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

Annie our local shinning light – not a candle in the wind!

We are proud to stock some fabulous #LoveLocal Peak District products, in our new little shop. Today we are featuring On A Wick and A Prayer, candle makers at Tissington village just over the hill from Hoe Grange.

Annie's candles

A spark of an idea

Our friend Annie Maudling had a flicker of an idea following a fishing trip to Ireland where she purchased some hand made candles from a small local business. This sparked a passion and found Annie experimenting with her daughter’s candle making kit in her kitchen (which is where all good small businesses start from, including ours!).

By adding natural scents and hand crafting unusual shaped candles Annie created a unique brand which proved to be popular at local craft fairs. She is completely self-taught, and over the last 18 years has continued to build up the business on a strong foundation of quality and buying British.

Lanterns light the way

hurricane candleThe business went from strength to strength with the unique hurricane lantern the star of the show (and my all time favourite too!). The hurricane lanterns are made from translucent wax with inlaid flowers & designs so that the tealight inside shines through the intricate patterns.

The business soon outgrew the kitchen and moved to the old pig sty in the garden. A sign was placed at the garden gate inviting people to have a look round and On a Wick & A Prayer was born.

Tissington village is a Peak District gem renowned for it’s ancient tradition of well dressings and quaint cottages. Today it is a hive of activity. It’s difficult to believe but going back 18 years there was little for the visiting public to do. There were no shops or tea rooms so Annie’s new venture soon became a popular attraction.

candle making A couple of Annie’s friends offered to help out making candles to keep up with demand. They soon outgrew the pig sty and production moved into the old village forge, which was larger. It also meant there was more space to open a small shop.

If you pop over to TIssington you will still find Annie and the team hand making candles. As you approach the workshop you will be able to smell the delightful fragrances drifting through the air.

Annie is passionate about using British suppliers and products in her manufacture. With an eye to sustainability and reducing waste On A Wick have a range of refillable containers including the beautifully glazed bathtub which houses scented wax.

Annie’s candle light shines bright

As the company grew it gained a reputation for high quality and unusual designs and soon secured larger contracts with national businesses such as The National Trust. This demand required more space so they moved some of their current production to premises based in nearby Dovedale.

Inspired by the Peak District Dovedale ceramicsNever one to stand still Annie has introduced a range of ceramics designed for every day use. The glaze on the pottery is called a “Frip” glaze because it bursts in the kiln, creating a beautiful finish, each piece being unique.

The colours are inspired by the Peak District #uniquedistrict landscape, Mermaid Blue of the River Dove, Dolomitic Grey of the stone walls, green lava of the lush pastures and the latest colour is red lava.

Exciting news – Annie has just launched the new Ezicandle kit. You can now make your own candles using empty containers from candles which you have loved and burnt, but don’t want to throw away. No need for specialist equipment and it couldn’t be easier!

And so we designed Eazi Candle! You can now recycle all your loved candle containers and bring your old favourites back to life. What’s more the Eazi Candle is self-contained, needs no other equipment and the container itself is fully recyclable.

#LoveLocal

Annie is an inspiration and a real shinning light. Her hand crafted scented candles are proving popular with our holiday guests as little gifts to take home. We have a small selection in our onsite shop – there’s nothing more romantic than #hygge candlelight. Here’s how to have a hygge holiday!

Felicity

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike!

In the words of the classic  queen song “we want to ride our bicycles”

As cycling becomes ever more popular, Hoe Grange is keeping up with developments to ensure it’s cycling facilities are second to none so our guest can make the most ot the wonderful outdoor gym that is the Peak District. Fun for the whole family!

Earlier this year with the help of the Pedal Peak District project we installed a secure cycle store to make sure your bikes are as safe as they can be, This large lockable store can hold up to 12 bikes and has internal secure bike stands to lock you bike to as well. Just ask Me or Felicity for a key when you check in.

To this store we have added a warm water wash down point for dirty bikes, muddy legs and even dirty dogs!, along side this we have added a cycle maintenance stand and basic tool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don’t have a bike, or don’t have room in the car for it, worry not! We have 2 mountain bikes for free loan to guests, a vintage tandem for hire and even our Boma7 for those in your party with mobility issues.

off-road wheelchair

If you need something a little more specialized, we have now teamed up with MTB&B who hire bikes for the day or longer with free delivery to Hoe Grange, whether you need a full suspension bike, a hardtail or even an electric mountain bike, they can cater for your needs, just call Mark on 01663 735484 or 07800 900686 or got to their website https://www.mtbandb.co.uk/

 

 

Now where did I put my Lycra?

David

24Hrs in Farming #Farm24

For the last few years herds of dairy farmers, flocks of shepherds and a whole coven of farmers wives have  Twitted, Blogged Inrtagramed and Facebooked about a whole 24 hrs of farming showing what they are all getting up to.

Today 9th August 2018 is this years #Farm24 day. What are we all doing this year?

Well for a start 2018 is turning out to be one of the most challenging years for decades in farmings never ending battle with the weather.  Following the wettest coldest spring in living memory, we jumped straight into the longest hottest dry spell ever. Some say farmers are never happy with the weather and there is a good reason for that. Every sector of agriculture needs different weather to the next,

From snow
From snow

Dairy farmers like a cold crisp winter to help keep animals health in the sheds as warm muggy damp conditions are only good for the spread disease such as pneumonia, but they like it to dry up in spring so the cows can get out to grass as early as possible, then they like a steady supply of rain in small doses with good sunshine to keep the grass growing all year.

Sheep farmers don’t like very cold snowy winters as the sheep live out doors and can get buried in snowdrifts and have difficulty accessing water if the pipes all freeze. Then they want a warm dry spring for lambing and a summer without too much sun and heat, and muggy thundery weather is a real bummer as this brings with it more cases of fly strike which I won’t horrify you with the details but its a very nasty thing to happen to a sheeps bottom!

to heat wave

Arable farmers like good snow in the Alps for their skiing holidays and warm beaches in the early summer for their beach holiday (only joking!!) but they need a wet warm spring to bring the good yields and to help swell the grain they then need a good long dry spell with strong sunshine to ripen the grain and let them harvest it all as dry as possible, moving on quickly to ploughing, re planting just before their next holiday!

The weather has played havoc with feed stocks already. Crop are yielding much lower and livestock are already munching their way through the winter feed as the the grass just stopped growing weeks ago. This has forced many beef and sheep farmers to sell stock early at lighter weights and as so many more are coming to the market prices have slumped so income from stock sales will be hit very hard and could be as much as 30% down.

Many farmers like ourselves have diversified into other activities and some of these demand different weather again. For us in tourism this year has been great as our guests have basked in Mediterranean heat with wall to wall sunshine. But spare us a thought on changeover days, running up and down that hill in 30 + degrees getting ready for the next guests, one constant job is checking the quality of the Ice cream sold in the shop. I need to sample a pot every few hours personally just to be sure!

So why not log on to all your social media today and see first hand what your farmers are upto.

Here are a few bits from us!

David

#Farm24 #Farmstayuk

A lot of time is spent in the office
working very hard!
Unloading lorry loads of straw by hand – better than going to the gym!
Checking on the sheep, who seem to have the right idea
Lovely weather to be a baby calf
The jobs are wide and varied, from PR to cleaning the bogs!

 

Will you marry me? Ice cream yes!!

If you love to shop you’re in for a surprise!

After a long wait our new little on site shop is now open for business, situated next to our new reception near the farmhouse. We are proud to stock some fabulous #LoveLocal Peak District goodies, including Coldeaton Ice Cream. Over the next few posts we will be highlighting some of our amazing artisan suppliers.

Todays featured artisan product is Coldeaton Jersey Ice Cream made locally on a farm near Ashbourne. The Peak District isn’t the seaside, but who can resist ice cream when you’re on holiday and the sun is shining?

Jersey cows

As farmers ourselves we have known the Stubbs family for generations and Jo Stubbs (sorry – now Burrows!) and husband Alex, produce the most amazing ice cream churned from milk from their own prize winning herd of Jersey cows.

Coldeaton Ice CreamWe stock a wide range of flavors, my favourite is the white chocolate and raspberry, where as Felicity is a mint choc chip girl. Other popular flavours are the chocolate indulgence and you can’t beat the plain Just Jersey Gold. Sold in handy 120ml pots with its own little spoon, perfect for a little treat any time of the day!

Jo, Alex and family are well known in the farming world as their pedigree Jersey cows win many major prizes at local agricultural shows. However in 2015 they hit the national press when Alex proposed in a very romantic and unusual way!

Jersey cow proposalAlex made a red blanket for their prize winning Jersey cow with the words “Will you marry me?”on one side, so when the Champion cow came into the show ring for the Grand Parade everyone could see, before he dropped down on one knee to officially propose in front of the huge crowd. This fabulous photo was captured by Ruth Downing of Rural Pictures.

It’s one of the most unusual proposals I have heard of and luckily Jo said YES! The couple now apply as much passion to making their delicious ice cream. Why not try some when you come to stay?

Hoe Grange shop What’s in the Shop

In the shop we currently stock Peak District Dairy milk, butter, and cream in the fridge. From the freezer Coldeaton Jersey ice cream, bacon, sausage, burgers, black pudding and Derbyshire Oatcakes, all frozen in handy pack sizes. Some basics including ground coffee, porridge pots, rapeseed oils and our own eggs when the girls are laying.

You might also like to buy a small present or two to take home with you from our selection of crafts, cards and watercolour prints. We are always on the lookout for other things to add to our stock, and would love to hear if you have any suggestions of things you think we should add.

There’s only one problem with stocking such scrumptious ice cream in the shop – we keep eating it!

David

Saving water in a sizzling summer

Farming always has its ups and downs but this year has been particularly challenging. The winter snows were severe with the Beast from the East which meant a late spring, followed on by the current heatwave which is causing havoc with the harvests.

cows and sheepSunshine and heat is wonderful for our holiday guests staying in our log cabins and glamping pods, but not so great for the farm animals. June 2018 has been the driest on record. I can’t recall when I last saw the farm fields so brown and the grass is so dry it scrunches underneath your feet.

Making hay while the sun shines

hay making We usually make silage for winter forage for the cows and sheep and around 900 small bales of hay.  Hay making was interesting as the cut grass was so light and dry that half of it blew away! Whilst the sizzling sunshine has produced excellent quality hay, the excessive dry weather has meant the quantity is about half the usual yield at just 430 bales.

We are not alone and there will be a shortage of winter feed, compounded by the fact that farmers are having to feed their cattle and sheep now in midsummer as there is so little grass growing. It also means reduced income as the price of lamb has fallen due to an increase in supply as many farmers are having to sell their lambs early due to the lack of feed.

1967 Massey Ferguson 135 tractor
1967 Massey Ferguson 135 tractor

Whilst the scorching heat continues here in the Peak District with temperatures over 30 degrees we carry on farming with animal well fare a top priority.

Mike wrestles with a sheep

The sheep have been shorn and shed their winter woolly jumpers and we are keeping a special eye on the troughs to make sure the cattle have sufficient water to drink.

We also have a new member of the team. This week also saw the arrival of Havenfield Lotus, a new pedigree Hereford bull, who seemed right at home with his new ladies!

Use water wisely

water glas  by RawpixelDid you know that only 3% of the world’s water is fresh and less than 1% of this fresh water is available for human use? The rest being frozen or located too deep within the earth for us to reach it.

Our Derbyshire ancestors have always celebrated the importance of fresh water by dressing the village wells and giving thanks.

Saving water is always important, but especially so whilst the sizzling summer continues.

Top ten tips for saving water
  1. When you wash your dishes by hand, remember to turn the tap off in-between rinsing. And don’t rinse dishes before you put them in a dishwasher – that’s what the machine is designed to do – just scrape all the excess food off the dishes and let the machine do the rest.
  2. Stop! Before pulling the plug out the kitchen sink, use the washing up water to rinse out bottles, food cartons and cans before putting them in the recycle bin.
  3. Switch off the tap whilst brushing your teeth – you can waste at least half a pint of water per minute if you leave the tap on!
  4. Keeping a large bottle of tap water in the fridge ensures you can have chilled water all the time. Waiting for the tap to run cold can waste more than 10 litres of water a day.
  5. A shower uses 2/3 the amount of water as a bath – keep it short and turn off the shower head while soaping! Every minute you spend in a power shower uses up to 17 litres of water .
  6. Switch to an efficient shower head which will allow you to lather up in less water
  7. Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than 2 half-loads 
  8. Modern dual-flush systems save huge amounts of water. They use just 6 litres – or 4 with a reduced flush – much less than the 13 litres for each old-style single flush.
  9. Or fit your toilet with a ‘hippo’, a bag (available free from your water company, usually) that could help you save up to 3.5 litres of water per flush.
  10. Drive round in a dirty car – you don’t need to wash it every week! A hose with the tap turned on full can use up to 320 litres of water in half an hour!

We hope you found our top ten water saving tips useful and would love to hear if you have some more ideas to share.

Felicity 

Introducing Rose Hip, could this Gypsy caravan be our lucky charm?

At a recent local farm auction our heads ruled our hearts when we purchased this traditional Romany horse drawn caravan, which we have christened Rose hip!

This horseshoe top Gypsy caravan is known as an “open lock” which means it has no front door but a detachable canvas cover which zips open like a tent and can be completely removed in seconds.

At the time it needed a bit of work to bring it up to the high standards that our guests are used to, so I have been busy landscaping the area where it will sit. Meanwhile Felicity has been very busy adding some very intricate art work in a traditional style, making new soft furnishings and adding the finishing touches. 

The traditional layout has a raised double bed which slides out when required, with a large storage cupboard underneath. There are bench seats on each side with a small set of draws, which double up as a bedside shelf. There is a small foldable table and other little nooks and crannies are used for storage.

Two outdoor seats on the very front provide the perfect spot for sitting in the evening with a G&T or glass of wine whilst enjoying the uninterrupted views down the valley.

 

 

 

 

 

Although there are no cooking facilities in the caravan there is a fire pit/BBQ for authentic outdoor cooking. However if the weather is unkind or you just can’t be bothered there is a toaster, kettle and microwave in the new reception block in the yard. There is also a spacious shower room with underfloor heating, and we even provide a torch so you won’t trip up in the dark!

Don’t worry you are not completely without modern comforts as we have installed a 12 volt LED lighting system, phone charging point and the WI-FI reaches down to the site – although many of you may wish to be disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the digital world!

 

 

 

 

Be one of the first to experience this romantic bolt hole with views to die for!

See more details here

Book now Click here to see prices and availability.

Sorry no children or pets

David