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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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!.
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”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Another 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.
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.
Creating 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.
Speaking 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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Simply fill out our contact form and we will get back to you right away!
As 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.
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.
Surgeon 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.
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
In 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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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.
There 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.
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.
However, 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!
We 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.
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.
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!
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.
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
The 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.
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.
Never 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.
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!
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.
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/
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,
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!
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.
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?
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.
We 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!
Alex 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?
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!