Category Archives: Hartington Village

Exploring New Peak District Cycle Routes

What better way to explore the Peak District than by bicycle?

There are new peak district cycle routes for all abilities, from the easy-going gentle gradients along the trails following the old railway routes, to steep challenging off-road tracks for the more energetic and adventurous. You can cycle the quiet back roads passing through picturesque villages and trundle up the rolling hills and zoom down the delightful dales.

Cycling in the Peak District

Although you may whizz down the hills at speed, pedalling along on your bicycle is the best way to take in the breath-taking views of the Derbyshire countryside.

peak district cycle routesAs you cycle along take time to delight in the wildflowers along the verges and spot the wonderful wildlife, from hares streaking across the fields, to birds of prey circling the skies. Farming is also very much in evidence across the Peak District and you will see lambs gambolling in the meadows, highland cattle munching on the moors, scurrying hares and maybe the odd deer in the distance.

New Cycle routes

The Pedal Peak Project has published an exciting new range of route maps for all abilities. Why not download the peak district cycle routes so you can plan your days out before you arrive on holiday?

There are four cycling guides:

New Hoe Grange circular cycle route

David and I have been making the most of the glorious May weather and have had fun creating a lovely circular cycle route which takes in cafes, a castle and Arbor Low stone circle, which is larger than Stonehenge!

Our “Carefree days, cycles, cafes and castles” route is approx. 28 miles long using minor roads and trails. That sounds like a long way to me, but I made it with comparative ease. Although not a regular cyclist I coped well with the few short steep hills, and it was an exhilarating day out.

Do follow our route map the same way round though as going the opposite way involves steeper uphill stretches! Start by cycling up to Parsley Hay along the High Peak Trail, then to Pilsbury, down to Hartington, to Arbor Low and back along the High Peak Trail.

The Peak District also has a wealth of fabulous food stops including artisan ice creams parlours, tea shops and cosy cafes, cheese shops. real ales and pub grub. There is a wonderful choice in Hartington Village to keep hunger at bay!

Cycle Hire

If you have your own bikes you can safely store them in our new secure cycle shed, where there is also a small workbench and wash down hose.

peak district cycle routes

Don’t worry if you don’t have a bicycle, we can loan you one of our mountain bikes. Guests who haven’t been out cycling for many years find the High Peak Trail which is accessible from the farm fields and has a shallow gradient, a good place to start. The added bonus is that the views over the White Peak limestone landscape are stunning!

There are lots of ways to hire bikes in the area as well, basic E-bikes and normal bikes can be rented from the local cycle hire centres at Ashbourne, Parsley Hay and Middleton Top.

Let the e-bike take the strain!

peak district cycle routesYou don’t have to be super fit to ride off-road trails. Our friends at MTB&B will rent you an up to date E-mountain bike that takes the strain out of even the steepest hills.

They deliver direct to your log-cabin or glamping pod here at Hoe Grange Holidays and even do a great value family package too.

We hope we have inspired you to take to your bicycle and explore all the Peak District has to offer! There is more information on our cycling page.

Felicity 

Porsche tour of the Peak District – Part one

In celebration of English Tourism Week, #etw2017, we wanted to showcase some of our local Peak District area highlights and what better way to do it than touring in a powerful Porsche!

Porsche at CarsingtonThe soft purr of the 6 cylinder engine as we gently ease out of the farm yard followed by the deep throated roar as we accelerate down the drive – what a sound! Vroom and we are off in our Peak Performance Hire Porsche Boxster for an exciting tour of the scenic Peak District countryside.

Smoothly winding up the snaking hills, the top down, wind blowing through our hair, the feeling of freedom is exhilarating.The silver grey Porsche blended into the misty grey clouds as we approached Dovedale and drove down to Ilam village.

Porsche car

Ilam

Arriving at Ilam Park we didn’t have time to stop for long, but it is worth exploring the ancient semi-natural woodland — Hinkley Wood — designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its small-leaved and large-leaved limes. You can pack a picnic or there is an excellent tea room and you can leave the car and take a walk along the valley to the famous Stepping Stones at Dovedale.Ilam Our Porsche tour continues with slick speed it’s not long before we reach the picturesque village of Hartington.

Hartington Youth HostelThis magnificent 17th Century manor house, complete with oak paneling and enormous fire places is now an amazing youth hostel.

In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie, also known as The Young Pretender, is reputed to have stayed at Hartington Hall. He would have arrived using horsepower, but not a Porsche!! Having reached Derbyshire the lack of support Charles and his army had expected from English Jacobites forced them to turn back!

Hartington villageAlthough a dull day we were still able to tour with the top down, especially as the heated seats kept you warm!

Hartington is an iconic traditional Peak District village with stunning stone buildings and a duck pond.  Famous for its cheese production Hartington offers visitors the chance to discover a real taste of the Peak District with many of the shops, pubs and tea rooms serving local foods.We #LoveLocal and stopped off at The Village Stores for a freshly brewed coffee.

Hartington Village StoresHartington village fascinating facts:
  • Cheese, along with oatcakes and ale has been the staple diet of Derbyshire folk for centuries – and not only in the `snap-tins’ of the lead miners! Roman legions carried cheese to supplement them on their long marches across the county two thousand years ago.
  • Later, during the Middle Ages cheese was traded at local markets throughout the county, with Hartington being the first to be granted a Market Charter in 1203 by William De Ferres.
  • Almost every farmhouse in the Peak District would at one time have made it’s own cheese and sold it at the local market. However in 1870’s the Duke of Devonshire founded The Cheese Factory at Hartington. The Cremery was one of the three sources of Stilton, and also produced its own unique Dovedale cheese and others such as Buxton Blue cheese.
  • Whilst a market hasn’t been held for many years Hartington’s past wealth and importance is clearly visible in the form of impressive stone cottages and large houses around the village square. The many ancient roads and trackways that still meet in the village provide some fabulous walking routes.Old Cheese shop Hartington
  • The factory was closed in 2009 after being sold by Dairy Crest, but cheese production was restarted in the parish in 2012 with the traditional Peakland White, Peakland Blue, and Stilton now available from The Old Hartington Cheese Shop in the middle of the village by the duck pond. Plenty of space to pull up and park your Porsche!
  • Did you know  it takes 70 litres of milk to produce a traditional 16lb Stilton cheese? That is an average cows milk production for 2 days!

Hartington CheeseOur Peak District Tour to be continued…

In the meantime why not hire a Porsche from Peak Performance Hire and take your own tour? It’s not as expensive as you think and Liam can suggest suitable Peak District routes.

Felicity

A trip to Hartington Village

Hartington Village

The quaint village of Hartington is just a 15-20 minute car journey through the rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales. Alternatively you can cycle along the High Peak Trail, cross over the A515 and drop downhill to the village.

We spent a lazy afternoon wandering around Hartington to help you to plan a day out whilst you stay at Hoe Grange Holidays – the things we have to do for our guests!.

The first thing we discovered; Hartington was the first village in Derbyshire to be granted permission to hold a weekly market in 1203, selling locally made goods and farm animals, and we certainly got a sense of that as we walked around the village.

Hartington Village signpostAs it was a weekday, we parked in the Market Place for free, although on a weekend it may be pretty busy, so there’s a larger car park (chargable) too.

Hartington tea roomWe made a beeline for the Beresford Tearooms and Post Office (next to The Devonshire Arms pub) because we’d heard they have home-cooked traditional food. The Pumpkin & Spice soup accompanied with a ½ baguette (£6.50), and the Country Vegetable soup with a cheese scone (£4.95) were hearty and filling. Somehow we resisted the tempting scones with clotted cream and jam!

We took a circular, anti-clockwise route around Hartington, noting the village newsagents, St Giles Church (which dates back to the 1200s) and the Village Hall.

Village stores at HartingtonThe next shop to take our fancy was The Village Stores an old building packed to the rafters with local produce. We always #LoveLocal, and this store sells an amazing selection of local meats, fruit, vegetables, beers, wines and spirits, hot pies and hot drinks to take away.

To make your holiday hassle free you can even pre-order a basket of goodies, or a BBQ pack, from The Village Stores before your stay at Hoe Grange Holidays, and pick them up when convenient.

Hartington Village StoresThe next shop along our trail was Hart of the Country, a real countryside shop with walking sticks, sheepskin rugs, handbags, postcards, sweets, you name it they probably sell it! Ideal for all those little gifts to take home for family and friends.

You simply can’t visit Hartington without calling into The Old Cheese Shop. The cheese factory in the village used to make ¼ of the World’s Stilton cheese until 2009 – luckily this shop still exists, selling English artisan cheeses, including Dovedale Blue and Peakland White which is made at Pikehall, just a few miles from Hoe Grange. You have to cross the threshold and take a big sniff, the aroma is wonderful!

Hartington cheese shopMatilda Bay was calling us from the other side of the village, so we had to obey, and what a lovely shop of treasures, cards, coasters, gifts, jewellery all displayed with care and precision. Next door is the Antique Shop, which on this occasion we didn’t venture into, so we hot footed it down to the Farm Shop around the corner (Public Toilets available here).

Hartington farm shopvisitor informationThere’s a warm welcome at The Farm Shop, plenty of great produce, gifts, handmade crafts and a very sweet tearoom in the rear. There’s also a wall of Tourist Information leaflets by the cafe counter – which was the perfect place to plan our next Peak District National Park adventures!

How can I get to Hartington?

The village lies within a triangle of Buxton (to the north), Leek (to the West) and Ashbourne (to the South East.) You can drive, or catch a bus from Buxton, Ashbourne, Bakewell or Chesterfield. Or you can cycle along the High Peak Trail from Hoe Grange.

What’s on?

Hartington is known for special events, such as the unusual art of Well Dressings, the Hartington Wakes (traditional agricultural show), the Oddfellows March (a local friendly society) Hartington Sports Day (family fun for all ages), a Secret Garden Trail and the Royal British Legion hold annual events too.

So much to do in the Derbyshire Peak District you’ll need to stay with us for at least a week!

Felicity