Category Archives: Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

off-road wheelchair

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

 

 

Now where did I put my Lycra?

David

Eroica Britannia – can you ride a tandem?

Inspired by Eroica Britannia 2016 and as rashly promised in our Eroica blog last year, David and I completed our challenge in style cycling the 25 mile route on our 1930’s tandem!

Having written my blog last year, recklessly thinking it would be fun to take part, even joking about cycling two up on a tandem, David got straight on ebay and within 2 days had purchased our vintage tandem – a real shock and surprise to me!

Eroica Britannia 2017For those who haven’t heard of Eroica Britannia before it is billed as ‘The World’s Most Handsome Bike Ride’ and it certainly lived up to the claim, with over 4,500 riders taking part on vintage bicycles, many dressed in authentic costumes.

Luckily for me this non competitive cycle ride is not a race – it is as much about the fashion, the stunning Peak District scenery and the ice cream pit stops along the way, as it is about the cycling. As you can see we entered into the spirit of the occasion and donned our best bib and tucker!

A firm Festival favourite is the best in show competitions, from stylish outfits to the most impressive moustache – everyone entered into the spirit of the event.

Best in show

 

Penny Farthing To qualify for entry into Eroica Britannia all bikes have to be authentic, manufactured before 1986 and have shift gears on the bicycle frame, not the handlebars. These older bikes tend to have heavy frames and less gears than today’s modern bicycles, so therefore the hills are a little more challenging – one determined chap even completed the 25 mile route on a Penny Farthing which must have been a real bone shaker!

Riding a tandem is a little challenging to start with because you both have to synchronize movements as any wobbles from your partner can throw you off balance. Also the rear rider (often called the stoker!) has no control over speed or direction, which I found disconcerting to start with. David found that going downhill too fast hurt his ears – due to the loud squealing from behind!

Having got over the initial difficulties with many trips over the hill to the pub in Brassington, we soon mastered the tandem technique.

As you will see there were 3 routes to choose from. We thought with the steep Peak District hills that the 25 mile route was enough of a trial for us on our first official tandem outing. A good choice as ride day turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year!

Eroica ride routesAs we live so close to the Friden venue we decided to cycle to and from the Eroica event adding another 8 miles to our total ride. The most challenging section of the whole ride was getting there, dodging the hundreds of cyclists who had already set off along the High Peak Trail on the 55 mile event, going in the opposite direction to us! We also nearly lost our voices as everyone shouted greetings and good morning as they cycled past.

We set off at 9am with a group of other 25 milers, full of enthusiasm, with the sun shining and my red polka dot skirt flapping in the breeze. The great thing about a tandem is that just when one of you is beginning to give up the other one urges you on to keep going. With determination we managed to ride the whole way without having to dismount for the steep hills.  One of the toughest sections was pedaling up the long hill out of Monyash, which was made slightly harder as the climb came immediately after the lunch stop and we hadn’t got back into our rhythm.

cycling Peak District It was so much fun riding the tandem as people waved and cheered you on. It was  a fabulous feeling to cycle through the finish line to cheers and whistles from the gathered crowd.

The atmosphere was amazing with lots of Festival fun, from the fun fair for the children, to evening entertainment from ABC, and a fly past by a Hurricane Spitfire.

after the Eroica rideWould we do it again? YES – definitely a fantastic experience to complete the challenge.

However after our exhausting ride David was eagerly eyeing up an electric bike from Juicy Bikes – you would certainly breeze up the Peak District hills on one of their battery assisted bicycles.Juicy electric bikes

Everyone was so friendly and the festival atmosphere was fabulous with everyone comparing bikes and chatting about their experiences late into the evening. Of course the weather helped – not sure it would be quite so much fun in the rain!

Eroica cyclistWe were delighted to host two sets of guests for the weekend who were also taking part, which created a real Eroica spirit at Hoe Grange.

They were all more ambitious (and not riding tandems) so chose the longer 55 mile Eroica ride – a real challenge in the blistering heat.

If you fancy taking part next year why not book yourself a cabin here at Hoe Grange as a very handy base? I would suggest Daisybank or Pinder log cabins, as they both have hot tubs on the decking for soaking those aching limbs afterwards!

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

Eroica Britannia – cycling with style

David and I spent another brilliant day out at Eroica Britannia – a cycling race with a difference, where fashion and style count for more than stamina and speed.

Erocia cycle race
We spotted these lovely ladies!

Eroica is non competitive and the “race” is as much about the fashion, the stunning Peak District views and the coffee and ice cream stops along the way, as it is about the cycling.

Eroica is much more than a cycle ride, it’s more a way of life, where vintage is the order of the day. L’Eroica which translates as ‘heroic’, was started in Italy in 1997 when 92 riders banded together to campaign to prevent the asphalting over of the famous Tuscan white gravel roads – the strade bianchi. The event honoured the strength and stamina of the cycling heroes of years gone by.

Since then, the annual event in the village of Gaiole in the Chianti region has grown with over 5,000 riders. The “race” is governed by strict rules: the bikes must be from 1987 or earlier – so no indexed gears, and gear changers must be on the downtube, not the handlebars. In addition style is the order of the day and clothing must be of an appropriate era to the bike.Eroica BritanniaEroica is now hosted in many other countries and Bakewell, which is just 8 miles from Hoe Grange, hosts the UK event with over 4,000 riders. We loved the style and panache and the carnival atmosphere and hope you enjoy our photos.

This year our friends at Visit Peak District and Derbyshire completed the Eroica event and raised £340 for the charity Accessible Derbyshire – epic team effort girls! There is still time to donate click here for the Just Giving page.

Epic effort girls!

On a bicycle made for 2!

On a bicycle made for 2!

Maybe we should have a Hoe Grange tandem team next year – what do you think?

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

A walk in the park

Hoe Grange Holidays is situated on the edge of the National Peak District Park and is an ideal location for making the most of the many local trails. Our holiday guests love riding, walking and cycling along these old railway routes – not only are they traffic free but you get the most amazing views of the Peak District hills and delightful dales.

cycling along High Peak trailThose guests who have stayed at Hoe Grange know how lucky we are as you can simply walk across the farm fields from you log cabin and get straight onto the High Peak Trail, which was one of the earliest railways to be built. It was opened in 1831 and was mainly designed to carry minerals and goods between Cromford Canal, where Sir Richard Arkwright built his cotton mills and the Peak Forest Canal.

Whilst enjoying the countryside you might not realise that it costs £5 per metre per year just to cover routine maintenance of the trails in the Peak Park – and that doesn’t include work on the bridges, tunnels and viaducts along the routes.

Peak Walk in the ParkYou can help keep our traffic-free trails useable by joining in the sponsored Peak Walk in the Park along the Monsal Trail over the weekend of August 19th to 21st.  It promises to be a fabulous family-friendly event with exciting activities for all ages including; abseiling, fly-fishing, heritage and wildlife themed guided walks, cycle skills track, chainsaw carving and a even a Big Bedtime Story for young children.

If you want to stay locally and make the most of the event our two new self-catering  glamping pods are currently available!

Felicity

high-peak-trail

Boma 7 off-road wheelchairs in action

How many Boma 7’s can you find in a field?

That’s what we aim to find out on the first Boma Open Customer Appreciation Day…. and we hope to have more Boma 7’s here at Hoe Grange than sheep!

Off-road wheelchairWe have teamed up with Boma manufacturer Chris Swift and his team to host a fabulous off-road experience for Boma owners and those who want to find out more about the capabilities of this amazing all-terrain wheelchair.

Bring your own Boma 7 along and join in the action on Saturday 16th April 2016 as we test your driving skills over our rugged farm fields with a timed obstacle course. After a picnic lunch there will be a guided off-road Boma ride taking in some stunning views and interesting historical landmarks. Why not can bring along your friends and family to join in, walk or cycle along with you and enjoy the spectacular Peak District countryside?

For those who want to make a weekend of it there will be Sunday lunch organised at a local pub showcasing delicious Peak District food, so you can chat and exchange Boma chit chat.

It’s going to be a fun packed weekend and a great way of meeting other Boma owners and enthusiasts while exploring our special Peak District countryside… please come along and join in the fun!

The first ‘Open Customer Appreciation Day’ is sponsored by Hoe Grange Holidays and Molten Rock Foundation and is a little way of saying thank you to Boma owners for their support and feedback.

It’s Free! All costs for the Saturday off-road adventure are covered by Molten Rock Equipment Ltd., Molten Rock Foundation and Hoe Grange Holidays (except for overnight accommodation). Sunday lunch is at your own cost, but the first round of drinks is on us!

Don’t miss out on this action packed weekend call us now on 01629 540262 or e-mail info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk  to book your place. We have some availability in our wheelchair accessible self-catering log cabins, but you need to book early if you would like to stay for the weekend.

If you don’t have a Boma 7 wheelchair to bring along, don’t worry you can still come and see these amazing machines in action and there will be a demonstration model to try out.

David

A taste of Italy

We thought you’d enjoy a taste of L’Eroica!

David and I enjoyed a brilliant day out and there was certainly something for all ages, from sandpits and fairground rides to bike jumble, and delicious Derbyshire delicacies. A real family fun weekend.

I have a question – perhaps you can help? What do you call a bicycle made for 3 people? I’ve never seen one before, but there were quite a few at L’Eroica. Not a tricycle as that has a single wheel at the front and two behind and is just for one rider – is it a Triandem??

three men and a bikeThe atmosphere was amazing and all the bike riders returned from the challenging Peak District hills with a smile on their face, even those that took on the 100 mile route – maybe it was the free pint of beer from Thornbridge brewery that spurred them on!

L'Eroica cyclists

Everyone entered into the spirit of this Italian inspired vintage event. Many of the teams came up with creative themes and the variety of fancy dress was incredible. I particularly admired these chaps who took a day off from the war to take part.

 

vintage cars

 

 

Even those not cycling made an effort – some even arrived in vintage cars.

David and I were inspired and may even have to get ourselves a tandem like this for next year – not sure about the kilt though!

Felicity

tandem bicycle

Ride L’Eroica

The L’Eroica Britannia is an amazing celebration of cycling combined with vintage lifestyle, and what better place to cycle than the stunning hills of the Peak District National Park!

vintage bikes

The 3 day cycling festival is held in Bakewell from 19th to 21st June and is based on the original L’Eroica cycle ride held every year in Gaiole, Tuscany, since 1997: a celebration of the “heroic” days of good old-fashioned cycling before carbon fibre, power meters and energy gels.No electric bikes allowed!

 

Do you have a pre 1987 steel road bike? Then dust it off, dig out some vintage clothing and join in the race along with 3,000 other cyclists. Race is perhaps a strong word, the atmosphere is wonderfully relaxed and it’s more of a grand social occasion where riders take time out to sip espressos, chat and joke and most of all admire each others vintage attire.

If you haven’t got an old bike don’t worry, you can just join in the festival fun, with live music, entertainment, shopping and the world’s biggest bike jumble. Families can enjoy a ‘vintage sports day’, a beach area and a traditional fairground featuring a helter skelter and a steam-powered carousel.

A taste of what to expect!

The Peak District hills are quite challenging so there are 3 race routes according to your fitness level.

Short – 30 miles
A great choice for riders of all levels of fitness. It is fairly undulating but definitely enough of a stretch to give you a challenge.

Ascent: 2528ft (771m)
Refreshment Stops: Tideswell 14 miles, Eyam Hall 21 miles
Start Times: 9:15am – 10:30am
Off Road: 25%
GPS route guide

Medium – 55 miles
A bit more adventurous and does require reasonably fitness. Several long climbs will give you a stern work out – but the descents are glorious!
This route passes Hoe Grange farm, so we will be cheering on!

Ascent: 6113ft (1864m)
Refreshment Stops: Hartington 20 miles, High Peak Junction 37 miles, Chatsworth 52 miles
Start Times: 7:15am – 9:15am
Off Road: 30%
GPS route guide

Long – 100 miles
For the really fit – rather you than me!  A real challenge but it covers all the very best of the Peak District National Park.

Ascent: 9252ft (2821m)
Refreshment Stops: Tideswell 10 miles, Goyt Valley 32 miles, Hartington 51 miles, Ilam Hall 63 miles, High Peak Junction 78 miles, Chatsworth 94 miles
Start Times: 6:00am – 7:15am
Off Road: 25%
GPS route guide

If you’re not cycling find some bells and whistles and cheer the riders on!

Felicity

Winter Wonder!

Our guests returned from a cycle ride yesterday to tell us of the fantastic display of icicles in the Hopton tunnel, so this morning armed with the camera we set off on the horses to take a look. It was a chilly ride and poor old Jess didn’t seem too keen to go that far. We knew we were in for a good display when we met a lady carrying a 5 foot long icicle.

As we reached the entrance to the tunnel we were amazed by the dramatic display, but getting the horses to go through with it looking so different was quite a challenge. It was a little like playing Russian roulette – I wouldn’t want such a thick icicle breaking off and spearing me!

The tunnel on this part of the trail slices through the hill side, so in times gone by the trains could avoid a lengthy detour around the hill. These days it makes life easier for the walkers, cyclists and horse riders who use the trail.

Children just love squealing as they go through to hear the incredible echos. Horses on the other hand can be a little timid but it’s not so long, and they can see the other end.

Once you have negotiated the tunnel your are rewarded with a hot drink and a cake at Middleton top

Nearing the tunnel you can just make out the icicles

Incredible display of ice
Incredible display of ice