Category Archives: Accessible Holidays

We love our new loo, do you?

I have a thing about beautiful bathrooms, do you?

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

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

New stylish shower room

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

Accessible shower roomNo more wet feet!

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

A helping hand

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

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

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

A new super loo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hipley accessible bedroom

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

Boma peak district

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

Felicity 

Take a tour of the Peak District

Why not take a tour of our stunning Peak District countryside?

One of the best ways to explore our special Peak District is to get out and about on the country lanes. To make life easy we have been working with Ashbourne Community Transport to put together some mini bus tours of Derbyshire, including places of interest.

Instead of driving you can have a complete break, relax back, enjoy the view, and let someone else do the hard work for you!

Derbyshire Connect Bus

Mini bus tours

The Derbyshire Connect minibus can seat up to 16 people, has a wheelchair access tail lift and is spacious. The cost is extremely reasonable and includes the driver with local knowledge of the area. One of our favourite routes is the Southern villages, and moorlands, which includes short breaks at Tissington, Ilam, Butterton, Ecton and a two hour stop over in Buxton.

Monsal Head Peak District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other themed excursions include Denstone Farm Shop and Churnet Valley Railway, Dambusters tour and Castleton, Chatsworth House, Crich Tramway Village, Peak Rail and Cromford Trust, and Thornbridge Brewery and Bakewell. There are so many exciting places to visit that you could stay at Hoe Grange for a month and still not see everything!

Prices

The bus will pick you up directly from your cabin and prices range from £57 up to £143 – extremely reasonable, even if you don’t fill all the seats!

How to book

It’s quick and simple to book too, just call the booking line 01335 300670 to discuss the various options, where you would like to go and when, or e-mail info@ashbournect.org.uk.

Chatsworth house

We hope we have inspired you to explore a little further afield – you will be surprised how varied the landscape of the Peak District is from North to South!

Felicity 

4 Star Gold Awards for our luxury log cabins

VisitEngland 4 StarVisitEngland Gold AwardWe love our luxury log cabins and are delighted the VisitEngland assessor loved them too!

At our recent inspection we retained our 4 Star Gold Awards rating through the VisitEngland Quality Assessment Scheme.

4 Star Gold Award

Star ratings are not only awarded on the quality of our facilities, but also on the services provided and our hospitality. The inspection covers all aspects of the business and visitor journey, from initial enquiry and the website through to guest stay and departure. To gain the extra Gold Award in addition to the 4 Star rating shows that our standards and customer service are extremely high.

VisitEngland 4 Star Gold Awards

Like the Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi on the television the VisitEngland assessor is extremely thorough, checking everything from cleanliness, to pots and pans and ensuring mattresses are springy and comfortable. No stone is left unturned – tops of wardrobes, under beds, backs of cupboards, all the nooks and crannies are checked!

Top Team

Thanks to our amazing team of hardworking housekeepers I am delighted to say that the inspector reported “The underlying levels of cleanliness were found to be very high” and “sanitary ware is sparkling”! She also praised the wide selection of accessories and lovely personal touches.

National Accessible Scheme

The Inspector also assessed our disabled facilities and we are proud to have retained our National Accessibility Scheme ratings for Mobility, Visual and Hearing. The inspector was impressed with the excellent provision of mobility aids including an off road wheelchair. You can read more about this in our next blog, or view our disabled holiday accommodation.

Welcome Cyclists, Walkers and Families

In addition to the star rating we also have extra facilities and provisions to Welcome Families, such as highchairs and travel cots, toys and games. Hoe Grange is an ideal base for exploring the Peak District countryside so to Welcome Cyclists and Walkers we have route maps, washing facilities, puncture repair kits and secure cycle storage for guests to leave their bikes.

Why bother with inspections?

We value the inspection process as an excellent way for us to ensure we have everything in tip top condition ready for your arrival. We continually strive to improve our log cabins and gorgeous glamping pods so you can relax and enjoy your holiday to the full. It’s all the little things that make the difference, such as new Denby pottery mugs, our #LoveLocal welcome pack of Peak District goodies and up to date leaflets to inspire you to visit our amazing local attractions.

A good nights sleep

Hip;ley master bedroomAlthough the inspection is once a year we have a continual improvement plan in place to renew and improve our facilities on an ongoing basis . For example in January we refreshed Hipley master bedroom, which now has a sumptuous superking bed. With the new mattresses guests have the flexibility for the bed to be split into 2 singles if staying as a group of friends rather than a couple.

To add a contemporary touch I also bought a beautiful new print of Wirksworth skyline for the wall from a local artist.

New for 2018

Pizza ovenThere is nothing better than food with friends so why not treat yourself to a fun evening and hire the outdoor pizza oven. To make things easy we provide the oven and logs, together with the pizza dough and passata. All you have to do is provide the cheese, your favourite toppings and then get cooking.

Our new #LoveLocal shop and laundry room is also nearly complete – watch this space for further news!

guest reviewI believe that our guests appreciate the effort we go to to maintain our high standards. However don’t just take our word for it; we have some wonderful comments in the guest book or read what our guests say about us on TripAdvisor.

Every picture tells a story, so why not take a peek inside our gorgeous log cabins with our new 3D virtual tours!

We look forward to welcoming guests both old and new in 2018!

Felicity 

 

It’s time for a 3D virtual tour!

Exciting news! Join us – you can now step right in and take a magical 3D virtual tour of all our log cabins and glamping pods holidays.

Leighton Morris 3D-PiWow – this new virtual reality technology is simply amazing and Leighton of 3D-Pi has made a fantastic job of capturing our self-catering holiday accommodation. Standing admiring the view you can almost feel the wind in your hair!

We can guarantee that once you taken the tour you’ll want to book a holiday with us in the stunning Derbyshire Peak District countryside.

3D Virtual Tour

These 3D virtual tours even show a dollshouse view so you can see the layout and floor plan of the each cabin, before zooming into each room for a closer look. It’s so easy to explore all the spaces and even take in the view from the decking.

The process uses cutting edge 3D infra-red camera technology to scan each room in 360 degrees. Leighton worked progressively through each log cabin strategically placing the camera in the right spots to enable the images to be stitched together, a bit like piecing a jigsaw together.

Once each cabin was completely scanned, all of the images were uploaded to Matterport and pulled together to enable the 3D model to be created. It’s a little mind boggling and you might even say magical, but I am sure you’ll agree the result is a seamless, immersive and fun experience.

It’s such fun that I have to keep going back and looking round the cabins. The 3D tours show so much more than a flat photograph and are even more intuitive on a mobile phone. You can clearly see for yourself exactly what our facilities are like before you book – go on take a peek! and if you’re a real techy, and have VR googles for your phone, it’s mind blowing!

With Access in Mind

We hope these new interactive 3D tours will be of great benefit for guests with disabilities, who will be able to see how spacious our accessible log cabins are.There is also a 360 view of the wet rooms, showing the various shower chairs we can provide.

It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words and hopefully this will give guests confidence to select the right cabin for their accessible holiday, and will answer many of the frequently asked questions that you need to know before arrival.

Go glamping

Taking a step inside has particularly worked well in the glamping pods, where it can be difficult to get a good photo as the space is relatively small. We have shown the day time layout with the sofa in Swallow and the night time layout with the bed pulled out in Skylark, to give you an idea of how the space works when you stay.

As you take your 3D virtual tour you will notice all the little extras that we provide so you don’t need to overload the car with unnecessary extra equipment.

In Swallow glamping pod you can also see that you can bring your dog on holiday to enjoy the many wonderful walkies through the Peak District countryside and up onto the High Peak Trail.

The tours are linked so you can jump from one virtual tour to another by clicking on the coloured pins and choosing where to go next. You can journey through all the log cabins and glamping pods before deciding which view you like best and which to book!

It is such a realistic interactive 3D experience that you can easily imagine yourself on holiday here at Hoe Grange, relaxing on the decking, sipping your glass of wine and watching the world go by.

Felicity 

Rural Business Awards Champion of Champions

Jules HudsonAt a glitz and glamour gala evening hosted by Jules Hudson of BBC Countryfile fame, the Rural Business Awards overall Champion of Champions was revealed at Denbies Winery in Surrey on Thursday 5th October.

We thought the competition in the category of Best Rural Tourism Business, of which we were one of 5 finalists, was stiff to say the least. With a diverse group including, an open farm/craft venue employing 50 people, a welsh Eco wedding center, a glamping site in Yorkshire and a stunning holiday cottage in Lancashire, we were resigned to be leaving without a prize.

However when the runner up in our category was Barleylands Farm and craft village there was a glimmer of hope for the top slot. As Jane Headley, Senior Tutor at Harper Adams University, opened the gold envelope Felicity and I were overwhelmed to hear Hoe Grange Holidays from The Derbyshire Peak District announced as the winner!ruralbusinessawardsBest Rural Tourism Business Award

After being presented with the Best Rural Tourism Award on stage before the 300+ audience we were whisked off for photos and interviews.

It was then time to relax and revel in the glory of such a prestigious award. Having removed my jacket and loosened my tie I enjoyed a celebratory glass of the excellent Denbies red wine.

And the overall Champion of Champions are…

At the very end of the evening the co-founders of the Rural Business Awards, Jemma Clifford  and Anna Price, announced the outstanding category of Champion of Champions. The winner was the finalist with the highest overall scores in the highly secretive and technical judging system. Judges marked entries individually so no one knew what the other judges thought or indeed who had won! The atmosphere was electric.

rbaThe judges were unanimous in their decision and you cannot imagine our surprise when the clear winner was announced as Hoe Grange Holidays!

Wow! Stunned and amazed, after a rapid re-dress and quickly retying my tie we made our way to the stage to rapturous applause to receive our second trophy of the evening.

It was all was a bit of a blur and our heads were in a spin, so imagine the shock and horror when they asked us to address the gathering! Thinking on my feet I thanked my wife Felicity for all the hard work over the last 12 years and said that to be recognized in such a way by a host of industry experts was the ultimate reward. I think I may have earned some extra brownie points there!

Felicity added her thanks and said how the teamwork between the two of us was well balanced; with her creative ideas and me keeping a close eye on the purse strings ensuring that as well as having a fantastically inspired business, it remained financially viable!

As well as a scrumptious meal with superb English wines from Denbies, guests were entertained by Faith Tucker, a very talented 17-year-old opera singer.

The evening was sponsored by the Country Landowners Association (CLA) and Amazon and celebrated businesses from all corners of the UK. The finalists in the 13 categories were as diverse as technical fabric producers, butchers, PR companies, software developers, sporting businesses and of course holiday providers. Find out about the other amazing finalists and winners of the Rural Business Awards 2017 here.

Since the Rural Business Awards ceremony life has been quite hectic, appearing on East Midlands Today TV, and Radio Derby breakfast show, to talk about our eco-friendly, accessible self-catering holidays, as well as featuring on many social media platforms and blogs.

Awards co-founder Anna Price said: “We had more entries in our tourism category than any other but Hoe Grange Holidays just blew us away and was a clear winner, not only in this category but of the whole awards. The shortage of holiday providers offering good quality disabled access is shocking and we loved how Hoe Grange was showing such imagination in filling this gap in the market. Huge congratulations to them, and we wish them every success in the future”.

Although back down to earth at home in the Peak District countryside, cleaning log cabins, greeting guests and farming, we are still on cloud nine and celebrating our tremendous achievement!

David

David and Felicity with their new awards

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

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

Changing Places Awareness Day

Changing Places Awareness DayHoe Grange holidays is not the only concern with a 10th anniversary this year. We are in good company as Changing Places Consortium are celebrating their special 10th anniversary with an awareness day – check out #CPSelfie

What are Changing Places ?

Some of you may never have heard of Changing Places Toilets – so what is so special about them?

Most of us take going to the toilet in public places for granted and don’t even have to consider the need to plan your whole day out around finding suitable toilet facilities. However for some people this is a real problem, as “bog” standard just isn’t a possibility!

Through disability, age or infirmity some people require more specialist toilet provision. Not having the right facilities means only going out for a couple of hours at a time or being changed on a public toilet floor – which is humiliating and doesn’t bear thinking about given the state of most public toilets.

When you’ve got to go…

Changing Places toiletChanging Places toilets make a real difference as they are clean, bright, facilities fully equipped with all the wonderful things anyone could wish for: an adult-sized, height-adjustable changing bench, a ceiling hoist, a toilet, with space either side for carers, sink, bins, a modesty screen and above all plenty of space.

Creating awareness

Changing Places Awareness Day

Here in Derbyshire we are celebrating Changing Places Awareness Day in style. Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver of Accessible Derbyshire are passionate about accessible toilets because their children have great need of them. So to raise awareness they took up the challenge to drive two Boma 7 off-road wheelchairs 23 km from the CP toilet in Cromford to the CP toilet in the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield. An epic effort to help raise awareness and much needed funds.

Gillian raring to go, complete with selfie glasses!

Boma 7 off-road wheelchair at Cromford MillDashing off from Cromford Mill

off-road challengeChesterfield Proact StadiumArriving safely at Chesterfield Proact Stadium

Where’s the nearest Changing Place?

In Derbyshire we are extremely lucky and have 23 Changing Places toilets (hence the 23km challenge) – you can easily find out where they are using the Changing Places Toilet Map.

The nearest one to Hoe Grange is down at Cromford Wharf so you can enjoy a full day out walking along Cromford Canal and visiting Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill, part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage site. The new visitor centre has been recently opened and is great for wheelchair access.

A walk along Cromford Canal

Unlock the key

To use Changing Places you will need a RADAR key and your own sling if you need to use the ceiling hoist. RADAR keys are often available from your local district or borough council. Alternatively, you can purchase one from RADAR

Mobile Changing Places Unit

Thanks to funding from Derbyshire County Council’s ‘Aiming High’ fund Derbyshire is one of only a few Councils  in Britain to have its very own Mobile Changing Places Unit. This unit can be taken out to the many festivals, fairs and events in the county making them accessible to everyone too!

We hired it for our Boma Challenge day at Hoe Grange. Any group or organisation wishing to hire the unit for an event can contact Richard Sutton on 0333 800 0199.

10 years on and Changing Places are continuing to change people’s lives for the better!

Felicity 

Six reasons to cycle in the Peak District

Why not enjoy cycling in The Peak District? Here are our top six reasons to get your cycle out and get active.

Stunning views

Monsal Head Peak District Wherever you cycle in the Peak District you have to be prepared for hills!
Whether it’s the undulating hills of the White Peak or the more severe steep inclines of the ragged Dark Peak the ride is always a challenge. However the reward when you reach the top and take in the stunning views is worth the effort.

Off-road action

cycling in Peak District National Park, DerbyshireThere are plenty of off-road action packed cycle routes for keen mountain cyclists who thrive on adrenaline. Speeding down muddy tracks can be tricky but there is help at hand from mountain bike guides if you feel your confidence needs a boost, or you want to improve your skills.

Pubs and picnics

cycling along High Peak trailDon’t despair if you haven’t been on a bike for years, or can’t face the uphill struggle! There are plenty of options for more leisurely routes along the safe traffic free trails so you can take in the stunning scenery.
It’s much more social and the gradual gradients are Ideal for taking the children along too – more fun than a spin class at the gym and with the added bonus that you can take a picnic for some family fun. Alternatively you can stop off at Edward and Vintage sweet shop in Tissington for some delicious fudge, linger at Bassettwood Farm for a cream tea or refresh yourself with a pint at The Old Dog.
You can read more about cycling in the Peak District in this article by journalist Klaus Herzmann – that is if you are fluent in German!

Access for All

The old railway lines throughout Derbyshire are very popular trails for walkers and cyclists.The gradual gradients necessary for the old steam engines make the trails perfect cycling for families with young children and people with access difficulties.
rocky roadIf you haven’t got your own bike there are cycle hire centres at Parsley Hay, Middleton Top and Carsington Water, which also hire a range of adapted bikes.
Or for the ultimate experience you can hire our Hoe Grange Boma 7 off-road wheelchair. The High Peak Trail (route 54) runs along side Hoe Grange farm so you can access the trail directly by trekking across the fields. There are some good circular cycling routes from Middleton Top.

Eroica Britannia

L'Eroica cyclistsDon’t miss Eroica Britannia – a spectacular 3 day race and family festival in Bakewell from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June. The highlight of the event is the cycle race where 3,000 cyclists take to the Derbyshire hills on various routes riding pre-1987 bikes and wearing vintage clothing – an amazing spectacle to behold.
Join in the fun – there is so much to see and do, from a good old fashioned vintage fairground, live music, to acres of vintage sales, amazing shops and the GRAZE specialist Food Festival. You can relax on the beach or join in the vintage style family Sports Day on The Sporting Lawns. Why not get dressed up in your vintage best for Best in Show and impress the judges, including Patrick Grant, British fashion designer and judge from The Great British Sewing Bee?

Derby Velodrome

For those of a more competitive nature Hoe Grange is just 30 minutes travel from the Derby Arena, where there are plenty of opportunities to train and race on the superb velodrome. The Derby velodrome is also used for British cycling’s Rider Route.
This amazing high tech cycle race track is built from 26 miles worth of wood sourced from the Russian spruce forests of Siberia. If all the planks were laid end to end, there would be enough to stretch from Derby to Leicester!

Throughout the six weeks it took to install, over 265,000 nails were hand-driven into the 250m track and aside from the coloured racing lines, there is no other finish on the track.

Cycling on the trailSo make the most of your stay in our self-catering log cabins at Hoe Grange – pack a picnic, grab the map, get into gear on your bike and tackle those Derbyshire hills. You may pant and puff up the hills, but just think of the freedom of freewheeling back down!
Felicity

Boma Challenge Day

If there’s one thing that we’ve learnt over the last 10 years of running our self-catering log cabins at Hoe Grange Holidays it’s that one thing very quickly leads to another. This is definitely the case with our amazing Boma 7 off-road wheelchair!

Following on from the entertaining calendar photo shoot with marauding animals, which was a laugh a minute, we found ourselves working with Chris and the Boma team once again to host the first Boma Owner’s Appreciation Day.

Boma off-road wheelchair challengeMolten Rock was founded by Chris Swift, who became tetraplagic in 1995 following a neurological illness. As a qualified engineer with a mission to get back outdoors with no limits, Chris and his friend Jon Anders developed the incredible Boma all terrain wheelchair. Many of our guests have been able to enjoy exploring our beautiful Peak District countryside using this off-road machine – the smile on their faces says it all! So it was a pleasure to host the first Boma 7 challenge day.

Off-road obstacle challengePeople travelled from far and wide to join us in the hilly Peak District to test the capabilities of their mighty machines. Jon from Molten Rock together with David created a challenging course, including a balance see-saw, slalom and a reversing box, so Boma owners could test their driving skills.

Bomas are easy to operate but these obstacles needed skillful, controlled manoeuvres. It was fantastic to see Boma users with quadriplegia, MS, MND and CP all competing on the same basis.

off-road wheelchair see-sawThe drivers were timed and to make it more fun Jon attached a full glass of water to each Boma frame to see who made it round the bumpy course with the most water. David raced round in record time, but paid the price of speed over skill and received quite a soaking!

Boma off-road fun

Boma off-road course
David taking a quick shower!

After a quick bite of lunch the Bomas headed off over the hill for an off-road adventure. The weather forecast was wild and wet, but fortunately glorious sunshine prevailed and although the wind was a little chilly it didn’t put anyone off.

off-road wheelchair on High Peak Trail

It was a superb site to see the Bomas trekking along the High Peak Trail and heading across the fields to Minninglow, an ancient neo-lithic burial ground, together with a large group of family, and friends.Bomas racing up the hill

Lucy takes the lead

Bomas reach the top of the hill
High on a hill a lonely herd of Bomas!

Canine Partners assistance dogAlso joining us was the Labrador Velo from Canine Partners who is in training to become an assistance dog. As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations we are aiming to raise £5,000 to buy and train a dog like Velo. We have seen first hand what a difference such dogs make to people’s lives and it was great that the Boma challenge day raised over £100 towards our total.

The smiles and spirit of the whole event was creatively captured by professional photographer Ruth Downing from Rural Pictures and her “Sherper” husband Rob who had to carry all the camera bags up hill and down dale! If you would like high resolution versions of any of the photos please contact us.

rocky road The unstoppable Boma – nothing too rocky, nothing too muddy, no hill too steep – just pure family fun with everyone included!  4A2A8526Web

off-road trails
Meeting other off-roaders enjoying the Peak District

Thanks to Molten Rock for co-ordinating the day and all who helped make it a success; to Accessible Derbyshire and Mount Cook Adventure Centre for their support, to Bowler Motorsport for the loan of their mighty off-road Landrover Defender – another amazing off-road machine and to Derbyshire County Council for the loan of their mobile Changing Places toilet.

Make sure you book a place to join in the Boma action next year!

Felicity

off-road wheelchairs
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