Category Archives: #LoveLocal

National Biscuit Day – have you had your oats today?

Most people agree there’s nothing better than a brew with a biscuit! Today, 29th May 2019, is National Biscuit Day, so indulge yourself and bring out the biscuit tin!

felicity baking oatie biscuitsOatie Biscuits are the best!

On arriving at Hoe Grange in the Peak District ready for your holiday the first thing you’ll want to do is pop the kettle on for a refreshing cup of tea.

There’s nothing better than to relax with a cuppa and tuck into one of our special home-baked Oatie biscuits.

Our tasty Oatie biscuits are extremely tasty and full of oats and natural ingredients, so they must be good for you!

What’s your favourite biscuit?

Biscuits are as British as fish and chips, a full English Breakfast or a Sunday roast.

National Biscuit Day has us all contemplating our favourite biscuits. Over half the British population prefer the chocolate digestive, but then they haven’t tasted our special Hoe Grange Oaties!

Oatie biscuits to welcome guests

The iconic digestive biscuit was created in 1892 by Sir Alexander Grant, whose secret recipe is still used by McVitie today. They got their name because they contained bicarbonate of soda which was considered to aid flatulence and help digestion. Nowadays they are covered in chocolate and make the perfect dunking biscuit.

Do you like to dunk your biscuit?

Why do we like to dunk our biscuits? Well, believe it or not, there is a scientific reason behind it making your biscuit extra tasty. Dunking your biscuit releases more flavour as the hot liquid dissolves the sugars in the biscuit and softens the texture.

National biscuit day Oatie biscuitsDunking goes back to Roman times as they dunked their biscuits in wine, can’t fault that! It was then brought back into popularity by sailors in the 16th century. Biscuits on ships were so hard and dry that sailors would dunk them in their beer ration to soften them up. I’m sure soldiers in the trenches in World War 1 also dunked their biscuits to make them more edible.

Dunking a biscuit into a hot cup of tea is now a time-honoured tradition, so on National Biscuit Day why not give it a go?.

The chocolate digestive is the ultimate dunking biscuit, and can withstand a whole 8 seconds thanks to its chocolate coating.

HobNobs, Ginger Nuts and our own Oatie biscuits don’t fare so well and only last for 3 to 4 seconds. #NationalBiscuitDay

However, be warned, dunking can be dangerous!

Did you know a 2009 study found 25 million people in the UK had been injured by biscuits – mostly by scalding themselves fishing out soggy bits dropped into a steaming cuppa. If your favourite biscuit is a custard cream be extra wary as they are the worst offenders for this!

We don’t know about you, but all these fab photos of our Oatie biscuits captured by talented photographer Matt Owen has made my mouth water?national biscuit day bakeAs it is National Biscuit Day, I’ve been baking again, so I’m off to pop the kettle on and get the biscuits of out the oven. I bet you can’t resist reaching for a biscuit now you’ve seen these.

Baked with love

Book a holiday at Hoe Grange, in a log cabin, a glamping pod, or our Gypsy caravan and you’ll get to taste our delicious Oatie biscuits as part of our #LoveLocal welcome pack.Welcome pack

Baked with love, our Oatie biscuits have a few luxury ingredients added in, including dried cranberries and chocolate chips. What a tasty treat to start your holiday in the stunning Peak District countryside!

Felicity

Save money on your holiday and book direct with us

Book Direct logoBooking your holiday direct with the owners is always the best way to make sure you get the cheapest deal and don’t pay over the odds. Most of our holiday guests book direct, but you may have found us on other websites such Trip Advisor or Air BnB.

Did you realise that by booking through these large OTAs, (Online Travel Agents), you could inadvertently be paying a lot more for your holiday?

7 Good reasons to book direct

Today 6th February 2019 is #BookDirect day – an international campaign to encourage guests to book directly with the owners of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and glamping sites, because it is better for everyone!

We only have a relatively small marketing budget so many small businesses like ourselves have to advertise with the larger national and international accommodation websites to get our message out there.

1. The Best Price

It’s Simples! Our own website lists the best price for our log cabins and glamping pods – there is NO extra Booking Commission, NO Booking Fee and NO Service Fee Always book direct! Only this week a guest booked through one of the major OTAs and has unnecessarily paid 20% more for their holiday – they could have spent their money on a night out at our local pub!

Ye Olde Gate Inne Brassington

If you know the name of the accommodation, all it takes is a quick google search to find the website!!

2. Online Booking

Booking direct with us online only takes a few simple steps. It’s quick and easy and there are flexible payment options so you can pay by card or bank transfer.

3. Book with confidence

Your booking is immediately secured and you’ll get e-mail confirmation. We handle all of our booking details securely and will never pass your details on to third parties.

4. Cut the costs

As well as adding cost, booking with an Online Travel Agent adds an extra layer of complexity to your booking. Cutting out the middleman keeps everything simple and avoids any confusion. It also cuts down on the charges we have to pay so we can keep our prices competitive.

5. The little extras that make the difference

Our website is the only place you can find the full selection of offers, discounts, or extras to enhance your stay. You can book stabling for your horse, or treat yourself and book a log-fired hot tub, a pizza oven evening, or a firepit experience.

log-fired hot ub

6. Book with confidence

We have the best local knowledge of our special Peak District and can help you make the most of your stay in the Derbyshire hills. We can help you decide which log cabin best suits your needs, what specialist equipment is available, and organise a #LoveLocal delivery of delicious locally sourced groceries for when you arrive.

 

 

 

We want our guests to enjoy their stay and are happy to share the best dog-friendly places to visit, the most scenic horse routes, the best places to eat and the quirkiest local traditions such as Ashbourne Shrovetide. Communication is the key and something that you definitely don’t get when you book elsewhere!

7. No hidden charges

By booking direct you know exactly what is included, there are no hidden extras or nasty unexpected charges.

How Can You Help Spread the #BookDirect Word?
  1. Always book direct and encourage everyone you know to do the same
  2. When you get a great deal booking directly, TELL everyone about it
  3. Share our message using the #BookDirect hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms
Booking Direct with Hoe Grange Holidays

The good news is that most of our guests already book direct and therefore get the best deal! #BookDirect with us rather than through a third party and you can spend the money you save on enjoying yourself on your holiday!

We hope you find our online booking process easy, however you can email us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk or if you prefer to chat in person just call us on 01629 540262.

Felicity 

I don’t function without coffee!!!

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that I run on coffee and chocolate. In fact coffee is so important we have even had our own blend created for us by artisan producers Andrew and Deirdre from Peak Bean.Peak Bean Coffee logo

I first met Deirdre on a fact finding tour of Scandinavia a few years ago, during which we toured a local coffee roasting house. She said then that it was something she and Andrew were looking to do in Derbyshire. A couple of years later they launched Peak Bean and began to produce high quality fresh coffee. We met with them and after a few samples and experimental blends hit upon what we have called “Rich Rainster Roast”, a blend of Arabica beans sourced from Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica as unfortunately no one has yet started to grow coffee beans in Derbyshire!!Hoe Grange Coffee in your welcome pack

We leave sachets of our Rich Rainster Roast in the cabins, pods and gypsy caravan as part of our welcome pack and have further supplies available to purchase in our little shop, all in handy 42 gram sachets, I myself have a bean to cup machine with an IV line for direct infusion and so buy the same beans, unground, in handy 1kg bags, which don’t last very long at all!.

Birdhouse Tea Blue John blend

 

If Coffee is not you drink of choice we also stock Birdhouse Tea blended in Sheffield. They produce such delights as “Blue John” a blend of Assam and Darjeeling with cornflower petals, Part of their Peak District collection inspired by Britain’s first national park. ” home to wild and wonderful landscapes, impressive peaks and picture postcard English villages. Blue John is a celebration of the underground wonderlands of Castleton and the semi-precious mineral mined only in the Peak District”

David

Christmas Gifts For Loved Ones Inspired by the Peak District

Have you made your Santa list? It’s Santa’s List Day so here to help is our top ten Christmas gifts for loved ones inspired by the Peak District. We have some wonderful #LoveLocal products to share with you!

Christmas Gifts for the Alcohol Lover 

1. Aldwark Artisan Ales – Local, Award-Winning Beer

Us Brits love our tipple at Christmas, so looking at what alcohol-related Christmas gifts the peak district has to offer seems like a good place to start! Set out in a converted milking parlour, the Aldwark Brewery is located just half a mile from Hoe Grange.

This project has taken vision, lots of hard work and the support from the local community but is well worth the wait. Aldwark Brewery beer is available in your local pubs including the Twenty Ten in Matlock and The Jug & Glass in Lea. Their Nostrum Gold is a classic session ale nicknames “The Moorish One” and we can see why; it’s light and surprisingly refreshing for its bitter notes.

craft ale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts for the Foodie

2. Brock and Morten – Locally-Sourced Oils

Everyone has a family member that takes control of cooking on Christmas day. Getting the Turkey centrepiece perfect has become a right of passage for any Christmas day. Christmas gifts for the foodie in your life are always one of the most important. Brock and Morten supply the finest rapeseed oil found in all our welcome packs at Hoe Grange.

Containing the lowest saturated fat content of any oil, less than half that of olive oil and packed with over 10 times more Omega 3,6 and 9 than olive oil, Brock and Morten’s rapeseed oil is a cut above the rest. Ideal for cooking at high temperatures or drizzling on a fresh salad, Brock and Morten also sell locally produced honey and Christmas gift hampers.

Brock and Morten oils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Bullion Craft Chocolates – Handmade, Ethically-Sourced Chocolates

We all end up eating far too much chocolate over the festive period, even those who stave off chocolate for the majority of the year can’t resist an advent calendar or a variety box at Christmas. Why not take your chocolate experience to the next level and visit one of the many shops in the peak district that stock Bullion Craft Chocolate.

Focused on ethical sourcing and superior flavour, Bullion use the finest cocoa beans from across the world to produce the most wonderfully intense and complex chocolate bars you can get this Christmas.

With beans from Haiti, Bolivia and Guatemala and produced in the Peak District their Christmas gift range is a must-have for any chocolatier this Christmas!

bullion craft chocolate

Christmas Gifts for the Homeowner

4. Lomas and Lomas – Nature-inspired Homeware

lomas and lomas

The Peak District’s natural beauty is undoubtedly its greatest asset. Inspiring countless books, paintings and poems, it’s vast limestone hills, flowing rivers and walking routes are famous all over the world.

A Christmas gift to celebrate this beauty makes a great present for anyone who loves to bring the outdoors in. At Lomas and Lomas they sell unique nature-inspired homewares and handmade gifts inspired by the natural landscape of the Peak District. From cushions to lampshade and kitchenware, they have a wide range of items any home interior enthusiast will love.

Christmas Gifts for your Pets

5. Coconut Blush – Eco-Friendly, Chemical-Free Products

dog-friendly productAnother entry from our Hoe Grange welcome pack! Coconut Blush make natural soaps and skin care products handmade in the Peak District.

Started in her home in 2005, Jane Malcolm wanted to solve the problem of eczema her two young children were having. The result – A range of eco-friendly, all natural soaps, hair-care and skin-care products and a thriving business that is now 11 years old. Everything they make is 100% Paraben & SLS free – with no artificial fragrance.

Don’t forget to get your pets a Christmas gift, Coconut Blush now sell a range of shampoos and paw salves for dogs.

Christmas Gifts for the Craftsman

6. Annie’s Eazi Candles – Personalised Candles

With so many Christmas Gifts available online now we can often get overwhelmed by choice ultimately forgetting to shop and #LoveLocal. One of our previous blogs covered candle makers On A Wick and A Prayer located in Tissington village close to Hoe Grange.

Owner Annie lights the way for unique and personal Christmas gifts. Producer of handmade candles inspired by the Peak District, over 18 years later Annie’s business is stronger than ever. With Christmas coming their build your own candle kits means you can completely personalise your own candle. From wicks to colours to scent your loved ones will love your thoughtful gift this Christmas.

make your own candle

 

Christmas Gifts for the Art-Lover

7. Juliet Forest – Hand-made Stained Glass

Glass dishes by Juliet ForrestCreating beauty from staining glass is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of art we have in England. Modern techniques might make it easier for many skills in the manufacturing industry but the skill of hand-staining glass remains a complex art.

Juliet Forest began making stained glass six years ago as a hobby and started her full-time business in 2014. Her artwork can be found throughout Hoe Grange including our glass flowers, welcome plates and the glass windows in all our pods.

If your loved one enjoys the beauty of painted glass as artwork, Juliet Forest’s work is the perfect Christmas gift.

8. Lucy Palmer Jewellery

lucy palmer jewellerySpeaking of handmade gifts from talented artists in the Peak District, Lucy Palmer is the Derbyshire Dales foremost jewellery maker. Crafted in her workshop, all her beautiful jewellery is inspired by nature and folk tales.

Using a wide range of decorative techniques including the ancient Korean technique, ‘Keum Boo’ to fuse gold foil to silver, Lucy crafts truly unique Christmas gifts that you really can’t get anywhere else.

Christmas Gifts – An Experience

9. The Clayrooms – Pottery Workshops and Courses

Set up by ceramic specialist Sarah Heaton and experienced school leader Helen Cammiss The Clay Rooms boasts nearly 50 years worth of combined experience.

Capable of running workshops and courses from beginner level right through to advanced pottery abilities, this makes a great Christmas gift for anybody interested in enjoying a new experience or expanding their pottery skills.

If you have a friend or family member interested in joining a community of fellow artists and craftspeople then why not purchase a membership for The Clayrooms? Membership includes 18 hours of studio time per week, in-house materials and technical support – plus a chance to exhibit once a year!

10. Hoe Grange Holidays – Experience Voucher

Last but definitely not least, at Hoe Grange Holidays we love Christmas. We understand Christmas is all about spending time with people you care about. Therefore, this year instead of giving your father a pack of socks or your mum a new hairbrush, why not give your loved ones a Hoe Grange Holidays gift voucher.

An experience with Hoe Grange Holidays is a gift that they will long remember. Our vouchers can be gifted at any amount or can be bought specifically for one of our amazing experiences. Spend an summer’s evening in the beautiful peak district with your very own pizza oven, this can be a fun and creative evening, ideal for families – and who doesn’t love pizza?

If you’re after something more romantic why not buy a voucher for an winter’s night in our log-fired hot tub and sauna or gather around our fire pit and gaze up at the stars, the perfect couple’s getaway. Whatever your loved ones enjoy, we have the Christmas gift for them! Vouchers available fro £25 upwards.

Hoe Grange Gift Voucher

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in purchasing from Hoe Grange or wish to book a stay with us, call us on 01629 540262 or email us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk. Simply fill out our contact form and we will get back to you right away!

For more ideas find out what was on last years Christmas list

Felicity 

Annie our local shinning light – not a candle in the wind!

We are proud to stock some fabulous #LoveLocal Peak District products, in our new little shop. Today we are featuring On A Wick and A Prayer, candle makers at Tissington village just over the hill from Hoe Grange.

Annie's candles

A spark of an idea

Our friend Annie Maudling had a flicker of an idea following a fishing trip to Ireland where she purchased some hand made candles from a small local business. This sparked a passion and found Annie experimenting with her daughter’s candle making kit in her kitchen (which is where all good small businesses start from, including ours!).

By adding natural scents and hand crafting unusual shaped candles Annie created a unique brand which proved to be popular at local craft fairs. She is completely self-taught, and over the last 18 years has continued to build up the business on a strong foundation of quality and buying British.

Lanterns light the way

hurricane candleThe business went from strength to strength with the unique hurricane lantern the star of the show (and my all time favourite too!). The hurricane lanterns are made from translucent wax with inlaid flowers & designs so that the tealight inside shines through the intricate patterns.

The business soon outgrew the kitchen and moved to the old pig sty in the garden. A sign was placed at the garden gate inviting people to have a look round and On a Wick & A Prayer was born.

Tissington village is a Peak District gem renowned for it’s ancient tradition of well dressings and quaint cottages. Today it is a hive of activity. It’s difficult to believe but going back 18 years there was little for the visiting public to do. There were no shops or tea rooms so Annie’s new venture soon became a popular attraction.

candle making A couple of Annie’s friends offered to help out making candles to keep up with demand. They soon outgrew the pig sty and production moved into the old village forge, which was larger. It also meant there was more space to open a small shop.

If you pop over to TIssington you will still find Annie and the team hand making candles. As you approach the workshop you will be able to smell the delightful fragrances drifting through the air.

Annie is passionate about using British suppliers and products in her manufacture. With an eye to sustainability and reducing waste On A Wick have a range of refillable containers including the beautifully glazed bathtub which houses scented wax.

Annie’s candle light shines bright

As the company grew it gained a reputation for high quality and unusual designs and soon secured larger contracts with national businesses such as The National Trust. This demand required more space so they moved some of their current production to premises based in nearby Dovedale.

Inspired by the Peak District Dovedale ceramicsNever one to stand still Annie has introduced a range of ceramics designed for every day use. The glaze on the pottery is called a “Frip” glaze because it bursts in the kiln, creating a beautiful finish, each piece being unique.

The colours are inspired by the Peak District #uniquedistrict landscape, Mermaid Blue of the River Dove, Dolomitic Grey of the stone walls, green lava of the lush pastures and the latest colour is red lava.

Exciting news – Annie has just launched the new Ezicandle kit. You can now make your own candles using empty containers from candles which you have loved and burnt, but don’t want to throw away. No need for specialist equipment and it couldn’t be easier!

And so we designed Eazi Candle! You can now recycle all your loved candle containers and bring your old favourites back to life. What’s more the Eazi Candle is self-contained, needs no other equipment and the container itself is fully recyclable.

#LoveLocal

Annie is an inspiration and a real shinning light. Her hand crafted scented candles are proving popular with our holiday guests as little gifts to take home. We have a small selection in our onsite shop – there’s nothing more romantic than #hygge candlelight. Here’s how to have a hygge holiday!

Felicity

24Hrs in Farming #Farm24

For the last few years herds of dairy farmers, flocks of shepherds and a whole coven of farmers wives have  Twitted, Blogged Inrtagramed and Facebooked about a whole 24 hrs of farming showing what they are all getting up to.

Today 9th August 2018 is this years #Farm24 day. What are we all doing this year?

Well for a start 2018 is turning out to be one of the most challenging years for decades in farmings never ending battle with the weather.  Following the wettest coldest spring in living memory, we jumped straight into the longest hottest dry spell ever. Some say farmers are never happy with the weather and there is a good reason for that. Every sector of agriculture needs different weather to the next,

From snow
From snow

Dairy farmers like a cold crisp winter to help keep animals health in the sheds as warm muggy damp conditions are only good for the spread disease such as pneumonia, but they like it to dry up in spring so the cows can get out to grass as early as possible, then they like a steady supply of rain in small doses with good sunshine to keep the grass growing all year.

Sheep farmers don’t like very cold snowy winters as the sheep live out doors and can get buried in snowdrifts and have difficulty accessing water if the pipes all freeze. Then they want a warm dry spring for lambing and a summer without too much sun and heat, and muggy thundery weather is a real bummer as this brings with it more cases of fly strike which I won’t horrify you with the details but its a very nasty thing to happen to a sheeps bottom!

to heat wave

Arable farmers like good snow in the Alps for their skiing holidays and warm beaches in the early summer for their beach holiday (only joking!!) but they need a wet warm spring to bring the good yields and to help swell the grain they then need a good long dry spell with strong sunshine to ripen the grain and let them harvest it all as dry as possible, moving on quickly to ploughing, re planting just before their next holiday!

The weather has played havoc with feed stocks already. Crop are yielding much lower and livestock are already munching their way through the winter feed as the the grass just stopped growing weeks ago. This has forced many beef and sheep farmers to sell stock early at lighter weights and as so many more are coming to the market prices have slumped so income from stock sales will be hit very hard and could be as much as 30% down.

Many farmers like ourselves have diversified into other activities and some of these demand different weather again. For us in tourism this year has been great as our guests have basked in Mediterranean heat with wall to wall sunshine. But spare us a thought on changeover days, running up and down that hill in 30 + degrees getting ready for the next guests, one constant job is checking the quality of the Ice cream sold in the shop. I need to sample a pot every few hours personally just to be sure!

So why not log on to all your social media today and see first hand what your farmers are upto.

Here are a few bits from us!

David

#Farm24 #Farmstayuk

A lot of time is spent in the office
working very hard!
Unloading lorry loads of straw by hand – better than going to the gym!
Checking on the sheep, who seem to have the right idea
Lovely weather to be a baby calf
The jobs are wide and varied, from PR to cleaning the bogs!

 

Will you marry me? Ice cream yes!!

If you love to shop you’re in for a surprise!

After a long wait our new little on site shop is now open for business, situated next to our new reception near the farmhouse. We are proud to stock some fabulous #LoveLocal Peak District goodies, including Coldeaton Ice Cream. Over the next few posts we will be highlighting some of our amazing artisan suppliers.

Todays featured artisan product is Coldeaton Jersey Ice Cream made locally on a farm near Ashbourne. The Peak District isn’t the seaside, but who can resist ice cream when you’re on holiday and the sun is shining?

Jersey cows

As farmers ourselves we have known the Stubbs family for generations and Jo Stubbs (sorry – now Burrows!) and husband Alex, produce the most amazing ice cream churned from milk from their own prize winning herd of Jersey cows.

Coldeaton Ice CreamWe stock a wide range of flavors, my favourite is the white chocolate and raspberry, where as Felicity is a mint choc chip girl. Other popular flavours are the chocolate indulgence and you can’t beat the plain Just Jersey Gold. Sold in handy 120ml pots with its own little spoon, perfect for a little treat any time of the day!

Jo, Alex and family are well known in the farming world as their pedigree Jersey cows win many major prizes at local agricultural shows. However in 2015 they hit the national press when Alex proposed in a very romantic and unusual way!

Jersey cow proposalAlex made a red blanket for their prize winning Jersey cow with the words “Will you marry me?”on one side, so when the Champion cow came into the show ring for the Grand Parade everyone could see, before he dropped down on one knee to officially propose in front of the huge crowd. This fabulous photo was captured by Ruth Downing of Rural Pictures.

It’s one of the most unusual proposals I have heard of and luckily Jo said YES! The couple now apply as much passion to making their delicious ice cream. Why not try some when you come to stay?

Hoe Grange shop What’s in the Shop

In the shop we currently stock Peak District Dairy milk, butter, and cream in the fridge. From the freezer Coldeaton Jersey ice cream, bacon, sausage, burgers, black pudding and Derbyshire Oatcakes, all frozen in handy pack sizes. Some basics including ground coffee, porridge pots, rapeseed oils and our own eggs when the girls are laying.

You might also like to buy a small present or two to take home with you from our selection of crafts, cards and watercolour prints. We are always on the lookout for other things to add to our stock, and would love to hear if you have any suggestions of things you think we should add.

There’s only one problem with stocking such scrumptious ice cream in the shop – we keep eating it!

David

Introducing Rose Hip, could this Gypsy caravan be our lucky charm?

At a recent local farm auction our heads ruled our hearts when we purchased this traditional Romany horse drawn caravan, which we have christened Rose hip!

This horseshoe top Gypsy caravan is known as an “open lock” which means it has no front door but a detachable canvas cover which zips open like a tent and can be completely removed in seconds.

At the time it needed a bit of work to bring it up to the high standards that our guests are used to, so I have been busy landscaping the area where it will sit. Meanwhile Felicity has been very busy adding some very intricate art work in a traditional style, making new soft furnishings and adding the finishing touches. 

The traditional layout has a raised double bed which slides out when required, with a large storage cupboard underneath. There are bench seats on each side with a small set of draws, which double up as a bedside shelf. There is a small foldable table and other little nooks and crannies are used for storage.

Two outdoor seats on the very front provide the perfect spot for sitting in the evening with a G&T or glass of wine whilst enjoying the uninterrupted views down the valley.

 

 

 

 

 

Although there are no cooking facilities in the caravan there is a fire pit/BBQ for authentic outdoor cooking. However if the weather is unkind or you just can’t be bothered there is a toaster, kettle and microwave in the new reception block in the yard. There is also a spacious shower room with underfloor heating, and we even provide a torch so you won’t trip up in the dark!

Don’t worry you are not completely without modern comforts as we have installed a 12 volt LED lighting system, phone charging point and the WI-FI reaches down to the site – although many of you may wish to be disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the digital world!

 

 

 

 

Be one of the first to experience this romantic bolt hole with views to die for!

See more details here

Book now Click here to see prices and availability.

Sorry no children or pets

David

 

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 

Tissington Well Dressings 2018

One of my favourite #LoveLocal Peak District events near Hoe Grange is Tissington Well Dressings. The dressing or decorating of water wells as a thanksgiving is an unusual Derbyshire tradition. The Well Dressings at Tissington are spectacular.

hall well smallThe gift of life through water is so often taken for granted, so it’s an amazing testament to the villagers that this ancient art is still thriving today.

When did Tissington Well Dressings begin?

No one really knows! The ancient art of well dressing goes so far back that it’s origins are a bit of a mystery. One plausible theory is that the tradition began in Tissington village just after the Black Death of 1348. The villagers were lucky to be spared the ravages of the plague, and their immunity was attributed to the purity of the water.ducklingsOthers believe the custom started later in 1615, after severe droughts throughout the area led to loss of cattle and crops, except at Tissington where water flowed freely from the 5 wells in the village.

What we do know is that this curious custom has been carried on for hundreds of years and the traditional techniques are passed on from one generation to the next.

Coffin well Tissington

How are the well dressings created?

Well dressing is a lengthy process, starting several weeks before Ascension Day when the backing boards are soaked in the village pond. The boards are then covered with a clay/salt mix and the design is traced onto them.

Designs are often have a biblical theme or pick up on national anniversaries. This year designs include 100 years of Votes for Women and the formation of the RAF. You can find last years well dressing designs on another blog.

Hands Well Tissington

Well Dressing Peter RabbitThen comes the intricate process of creating the outlines with cones from the Alder trees and coffee beans, before pressing individual flower petals to complete the picture.

The delicate petals have to be carefully layered like roof tiles so that any rain flows off.

Yew Tree Well TissingtonOther natural materials are used to add texture and contrast, such as twigs, wool, feathers, and small stones. Usually everything is natural, but this years design of Yew Tree Well makes reference to the world wide concern about plastic waste.

Dressing the wells can’t be done too far ahead as the flowers need to stay fresh for the full week. Town Well TissingtonIt’s wonderful how the whole village comes together to keep this special tradition very much alive. Everyone takes part in this annual celebration; young and old working together, digging clay, picking flowers, decorating the boards, or erecting the dressings at the various wells throughout the village.

Childrens Well

Blessing the wells

The Tissington Well Dressings celebrations begin on Ascension Day (celebrated on the 40th day of Easter, which is always a Thursday) with a procession blessing each well and a Church service at St.Mary`s.

Things to do

There is plenty of activity in the village throughout the week, you can pop into Edward and Vintage Sweet Shop for some flavoursome fudge, pick up a plant from Tissington Nursery, which is housed in the estate’s walled kitchen gardens, treat yourself to a beautiful hurricane candle, or some unique Dovedale ceramics from On A Wick and A Prayer candle workshop, stop off for an ice cream at Herbert’s Tea Rooms, or a delicious cream tea with scones to die for at Bassettwood Farm. 

If you’re not from around Derbyshire you have probably never heard of well dressings, but quirky events such as well dressing is what makes the Peak District a #uniquedistrict. The well dressings are on from today Thursday 10th May to Wednesday 16th May, so why not pop along this weekend to see for yourself?

We hope you like our photos, however seeing the wells in real life is so much better, but don’t get stuck in the stocks like I did!

Felicity 

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