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Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.

Capturing the Peak District landscape in watercolour paintings

May 31, 2020
May 31, 2020 - Capturing the Peak District landscape in watercolour paintings

Artist Roger Allen captures the stunning landscape of our Peak District countryside in his beautiful watercolour paintings. As he lives on site, many of his paintings are from scenes across Hoe Grange Farm.

The Peak District landscape in watercolours

Little did we know when Roger moved to Hoe Grange over 26 years ago that he would still be here now! He loves the Derbyshire undulating hills and rocky outcrops. He says he still has plenty more to paint around our local White Peak landscape!

Watercolour painting by artist Roger Allen

His detailed watercolour paintings capture the beauty of the landscape and the essence of rural life. Roger is a real stickler for detail and paints things exactly as seen, even refusing to fix the broken guttering on sheds despite David's requests! At first glance his paintings are almost photographic as the details and shadows are so realistic.

Painting "en plein air"

watercolour artist Roger AllenRoger prefers to paint outdoors and is often seen around our farm fields sat on his deck chair with drawing board and paint palette at hand. Weather permitting he paints outside from 9am to 5 pm on weekdays, just like any other job!

He often works on one picture in the morning and moves to another location in the afternoon to capture the perfect light. To make sure he sits in exactly the same place each day, he marks his spot with sticks or stones, although sometimes these markers are moved by animals!

The English weather doesn't always permit working "en plein air" so Roger sometimes has to continue his watercolour paintings in his studio.

Roger will then fall back on sketches and photographs taken on his daily walks. He has a book of sketched ideas and images, such as a cow drinking from a pond, or a cloud pattern, that can be utilised later.

Traditional techniques

Roger paints using a traditional technique of overlaid washes, without the use of any white paint. The picture builds slowly from light to dark before adding the final fine detail.

Painting outside enables Roger to immerse himself more in his paintings. "I love watching the changing cloud patterns, the meanderings of the farm animals, the natural shadows as they play across the fields, and the dramatic changes in light". Rogers paintings usually take at least 7 full days to create and often evolve in slightly unexpected ways over time.

Artist Roger Allen

Roger has been a professional artist since his 20's. He has won many awards for his artwork and has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Royal Watercolour Society's Annual Exhibition. He is also a member of the local Peak District Artisans. If you want to find out more Roger is featured in The Artist magazine this month.

Water colour of Hoe Grange FarmWorking outside in the elements helps to connect him with nature, but he has to keep a keen eye on the weather. "I occasionally have to make a quick dash home if it starts to rain so as not to ruin all my hard work!"

Quite a number of Rogers paintings are hung in our house as they depict favourite scenes from our local area and the farm. some even feature our children and Oliver the horse. We have two favourites; one of Minninglow and another of the High Peak Trail with a faint ghost train running over the viaduct at the top of our fields.

Do you recognise the boy with the broken arm below! Luckily Roger did a second painting of Elliot looking a lot more cheerful called 6 months later. The pair of paintings were a competition piece.

As well as original paintings you can buy prints and cards on the Roger Allen website, or in our little shop when you stay with us. Some guests have even commissioned him to paint their horses on holiday grazing in the paddock!


Boy with the broken arm

Six months later

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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  • star rating  Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    August 3, 2019

    star rating  We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    June 4, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    September 17, 2019
  • star rating  It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    September 21, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    October 25, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Skylark, one of the two glamping pods available at Hoe Grange in February 2020.

    Felicity & David welcomed us when we arrived to show us around... read more

    February 6, 2020
  • star rating  Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    July 16, 2019

    star rating  Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    July 4, 2019

    star rating  We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    August 17, 2019
  • star rating  We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    July 11, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    September 15, 2019

    star rating  Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    August 7, 2019
  • star rating  On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    June 25, 2019

    star rating  lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    July 28, 2019

    star rating  A beautiful place to stay! Amazingly run family business! Everyone were very welcoming, friendly and cozy! The skylark pod we stayed in was very clean, cozy and well equipped! The... read more

    January 2, 2020
  • star rating  We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    November 5, 2019

    star rating  What a wonderful find. As our first experience of needing accessible accommodation we could not have wished for better. Beautiful well equipped lodges in lovely surroundings. We stayed in both... read more

    April 3, 2020

    star rating  We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more

    February 3, 2020
  • star rating  Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    October 4, 2019

    star rating  We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    June 7, 2019

    star rating  Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    September 14, 2019
  • star rating  Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    July 28, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    October 25, 2019

    star rating  Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    October 25, 2019
  • star rating  Felicity and David made us feel very welcome right from our booking. The pods are well equipped and spotlessly clean. The area is very peaceful with great views and we... read more

    January 30, 2020

    star rating  For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    June 25, 2019

    star rating  What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    June 13, 2019
  • star rating  What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    June 18, 2019

    star rating  We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    July 16, 2019

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