Porsche tour of the Peak District – Part one

In celebration of English Tourism Week, #etw2017, we wanted to showcase some of our local Peak District area highlights and what better way to do it than touring in a powerful Porsche!

Porsche at CarsingtonThe soft purr of the 6 cylinder engine as we gently ease out of the farm yard followed by the deep throated roar as we accelerate down the drive – what a sound! Vroom and we are off in our Peak Performance Hire Porsche Boxster for an exciting tour of the scenic Peak District countryside.

Smoothly winding up the snaking hills, the top down, wind blowing through our hair, the feeling of freedom is exhilarating.The silver grey Porsche blended into the misty grey clouds as we approached Dovedale and drove down to Ilam village.

Porsche car

Ilam

Arriving at Ilam Park we didn’t have time to stop for long, but it is worth exploring the ancient semi-natural woodland — Hinkley Wood — designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its small-leaved and large-leaved limes. You can pack a picnic or there is an excellent tea room and you can leave the car and take a walk along the valley to the famous Stepping Stones at Dovedale.Ilam Our Porsche tour continues with slick speed it’s not long before we reach the picturesque village of Hartington.

Hartington Youth HostelThis magnificent 17th Century manor house, complete with oak paneling and enormous fire places is now an amazing youth hostel.

In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie, also known as The Young Pretender, is reputed to have stayed at Hartington Hall. He would have arrived using horsepower, but not a Porsche!! Having reached Derbyshire the lack of support Charles and his army had expected from English Jacobites forced them to turn back!

Hartington villageAlthough a dull day we were still able to tour with the top down, especially as the heated seats kept you warm!

Hartington is an iconic traditional Peak District village with stunning stone buildings and a duck pond.  Famous for its cheese production Hartington offers visitors the chance to discover a real taste of the Peak District with many of the shops, pubs and tea rooms serving local foods.We #LoveLocal and stopped off at The Village Stores for a freshly brewed coffee.

Hartington Village StoresHartington village fascinating facts:
  • Cheese, along with oatcakes and ale has been the staple diet of Derbyshire folk for centuries – and not only in the `snap-tins’ of the lead miners! Roman legions carried cheese to supplement them on their long marches across the county two thousand years ago.
  • Later, during the Middle Ages cheese was traded at local markets throughout the county, with Hartington being the first to be granted a Market Charter in 1203 by William De Ferres.
  • Almost every farmhouse in the Peak District would at one time have made it’s own cheese and sold it at the local market. However in 1870’s the Duke of Devonshire founded The Cheese Factory at Hartington. The Cremery was one of the three sources of Stilton, and also produced its own unique Dovedale cheese and others such as Buxton Blue cheese.
  • Whilst a market hasn’t been held for many years Hartington’s past wealth and importance is clearly visible in the form of impressive stone cottages and large houses around the village square. The many ancient roads and trackways that still meet in the village provide some fabulous walking routes.Old Cheese shop Hartington
  • The factory was closed in 2009 after being sold by Dairy Crest, but cheese production was restarted in the parish in 2012 with the traditional Peakland White, Peakland Blue, and Stilton now available from The Old Hartington Cheese Shop in the middle of the village by the duck pond. Plenty of space to pull up and park your Porsche!
  • Did you know  it takes 70 litres of milk to produce a traditional 16lb Stilton cheese? That is an average cows milk production for 2 days!

Hartington CheeseOur Peak District Tour to be continued…

In the meantime why not hire a Porsche from Peak Performance Hire and take your own tour? It’s not as expensive as you think and Liam can suggest suitable Peak District routes.

Felicity

Disabled Access Day 2017 – meet The Bimblers

Disabled Access Day at Hoe Grange Disabled Access Day was initiated in 2015 by Paul Ralph as a day to celebrate good access and create opportunities for people to try something new in an atmosphere of cooperation, safety and fun.

Paul wanted everyone to celebrate Disabled Access Day by highlighting the fantastic access that already existed, and encouraging people to experience new places.

Now in its third year Disabled Access Day is about #YouAndSomewhereNew and continues to highlight the accessibility of places with touch tours, relaxed performances, sensory experiences, and level access. However it’s not all about facilities, one of the most important factors is a warm welcome!

"Reo"

Last year we welcomed Canine Partners and the amazing assistance dog Rio who could help get people dressed, do the washing, fetch the phone and many more every day tasks to help his owner.

This year at Hoe Grange Holidays we were delighted to give a warm welcome to Rob and Bridget, otherwise known as The Bimblers. The Bimblers write an insightful travel and holiday blog for wheelchair users and people with mobility problems.

The Bimblers Rob and Bridget “bimble” around living life in the slow lane, and show how travel is possible, even with a disability.

We love their style and the way they share their experiences making life easy for others; their valuable advice on how to enjoy travel enables everyone to make the most of their holidays.

Disabled Access Day logoFor the first time, Disabled Access Day was actually spread over 3 days, from 10th to 12th March, which meant there was more opportunity for everyone to join in. Disabled Access Day also aims to raise awareness of the importance of sharing disabled access information.

cake for Disabled Access DayNot only were disabled people, their families and friends invited to visit new places and try new activities over the weekend, but they were encouraged to provide helpful feedback to participating venues about their accessibility by writing reviews on Euan’s Guide.

If you haven’t already discovered Euan’s Guide, it’s the disabled access review website & app, launched in 2013 by Euan MacDonald, himself a powerchair user. The website provides disabled access information for venues including attractions, cinemas, sports grounds, places to stay, and everyday places such as the post office and local services. It allows users to share their experiences and review disabled access at places they visit, and is a fantastic resource if you are thinking of going somewhere new, but want to know what it’s like.

If you have stayed with us and haven’t done so already why not write a review of our facilities on Euan’s Guide?

wheelchair friendly loungeFelicity

A taste of the Peak District delivered to your door

As from previous blog posts you know that at Hoe Grange we #LoveLocal and support other local businesses where ever we can. David and I relish discovering local artisan producers so that as our guests you can enjoy all the Peak District has to offer whilst on your holiday.

Why do we #LoveLocal?

#LoveLocal enables our guests to

  • experience the real Peak District traditions, flavours and produce
  • discover artisan producers, who often create unique products
  • save food miles, which reduces your carbon footprint
  • have confidence in field to fork trace-ability – local farmers can tell you how animals are reared and crops are grown and harvested
  • eat seasonal produce which is packed full of flavour as nature intended
  • support local producers, which in turn helps protect our distinctive Peak District landscape
  • boosts the local economy, which helps sustain artisan businesses
Holiday shopping delivered to your door

Our latest #LoveLocal find is Sauced Here – an ethical online shopping service – all the advantages of a supermarket delivery right to your cabin door ready for your self-catering holiday, but all the benefits of locally produced artisan quality goods.

groceries from Sauced HereWee Dram WhiskeyBeef from New Close FarmSauced Here will deliver your groceries in one flexible delivery from carefully selected top purveyors in the area. Luke of Sauced Here has done the hard work sourcing high quality artisan products for you and they have everything covered from the basics such as Bloomers Bakery and Peak District Dairy, to luxury items such as Holdsworth Chocolates and Wee Dram Whiskey.

Cheese from Cow Close FarmWhere a suitable local product is unavailable an alternative is sourced through the network of independent retailers rather than major supermarkets.

Ready Meals
Ready meals
Luke photographing Stella’s ready meals

Everyone deserves to relax and take time out whilst on holiday. If you want to have a break from the kitchen Sauced Here also offers homemade prepared meals, created from locally sourced produce. The meals are delicious and free from artificial preservatives and extra sugar and salt.

Book a delivery slot to your cabin now.

About Sauced Here

The early inspiration for Sauced Here, like all good ideas arose out of need. Luke Osborne went on a self-catering weekend with a group of friends. They booked a cottage in the countryside and organised for an online supermarket delivery for when they arrived.

Luke and friends then spent the next day kicking themselves as they discovered all the amazing shops in the local village and wished they had waited to buy the local produce on offer. The group felt they had missed out due to lack of local knowledge and a need for convenience.

butchers shop

From that day on Luke started to notice how many great local businesses in his home town of Bakewell were closing down and wondered whether they were being passed by for similar reasons. Thus Sauced Here was born, and we are delighted to support this new innovative enterprise.

Sauced Here logo Luke’s ethos fits in beautifully with our own Eco philosophy. Luke’s mission is to source only the best of the local Peak District area – the best being defined by great taste, traceable origins and products created with passion.

So now you can start shopping for your holiday safe in the knowledge that you are helping to care for the stunning Peak District landscape which you enjoy during your stay at Hoe Grange.

Bon Appétit!

Felicity

14 things to do for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day

Hoe Grange is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a “mini-moon”. Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style in one of our cosy log cabins or gorgeous glamping pods, where you are never far from the romance of nature’s beauty.

Here are 14 romantic things for couples to do in our stunning Peak District …

1. Stroll through the snowdrops

Stroll hand in hand through a white carpet of snowdrops at Hopton Hall gardens.

snowdrops at Hopton HallHopton Hall can trace its roots back to the 1400’s when it boasted an estate of 3,700 acres, some of which now stands under the Carsington Reservoir.

The beautiful gardens and woodland walks have been restored over the last 10 years resulting in stunning displays of snowdrops and aconites. On your wonderful Valentine’s Day walk you’ll be able to see the first signs of Spring peeping through. Then warm up with a tasty bowl of hearty soup or hot chocolate – we can highly recommend the delicious cakes.

Valentine's Day flowers2. Red Roses

Say it with flowers – well Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete with some traditional red roses! Freedom Flowers at Wirksworth have a fabulous selection of roses, and beautiful blooms, with added extras such as Salt Kiss beer, local chocolates and more –  you can also order online.

3. Chocolates

For the chocoholic in your life celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving some delicious handmade Holdsworth Chocolates?

handmade chocolatesBarbara Holdsworth began making chocolates to her own unique recipes in 1988, and expanded by training her own chocolatiers how to make her tempting treats. These scrumptious chocolates are created using sweet cream butter and Belgium couverture, before liqueurs, spirits, fruit purees or praline pastes are added to create a delicious flavoured centre.

Situated in Bakewell and now run by Barbara’s daughter Genevieve, Holdsworth Chocolates are stocked at fine food halls throughout the country and have become Britain’s best-selling entirely handmade chocolates.

4. Watch the sunset

Relax in the pure warm water of our Swedish log-fired hot tub and watch as the sunsets over the hill. Discover complete peace, tranquillity, and togetherness with this truly #Hygge experience. For that extra special touch for Valentine’s Day you will find scented rose petals scattered in the warm water.

5. Wow! what a view
Just the 2 of you!
Just the 2 of you!

Wake up in one of our gorgeous glamping pods to a stunning view of the undulating Peak District landscape from your pillow – what could be more romantic than that! Take time out and reconnect to nature by watching the hens, sheep, cows and wonderful wildlife as they scamper around.

6. Relaxing spa day

My Personal Sanctuary treatmentsLife is about sharing experiences – what better way to say “I love you” than to pamper your partner with a relaxing spa day whilst on holiday in your cosy log cabin or gorgeous glamping pod? The professional and friendly My Personal Sanctuary therapists use only the very best techniques and bring everything to your cabin, including wonderful organic products to nurture your body, mind and soul.

The added benefit is that you can make the most of your Valentine’s treatment by simply continuing to relax without having to get up and drive anywhere.

7. Discover Dovedale

Put a spring back in your step and skip across the famous stepping stones at Dovedale. Put in place in the middle of the 19th century, the stepping stones have long been a romantic attraction for visitors to the Peak District. See if you can spot the fossils in the stones as you cross over them.

stepping stones at DovedaleDovedale is the section of the Dove valley between Milldale and Thorpe Cloud. The River Dove flows through this remarkable limestone gorge and is flanked by steep cliffs, with numerous caves and rock pillars, including the spectacular Ilam Rock. The best view of the valley is from the top of the iconic Thorpe Cloud. Why not follow this circular Dovedale walk and take a picnic with you?

8. Capture the moment

Capture those special moments with a professional photo shoot with Ruth Downing of Rural Pictures – as you can see from this montage the stunning scenery in Dovedale really does make a fantastic romantic backdrop.

Dovedale photo shoot9. Take a trip on our tandem

tandem bicycleDo you look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two? Why not give it a go and hire our vintage tandem to cycle along the High Peak Trail?

You get some fabulous views from the trail; cycling with two takes a little getting used to but it’s great fun once you get the hang of it – you definitely have to work together in harmony!

10. View Vintage Adventure Tour

If you want to take things easy, sit back and experience the Peak District National Park in real style. Discover new places and fabulous views from the majestic 1929 vintage tourer. Take a tour straight from your cabin door and try out the Winter Warmer run, with hot water bottles and warm blankets at the ready, stopping off at local pubs to toast yourselves in front of roaring fires with a beer in hand.

Vintage Car Tours of the Peak District
Vintage Car Tours from the door

Your friendly Vintage Adventure Tours driver Steven will share his local knowledge of our wonderful Peak District to give you an unforgettable experience.

11. Porsche and picnic

If the man in your life is more into modern sports cars then you can hire a Porche Boxster to tour the many delights that Derbyshire has to offer. You can have the perfect pit stop as Peak Performance Hire are now offering a Valentine’s Day hamper packed full of flavours of the Peak District from #LoveLocal artisan producers and put together by Sauced Here.

Porsche picnic hearts

12. Romantic dinner for two

For the ultimate fine dinning experience to celebrate Valentine’s Day whisk your loved one away to Fischer’s at Baslow. This beautiful old Derbyshire manor house has a tranquil feel and you can cosy up in front of a log fire before indulging in the Kitchen Tasting Bench experience.

Fischer's restaurantThis is the ultimate front-row seat in a busy, Michelin Star kitchen, where you can observe the chefs creating their award winning Taste of Britain dishes from local and homegrown seasonal ingredients before your very eyes.

13. Rekindle romance

Don’t let the light dim – rekindle your romance by candlelight with a beautiful wax hurricane candle. These distinctive handmade candles created locally in Tissington by Annie at On A Wick and a Prayer will light up your life, and let your love glow.

hurricane canldles
14. Precious jewellery

Love is a precious thing to be treasured just like the rare Blue John stone that is unique to the Derbyshire Peak District. Blue John is Britain’s rarest mineral, first discovered at Castleton by the Romans almost 2000 years ago.

Blue John necklaceThe distinctive Blue John Stone is the most prized ornamental variety of Flurospa (Calcium Fluoride).  The definite banded veins of colour running through it creates unique and beautiful light reflecting patterns. It is so delicate that it is mined by hand to avoid damaging the structure of the stone.

C.W. Sellors of Ashbourne use Blue John to handcraft the most amazingly beautiful jewellery using this unique precious stone – who wouldn’t melt if they were given a Blue John heart on 14th February for Valentine’s Day?

The Peak District is full of fun, exciting things to do and see. I had a tough job picking just 14 ideas and could easily have added many more to my list! If you stay in our award winning log cabins we can share more of our #LoveLocal knowledge with you to make your holiday truly memorable.

Felicity  

Meet Quella our Canine Partners puppy

Exciting news! Over the last 12 months thanks to help of family, friends, and holiday guests we have raised enough funds to sponsor a Canine Partners puppy in training.

Our Canine Partners Puppy
Canine partner puppy Quella
What a cutie!

We are delighted to introduce you to Quella, who was born on 25th September 2016, so is now nearly 4 months old. She is a purebred black Labrador, full of life and a real cutie!

Quella is always very excited to get to her puppy class each week and is eager to learn new things. She is getting very good at her sit and down waits, and is always very focused on her puppy parent and what she is being asked to do. She’s currently learning recalls from distance with the added complication of other puppies around to distract her. Her training is progressing well with lots of encouragement from her puppy parent.

How Canine Partners dogs help

Canine Partners assistance dogs help transform the lives of people with various disabilities – we have seen this firsthand with guests who have brought their assistance dogs on holiday. It is a real partnership and the dogs are individually trained to help people with everyday tasks, which can be difficult, painful or indeed impossible without the aid of a dog.

Cainine partner puppy trainingTasks such as, opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches, getting undressed and also fetching help in an emergency.  The dogs are also good at housework, helping to strip the bed, hang the washing on the line, putting their own dog bowls in the sink, and tidying up their toys.

They can even help their owners when out shopping by fetching items off the supermarket shelf or retrieving money and card from a cash machine! However these amazing dogs are not just a physical help they are also give a huge psychological boost and help people to reconnect and socially interact too.

After completing initial training the dogs are carefully partnered with their new owners and trained further according to the specific needs of the individual – you can see why it costs such a lot to train the dogs to such incredible lengths.

Quella’s progress

Quella has been out and about, experiencing new sights and sounds and getting used to the hustle and bustle of life in town and the fun of the park. One of her favourite things is play time with her puppy parents grand children! you can see form the photo how attentive she is.

Canine Partner puppy dog in trainingHere’s what her puppy parents think of her: “Quella is a really loving pup who is a joy to have around the house. Quella loves a cuddle and helps by bringing the keys when we are going out. Quella has just learnt how to go up the stairs but hasn’t quite mastered the art of coming back down them! Quella enjoys going to the shops and says hello to everyone she meets. Quella is a clever girl who loves her food and will do lots of fun tricks for a bit of sausage! Quella is a comical, cheeky little pup who always has her puppy parents laughing”.

We will keep you updated as Quella progresses with her basic and advanced training and then gets partnered with her new owner. Click here to find out more about Canine Partners, how to support their fantastic work, or to make a quick donation. If you’re creative why not take part in the Canine Partners Textile Art Challenge

Felicity

Trit trot, here come the goats

Trit trot, trit trot… look who’s arrived at Hoe Grange Holidays! Joining chief guest entertainment officer Fudge the Jack Russel, we would like to introduce you to Luna and Dora the Pygmy goats. These two lovely ladies are definitely not “gruff” goats, but extremely friendly.

High on a Peak District hill stood a lonely goatherd…Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo!

pygmy goats on a hillThese miniature goats previously lived in Ashbourne with our niece and nephew, who are now grown up and out to work all day. As goats are such social creatures Suzie and Sam decided it was unfair to leave the goats home alone, so we are delighted to have inherited them.

They will certainly have lots of company here on the farm – the goat pen with their little shelter is next to the horse paddock, where the chickens also scrat about and the dogs Twix, Crunchie and Fudge often pop round to say hello.

Pygmy goats are the diminutive cousin of the standard domestic goat. They are “fun, friendly and easy to keep”, so Suzie and Sam tell us – we will see!

Unlike domestic goats, which are usually kept as utility animals for their milk or their meat, you will be pleased to hear that the Pygmy goat is mainly kept for amusement – we have already had considerable fun – Dora is definitely an explorer and very nimble. She has already escaped by jumping straight over the stable door in one giant leap! We now have a strategically placed hay rack as an obstacle to prevent further break outs. They may be small but they can certainly jump!

pygmy goat at Hoe Grange As these two adorable, adventurous goats were kept in town rather than on a farm they are trained to walk on the lead and love nothing more than a trek up fields.

They are natural climbers and love roaming and leaping about on the rocky outcrops, surveying the Derbyshire hills. Hoe Grange is going to be an ideal home for them.

Dora the explorer checking out her new surroundings

These two nanny goats have taken our eco ethos to heart and already joined the Hoe Grange Holidays Green Team – they are very keen on recycling and have completely stripped the Christmas tree bare – not a pine needle in sight. One down four more to go!  pygmy goats

It’s true they eat anything, but Christmas trees are a real goat’s treat!

As you can see from our goat video our Labrador Twix isn’t yet entirely sure what to make of them!

Here’s an interesting goat fact – The Italian word for goat is capra; as proved by our little video goats are prone to change direction and have a short attention span, so you can see where the word capriccio, which means whimsy, developed. It is from this word that the English language borrowed capricious, meaning apt to change direction on a whim. Dora and Luna have certainly got everyone running round in circles!

You can meet this entertaining pair in person when you stay in one of cosy log cabins or gorgeous glamping pods.

Felicity

Pamper yourself on holiday

The winter months with dark evenings and gloomy misty days can leave you feeling tired and in need of a little pampering – why not pamper yourself and book a relaxing beauty treatment or massage whilst on your holiday at Hoe Grange? As mentioned in our last blog such indulgence is a perfect #hygge way to perk you up and help you breeze through the dreary winter months.

Pamper Yourself

Relaxing massage Close your eyes – now imagine you are relaxing in one of our cosy cabins or glamping pods, wrapped in a warm fluffy towel on a heated treatment bed, soft soothing music playing in the background, and heavenly scents filling the air.

Under the skilled hands of an expert therapist, you’ve just experienced the most fabulous facial using natural, organic products, or perhaps a stress relieving back massage with hot stones, and all your aches and pains have melted away.

What better way to make the most of your relaxing self-catering holiday in the Peak District hills, than to pamper yourself?

With the professional and friendly My Personal Sanctuary therapists you are in safe hands and feel as though you are actually in a spa. However when your “spa day” in your cosy cabin is complete the therapists leave quietly allowing you to continue to soak up the calm and tranquil atmosphere. That to me is the real added bonus.

Valentine’s Day Special

Romance is in the air as Valentine ’s Day approaches. Why not experience some hygge relaxation as a couple? Two therapists can visit your holiday cabin at the same time to deliver treatments simultaneously. You can both choose the same treatments, or perhaps a hot stone massage for her and deep tissue massage for him?

Neal's Yard natural remediesThe price for two therapists delivering 1 hour treatments each is £240, for more information on MPS packages for couples click here.

The friendly MPS therapists use only the very best techniques and Neal’s Yard organic products to nurture your body, mind and soul. Such gorgeous natural remedies smell divine, and leave you soothed; they also fit in beautifully with our eco ethos.

Valentine's Day flowersComplete your romantic package with a Hoe Grange luxury log-fired hot tub experience for two 

What woman doesn’t love a bunch of flowers? You can surprise your loved one with some gorgeous roses from #LoveLocal florist Sheila at Freedom Flowers in Wirksworth, or think ahead and order a bunch of sunshine for your mother for Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day

Heading into March Mother’s Day is a very important day! Many of us are Mums, and have Mums, or are even Mums to be!
MPS can provide treatments from young to old including mums in pregnancy to give a special gift to celebrate Mother’s Day.
relaxing facial Why not book a longer package and share the time and enjoyment between generations?
Mum may like to take some time to relax with a relaxing Aroma Massage, and Grandma may prefer to restore and relax with a Calming Foot & leg treatment.
You can even get the children involved to with the selection of MPS Mini/Kiddie treats!
It’s a perfect way to share an afternoon or a morning with loved ones and create wonderful memories.

A Mother’s Day package could include an Aroma Massage for Mum, a Calming Foot for Gran, a Kiddie treat and one mini treat, all delivered by one therapist over 2 hours for just £180. For more treatment ideas for family and friends click here.

After massage glow
The after glow – you too could look like this!

Go on and book a treatment for your stay with us – find that inner calm and serenity without leaving the comfort of your cosy cabin or glamping pod!

David and I treated ourselves to a My Personal Sanctuary spa day (I know, the things we have to do for our guests!).

With first hand experience I can definitely promise you will go home relaxed, refreshed and revived, but beware it may not be your best look!

Felicity

How to have a Hygge holiday

Looking back on 2016 one of the biggest trends has been the interest in “hygge”; so as the year draws to a close we thought you might like some inspiration on how to have a hygge holiday.

What is hygge?

The Danish word “hygge”, shortlisted by both the Oxford and Collins dictionaries for the word of the year, has no direct translation, but is often described as cosiness and a feeling of comfort; the enjoyment of everyday experiences.

How to pronounce hygge

To pronounce this phonetically challenging word make a pouting face and say HUE-gah!

8 ways to have a hygge holiday at Hoe Grange

Hoe Grange is the ideal place to stay in the winter as our log cabins and gorgeous glamping pods are warm and cosy, so you can relax and enjoy the good things in life with the people you care about around you. Hoe Grange provides a real “home from home” resulting in a happy, memorable hygge holiday.

1. Snuggle up in a cosy log cabin

Lantern What better way to have a hygge holiday than to stay in a Scandinavian-inspired log cabin? With our environmentally-friendly ground source heating, you’ll be snug as a bug, even in the depths of winter. It’s possible to hygge alone, wrapped in a woolen blanket with a cup of tea, but the true expression of hygge is lighting a lantern and joining with loved ones in a relaxed atmosphere.

2. Hot tub under the stars

Hot tub luxury packageRelax in the steamy water of our log-fired hot tub with a glass of mulled wine, or unwind completely in the steamy barrel sauna. With Hoe Grange nestled so deep in the countryside, you’ll find yourself transfixed by the dark starry skies above. The tranquil peace and quiet is what our guests love the most.

Or visit the Stardisc at Wirksworth where all the stars are mapped out for you on the stone circle.

3. Comfort food with closest friends

mulled-wine3Once you’ve explored the stunning Peak District countryside around Hoe Grange, rest your weary feet and sit down to a heartwarming supper of winter stew, with some mulled wine.

There’s nothing better than sharing food with friends.

4. Bring your four legged friends too!

Fudge the dogWe welcome dogs at Hoe Grange – think woolen-socked feet gently resting on a snoring Labrador after a long winter walk – cuddle up and connect with your trusted friend.

Twix and Crunchie love a little tummy tickle, whilst Fudge sneaks on to the sofa and is just plain spoilt – so adorable she gets away with murder!

5. Hot chocolate by candlelight

Hot chocolateLight some candles and watch the flickering flames whilst you silently sip your hot chocolate – truly scrumptious.

There is nothing quite like the comforting taste of chocolate, and who cares about the calories!

The Danes buy the most candles and research shows that creating hygge with candlelight brings happiness, who can argue with that!

6. Country pubs with roaring fires

Yr Old Gate InnWrap up warm and walk over the hill to the pub for a pint and toast yourself by the roaring fire.  When something is hygge, you say it’s hyggelig (“HOO-gah-lee”).

You can definitely have a special hyggelig evening at Ye Old Gate in Brassington.

7. Cycle everywhere
off-road wheelchairs
Heading home

Exercise increases levels of dopamine in your brain (the ‘happy hormone’), so cycling is very hyggelig. Why not borrow one of our mountain bikes? It’s a great way to enjoy some fresh air and explore our Peak District countryside.

It would be even more hyggelig if you hire our off-road wheelchair or our vintage tandem for two!

8. Be kind to yourself

FirepitTake time out and relax in the dry heat of our barrel sauna, or wrap up in blankets, sit round the firepit, toast marshmallows and sing together – share your hygge and let the warm, fuzzy feelings flow.

Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special. It’s all about experiences rather than material stuff, and booking a holiday at Hoe Grange is a great hygge way to get through the dark winter months.

It’s no coincidence that all the letters in Hygge can be found in “Hoe Grange Holidays”

Happy hygge New Year!
David and Felicity

Christmas Gifts inspired by The Peak District

Christmas is just round the corner so to help you get Christmas all wrapped up we have handpicked some gorgeous gift ideas inspired by our beautiful Peak District – things that are produced locally here in the Derbyshire hills, some of which are utterly unique!

We #LoveLocal and are sure you will be inspired by our Christmas selection

Top 10 Christmas gifts

1. Pet Pawtraits

Rural Pictures pet portraitOur pets hold a special place in our hearts. Why not capture your pet to perfection with a “pawtrait” from local photographer Ruth Downing? Ruth of Rural Pictures is used to working with animals, and has a wealth of experience in producing fabulous pet portraits and action shots. You can even arrange for Ruth to come to Hoe Grange during your holiday stay so you can take some special memories home with you.

2. Dovedale Ceramics

Beautiful handcrafted ceramics from On a Wick and a Prayer at Tissington uses clear water from the Dovedale River over the glaze. The minerals in the water react when the pottery is fired in the kiln giving each piece a unique distinctive pattern.

Dovedale ceramics
3. Upcycled lights and furniture

upcycled lampLet a little light brighten up your home! Upcycled Creative specialise in making funky, functional, upcycled lights and furniture. Upcycling is the art of transforming unwanted items into something better and more beautiful, it’s kinder to the environment than recycling, and the only limitation is imagination! These bright sparks don’t just recycle, and reuse, they go one step further and relove, renew, and repurpose.

 4. Landscape art
Peak District landscape in felt
Higger Tor from Stanage Edge

Carrie of English Tilly creates gorgeous felt art decorations and accessories, using naturally-dyed, rare-breed fleece from Whitefaced Woodland sheep. Much of her inspiration comes from the ever changing colours and textures of the Derbyshire Peak District. Living and working in the Peak District, Carrie is as passionate about caring for our special landscape as we are and also holds the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark.

 

5. Beautiful bespoke wooden pieces

wooden candle holder

If you are looking for something unusual Ingrained create beautiful bespoke wooden pieces for the home, from quirky, simple designs, such as their fun, frosty snowmen and Christmas decorations, to unusual candle holders, lamps, and stunning statement pieces. The starting point and inspiration for each piece is the natural shape of the tree.

wooden light
6. Natural handmade soaps and bath products

handmade soapGet all scrubbed up with some gorgeous soaps from Coconuct Blush, handmade with natural olive oil, and mositurising shea butter and scented with pure essential oils. Jane sources sustainable ingredients and particularly avoids using palm oil from felled rainforest. If you’ve stayed with us you will have received our Coconut Blush lavender gift pack. For the avid gardener why not give the Gardener’s Tea Tree exfoliating soap & hand balm set? There is free delivery on orders over £20 until 31st December.

7. Drive the Peak in a Porsche

Finding the right Christmas gift for the man in your life can be challenging – however if that certain person is a car enthusiast, and over the age of 25, why not consider hiring a Porsche Boxster from Peak Performance Hire? What could be better than fresh country air and the wind through your hair!

Porsche car hireEnjoy complete freedom of planning your own tour, or take a recommended route with historic towns, independent coffee shops and restaurants, picturesque roads and vantage point stops for photos. Daily hire starts from £210, including fully comprehensive insurance.

8. Silver jewellery

More imaginative upcycling and renewing from Dandelion Silver, just a couple of miles up the road in Brassington village. Gorgeous jewellery for the woman in your life; from pendents, earrings, rings and bracelets to bespoke commissions.

silver jewelleryDandelion Silver love nothing more than taking forgotten and neglected vintage and antique cutlery and giving them a new lease of life as stunning pieces of designer jewellery.

9. Fresh Roasted Coffee

There’s nothing like the fresh smell of coffee. Peak Bean was born out of a love for coffee. Coffee that brings a smile to someone’s face. Like first brew in the morning that helps start the day on the right foot. And enjoying a mug whilst catching up with good friends, not to mention how it can round off that great meal perfectly. Coffee brings happiness.

roasted coffee

Deidra and Andrew of Peak Bean are artisan producers, roasting small batches of ethically sourced coffee beans and creating blends that burst with freshness, flavour and really hit the spot. You can order direct from the Peak Bean, straight to your door, or sample our smooth Hoe Grange blend on your next stay with us!

10. Holiday Voucher

And last but by no means least, buy your loved one a Hoe Grange Holidays Voucher to come and stay next year and share our special place. Available from £50 upwards – just e-mail us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk.

Hoe Grange Gift VoucherYou can relax in the hot tub, de-stress in the sauna. You could also visit all the fabulous businesses mentioned in this blog and perhaps get ahead by starting next years Christmas shopping early!

Derbyshire has a wealth of artisan producers, so for further inspiration you can read last years Top 10 gifts inspired by The Peak District, or there are lots more interesting and unusual ideas from Made in Derbyshire and Peak District Environmental Quality Mark businesses – happy shopping!

Felicity

A trip to Hartington Village

Hartington Village

The quaint village of Hartington is just a 15-20 minute car journey through the rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales. Alternatively you can cycle along the High Peak Trail, cross over the A515 and drop downhill to the village.

We spent a lazy afternoon wandering around Hartington to help you to plan a day out whilst you stay at Hoe Grange Holidays – the things we have to do for our guests!.

The first thing we discovered; Hartington was the first village in Derbyshire to be granted permission to hold a weekly market in 1203, selling locally made goods and farm animals, and we certainly got a sense of that as we walked around the village.

Hartington Village signpostAs it was a weekday, we parked in the Market Place for free, although on a weekend it may be pretty busy, so there’s a larger car park (chargable) too.

Hartington tea roomWe made a beeline for the Beresford Tearooms and Post Office (next to The Devonshire Arms pub) because we’d heard they have home-cooked traditional food. The Pumpkin & Spice soup accompanied with a ½ baguette (£6.50), and the Country Vegetable soup with a cheese scone (£4.95) were hearty and filling. Somehow we resisted the tempting scones with clotted cream and jam!

We took a circular, anti-clockwise route around Hartington, noting the village newsagents, St Giles Church (which dates back to the 1200s) and the Village Hall.

Village stores at HartingtonThe next shop to take our fancy was The Village Stores an old building packed to the rafters with local produce. We always #LoveLocal, and this store sells an amazing selection of local meats, fruit, vegetables, beers, wines and spirits, hot pies and hot drinks to take away.

To make your holiday hassle free you can even pre-order a basket of goodies, or a BBQ pack, from The Village Stores before your stay at Hoe Grange Holidays, and pick them up when convenient.

Hartington Village StoresThe next shop along our trail was Hart of the Country, a real countryside shop with walking sticks, sheepskin rugs, handbags, postcards, sweets, you name it they probably sell it! Ideal for all those little gifts to take home for family and friends.

You simply can’t visit Hartington without calling into The Old Cheese Shop. The cheese factory in the village used to make ¼ of the World’s Stilton cheese until 2009 – luckily this shop still exists, selling English artisan cheeses, including Dovedale Blue and Peakland White which is made at Pikehall, just a few miles from Hoe Grange. You have to cross the threshold and take a big sniff, the aroma is wonderful!

Hartington cheese shopMatilda Bay was calling us from the other side of the village, so we had to obey, and what a lovely shop of treasures, cards, coasters, gifts, jewellery all displayed with care and precision. Next door is the Antique Shop, which on this occasion we didn’t venture into, so we hot footed it down to the Farm Shop around the corner (Public Toilets available here).

Hartington farm shopvisitor informationThere’s a warm welcome at The Farm Shop, plenty of great produce, gifts, handmade crafts and a very sweet tearoom in the rear. There’s also a wall of Tourist Information leaflets by the cafe counter – which was the perfect place to plan our next Peak District National Park adventures!

How can I get to Hartington?

The village lies within a triangle of Buxton (to the north), Leek (to the West) and Ashbourne (to the South East.) You can drive, or catch a bus from Buxton, Ashbourne, Bakewell or Chesterfield. Or you can cycle along the High Peak Trail from Hoe Grange.

What’s on?

Hartington is known for special events, such as the unusual art of Well Dressings, the Hartington Wakes (traditional agricultural show), the Oddfellows March (a local friendly society) Hartington Sports Day (family fun for all ages), a Secret Garden Trail and the Royal British Legion hold annual events too.

So much to do in the Derbyshire Peak District you’ll need to stay with us for at least a week!

Felicity