Category Archives: Dog friendly

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 

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

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

More food glorious food – share your favourite recipe

As you discovered in our previous blog David and I #LoveLocal food and eating out is one of our favourite past times. Food, glorious food, is even better when shared with friends and family at home.  So as part of our fundraising for our special 10th anniversary year for our chosen charity Canine Partners I have decided to put together a favourite recipe cook book.

We need your help – recipes required!

This is where we need your help. Have you got any recipes to write home about? We would love you to send us your favourite recipes, maybe a treasured family dish handed down to you by your mother, a classic with your own creative twist, a regional speciality, or something decidedly delicious, but simple to cook. You may have some fabulous top tips, or time saving shortcuts to share. It can be spicy or plain, anything from starters, mains, deserts, and baked breads to chutneys, cakes, and cocktails.

For a little inspiration and to get you thinking I will share one of my mother’s recipes which is in the latter category of delicious, but extremely easy – in fact it’s “simples” ! It is definitely retro and 1970’s inspired, but none the less worthy of inclusion.

Olive’s Peaches in Brandy

Ingredients

1 large tin of peach halves in juice
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons demerera sugar
2 tablespoons ground almonds
3oz ratafia biscuits

Method

peaches4Drain the peaches (retaining the juice) and arrange in an ovenproof dish.
Add 4 tablespoons of the peach juice to the other ingredients and mix well.
Fill the peach halves with the mixture.
Pour over the remaining peach juice and bake in the oven at 150 for 20 minutes.
Serve cold with whipped cream, creme fraiche or ice cream.

I told you it was “simples” !!

I am sure David’s entry is going to be his favourite pudding, (his mother’s recipe which he regularly requests, but doesn’t always get!), bread and butter pudding with a meringue topping.

So act now and send us your recipes to include in our charity fundraising recipe book – just e-mail info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk or pop in the post. Don’t forget to send us any photos too and tell us why you chose the receipe, or who it was inspired by. Also if you have any inspirational ideas for a title for our recipe book let us know – maybe barking bakes, canine cookery, or delicious doggy dinners, or maybe something more sensible!

The cook book will be available later in the year and all proceeds will go to Canine Partners to help buy and train an assistance puppy.  Not only will you be inspired to get creative in the kitchen and try out some exciting new recipes you will also be helping to make a real difference to someone’s life.

Felicity

Canine Partners fundraising

Ramblers raising cashOur fundraising efforts for our chosen charity Canine Partners have been boosted this month by hosting two walks, one for the Matlock branch of the National Woman’s Register and one for the Erewash Ramblers, who all enjoyed homemade scones and cakes after a trek across the farm fields and local trails.

Thanks to their generosity we have added another £455 to the Canine Partners charity, topping up our total to date to £1,419.69.

 

Rio the gorgeous Canine Partners demonstration dog says a huge thank you!

If you would like to add a pound or two to the pot for this fantastic charity and make a real difference to someone’s life you can donate online on our Just Giving page. We need your help to reach our £5,000 target – every little helps!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Felicity-BrownHoeGrange

Or why not join us for an entertaining evening at the Northern Lights cinema in Wirksworth for our charity film show of Hot Fuzz on Saturday 22st October – yarp you can come in fancy dress!

Felicity

Food, glorious food

Artisan cafe barWe #LoveLocal artisan food and drink, so in our never ending task of trying out the local bars, restaurants and cafes on you behalf, we have been hard at work again!

This time we reviewed the new Artisan Cafe Bar recently opened on St Johns St in Ashbourne town centre. This contemporary bar serves great food, delicious cakes and an astonishingly wide rage of beers of all strengths, including one called “ring your Mother” at a leg platting 10.5% – not for the faint hearted, or those driving home!

cheese platterThe coffee and cakes at £3.50 looked very tempting, but Felicity and I went for the sharing platter for lunch, which included an interesting selection of cheeses, and meats and a variety of scotch eggs. As it was a Tuesday lunch time I stuck to the coffee!

Our less able guests will be delighted to know the cafe has level entry and space for wheelchairs, with level access to the toilets, although the toilets are not equipped with any grab rails. It is also dog-friendly, and the owners are extremely helpful.

However if you want spirits with your meal you may be in luck! The building was historically a bakery (you can still see the salt cupboard by the old fireplace) which used to belong to the family of good friends of ours, and the ghostly goings on are legendary. The new owner reports that he has already found electrical switches that were definitely on get switched off overnight!

If you want a ghost tour you could also try out our local, The Olde Gate Inn in Brassington, which has recently been taken over by Tony and Mel Cashart. The oak paneled room is also reputedly haunted by a grey lady. However many times we visit we have never personally met her, so we just have to keep popping in !

The Olde Gate InnOnce again there is level access and you’ll get a warm welcome. The food is delicious, with fabulous cream teas too, and best of all you can walk, cycle or ride over the hill to the pub from Hoe Grange.

Onward with our quest to try out as many local Derbyshire pubs as possible – food, glorious food, where next is the question!

David

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
Heading home

Groundworks started for our glamping pods

Progress continues towards the installation of our gorgeous glamorous glamping eco pods.

digging foundations for glamping podsDavid has been busy laying the foundation blocks and digging the trenches for the sewage pipes and electric cables. Not an easy task with our Peak District limestone landscape and rocky terrain! However David loves nothing better than using macho machines to get the job done!

Meanwhile at My Shire Houses James and his team have been working hard to complete our eco-friendly glamping pods ready for delivery up to Derbyshire.

Inside our Glamping pod Loving created from natural wood it’s exciting watching the building progress and we are extremely pleased with all the little extra touches that we commissioned – we are sure that when you take a holiday in our cosy camping pods you will love the extra special features too. They are well insulated and cosy and built to sleep 2 adults. They are surprisingly spacious and there is also room for your four-legged best friend with  lots of wonderful walkies to explore straight from the door! If you have a larger equine four-legged friend to bring along I’m afraid the pods are too small and they will have to stay in one of our stables! Find out more about our holidays with your own horse here.

Skylark and Swallow glamping pods are already getting booked up so be quick and BOOK NOW if you want a relaxing weekend away for two!

Felicity

Roofing the glamping poddogs welcome in our glamping pods