the Somme alone. Here Gillies pioneered early techniques in facial reconstruction.

Previously viewed with suspicion, facial reconstruction became an integral part of the post-war healing process. However, in a world before antibiotics, going under the knife for an experimental form of surgery posed as many risks as the trenches themselves!

5. Accidents on the Home Front and Yellow peril

Injuries didn’t just happen on the front line, for those left behind The Home Front could be equally dangerous.

To fill the gap left by a generation of fighting men, more than a million women took the opportunity to join the workforce between 1914 and 1918. They worked across the entire economy – from tram drivers and train cleaners, to postal workers, police patrols, engineers and farmers.

Why did so many accidents occur?
  • Ammunition workers in particular worked long hours, often in poor conditions and with dangerous chemicals.
  • Productivity was all that mattered, there was no work/life balance on offer.
  • To keep pace with demand from the front line, 12 hour shifts were common and some women worked 13 days without a break.

As a result accidents were common, but the figures were often suppressed to keep morale high. For example an explosion at a TNT plant in Silvertown, East London, killed 73 people and destroyed hundreds of nearby homes in January 1917.

Dangerous chemicals health problems that would outlast the war itself. TNT, for instance, gave workers toxic jaundice turning their skin yellow – the so-called yellow ‘canaries’ of the arms factories.

6. Feeding the nation – producing enough oats for everyone!

Just as important as the troops at the front line were the British farmers who played a crucial role in producing food for the nation during the Great War. In 1915 German U-Boats cut off trade routes, and the government turned to British farmers to feed the nation during a time of crisis.

With over 170,000 farmers fighting in the trenches and up to half a million farm horses requisitioned by the War Office farmers had to adapt the way they worked to meet the food production challenge.

WLA and WTC Memorial
Land Girls and Lumber Jills memorial

By 1917 over 98,000 extra women were recruited into the Women’s Land Army to fill the labour gap. A further 66,000 soldiers returned from the frontline to help with the harvest. Without the heavy horses tractors began to do the work of many hands.

By 1918, there were 6,000 tractors in operation in Britain. The ‘Ploughing Up’ campaign of 1917 saw an extra 2.5 million acres of land used for growing cereals.

By the end of World War 1, an extra 915,000 tonnes of oats, 1.7 million tonnes of potatoes and 830,000 tonnes of wheat were grown. With the sheer hard work of British farmers and growers, and the Woman’s Land Army, Britain avoided being starved into submission. Find out more about the few that fed the many.

7. A thousand horses per day were shipped from overseas

Horses in World War 1In 1914 the British Army owned just 80 motor vehicles so horses were desperately needed for transporting supplies.

Also conditions on the Western Front were so appalling that motor vehicles were totally unsuitable.

Over eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War. At the start of World War 1 in 1914 the British army owned just 25,000. The War Office had the urgent task of sourcing half a million more, so inevitably the British countryside was virtually emptied of horses, from the heavy draft horses such as the Shire through to the lighter riding ponies.

My shire cross Oliver would definitely have been needed – I can’t imagine how awful it must have been, especially for farmers who needed their horses for heavy work.

To meet the demand over 1,000 horses a week were shipped from North America, where there was a plentiful supply of half-wild horses on the open plains.

Many of the men, grooms, infantrymen, cavalrymen formed close bonds with the horses in their charge, but they could do little to prevent the appallingly high death rate due to shelling, front-line charges, lack of feed and exhaustion. This tragic story of the suffering of horses in World War 1 is immortalised by Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse.

100 years on – I hope you found these facts about World War 1 interesting and will pause a while on Remembrance Sunday 11th November to reflect on the sacrifices that our forefathers made to ensure the safety and peace of our nation.

Felicity 

Free electric car charging for your eco-friendly holiday

Electric car charging is the new must have for quality holiday accommodation and the eco-friendly holiday! The popularity of electric and hybrid cars is increasing, and technology has improved in leaps and bounds. However owners of electric cars can understandably be cautious about bringing them on holiday.
Electric car charging can be a worry as there aren’t many charging stations, particularly in rural areas. People are unsure if they will have the facility to recharge the batteries at their holiday home. As the name suggests, the “Peak District” is quite hilly, so mileage range will be somewhat decreased.
Rest assured at Hoe Grange you can recharge your car batteries, as well as recharging your own energy levels! Simply plug in, sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful countryside views from our self-catering log cabins and glamping pods.
Recharge your batteries for free!
Some holiday home owners require payment for electric car charging guests’  vehicles. Here at Hoe Grange, we want to encourage the use of electric cars to minimise the effect of tourism on our special environment. So we offer FREE car charging to our guests for your eco-friendly holiday. 
We use an extensive range of renewable technologies including solar and wind power to generate our own electricity, so luckily it doesn’t actually cost so much!
Fast charging
Ahead of the trend we have for years allowed people to recharge their electric cars for free whilst staying at Hoe Grange. In the past electricity car charging has been a slow charge via external 13 amp or 32 amp sockets.
 
We have now added the latest high tech 16amp Rolec 3 phase fast charger,
which we use to charge our own hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander. This means you can get out and explore the Derbyshire Peak District to the full without worry, and can quickly recharge your car ready for the next day. Several guests recently have charged my dream car, the Tesla.
The technical stuff

For those that need the technical info, our charger has a type two socket with removable cable. The cable we have has the Type 1 plug at the car end to fit the Outlander as well as most Japanese and American based cars.

Tesla cars need the Blue cable supplied with the car.
 
If in doubt as to the charger type your car uses, please see the images below. If still not sure why not bring along your own cable? As long as it has a type 2 plug at the socket end it will work. Of course if you have a smaller 13 amp household socket charger we can still use this type for an overnight charge.
Type 1 plug for japanese and American cars
Type 2 socket UK standard
Book now to stay in our log cabins or glamping pods for a full recharge for both you and your electric car!
David
 
#GoodreasonstostayatHoeGrange #electriccarcharger #chargemycar #chargemytesla #carchargeingnetwork
#uniquedistrict #farmstayuk

Four great reasons you should Go Glamping in the Peak District

Glamping is becoming very popular, and it’s easy to see why – it’s the little added luxury touches that make the difference! Our glamping pods are cosy and snug with oodles of style!

glamping pod

In 2016, 4 in 10 people went glamping or camping. However by 2020, it’s predicted there will be 21 million glamping trips in the UK alone! Why not join in the fun?

gypsy caravan

 

Four great reasons to go glamping

Here, we take a look at four great reasons why you should give glamping a go in the Peak District for your next holiday.

Spacious with oodles of styleThere are obvious differences between camping and glamping – some people are put off by camping by the lack of creature comforts (and electricity!).

That’s why glamping at Hoe Grange, with infra red heating, free WiFi, cooking facilities and ensuite facilities is a fabulous experience… and what better way to experience it than in our beautiful Peak District?

1. Forget about tents

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think about camping? Sleeping in a tiny tent with no heating, no electricity, and the rain beating down? Well, that may be taking it to the extreme, but when it comes to glamping, it’s an entirely different matter.

Boots off and relax

Sure, when you go glamping in the Peak District, you’ll still get to experience the “great outdoors”, but as the name would suggest in much more glamorous conditions.

Open the door to your gypsy caravan, log cabin or eco-pod, and you’ll see the picturesque rolling hills of Derbyshire.

Relax in comfortHowever, the difference between camping and glamping, is that you’ll be warm and cosy and stay over in style. Our log cabins and eco-pods are fully equipped with a kitchenette, lighting and electric sockets – yes you can plug your hair straighteners in!

In our gypsy caravan, you’ll have access to the farmyard kitchen and luxurious shower facilities, but in the caravan itself you’ll still have electricity… which means you can charge your phone!

2. Get Your Blood Pumping

The Peak District offers so many exciting outdoor activities, and glamping is a great excuse to get out there, exercise and breathe in the fresh clean air!

Cycling at Wetton MillWe are situated right on the edge of the Peak District, close to the likes of Dovedale, Beresford Dale and Lathkill Dale. With miles of footpaths and bridleways right on our doorstep, you’ll have fun discovering the area on foot, horseback or bike. Borrow our bikes or if bringing your own you can use our secure cycle shelter.

If you fancy something a bit more adventurous, there are sailing, stand up paddle boarding and watersports activities nearby at Carsington Water, in addition to climbing, caving and abseiling. You can find out more about outdoor activities in the Peak District here.

Of course, there are so many benefits to exercise! For happiness, health… and to be able to enjoy quality time with loved ones in our scenic Derbyshire countryside. It’s just one additional benefit glamping brings.

3. Breath of Fresh Air

Perhaps you’re sat there thinking: even if I didn’t go glamping, I could still exercise. And yes, while that’s true, you’re missing out on one key benefit: clean, unpolluted fresh air.

An hour’s cardio at the gym is great for burning calories and fat, but a room full of sweaty strangers isn’t exactly the best environment!

Instead, head outside to the fresh air of the Peak District – it’s been scientifically proven that the fresh air can make you feel considerably happier, reduce stress and help you to get a better night’s sleep.

Pizza ovenEnjoy food with friends toasting marshmallows round the firepit or treat yourself to a fun evening creating and cooking your own pizzas.

If you choose to come glamping at Hoe Grange, you’ll get to stay in our traditional 250-acre beef and sheep farm, and you can help us to feed the chickens and horses all year round, and help out with the baby lambs and young calves in spring… all whilst enjoying the fresh Derbyshire air!

4. Environmentally Friendly

Compare a week’s holiday glamping in our gypsy caravan, with a weekend break in Rome. The emissions of driving to us – no matter where you’re based in the UK – will be so much lower than the return flight to the Italian capital. And that’s before you even factor in transportation to and from the airport.

But that’s not the only thing that’s eco-friendly about glamping at Hoe Grange.  We’re passionate about minimising our impact on our landscape, so we use renewable technology to produce energy, and encourage all of our guests to lower their carbon footprint.

Car recharging point

There’s an added bonus – if you have an electric car you can plug into our charging point free of charge! You can find out more about our environment here.

Not only that, but we encourage you to explore the surrounding area by foot or on bike – as opposed to by car – and can point you in the direction of local shops and markets, so you can make the most of your time in the Peak District.

Glamping in the Peak District

Ultimately, glamping is a great experience, as it allows you to enjoy the great outdoors, without sacrificing your creature comforts. It also means you can spend quality time with the ones you love – put simply, glamping can really work wonders for your health, and put a spring back in your step!

Have we convinced you to try out glamping for yourself? Take a look at our Gorgeous Glamping Pods, or our traditional gypsy caravan. If you have any questions, just give us a call on 01629 540262, and we’ll be happy to help.

Felicity