Category Archives: Off-road wheelchair

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

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

Changing Places Awareness Day

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

What are Changing Places ?

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

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

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

When you’ve got to go…

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

Creating awareness

Changing Places Awareness Day

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

Gillian raring to go, complete with selfie glasses!

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

off-road challengeChesterfield Proact StadiumArriving safely at Chesterfield Proact Stadium

Where’s the nearest Changing Place?

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

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

A walk along Cromford Canal

Unlock the key

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

Mobile Changing Places Unit

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

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

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

Felicity 

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

Disabled Access Day at Hoe Grange

Just a few highlights from our open day celebrating Disabled Access Day.

Disabled Access DayDisabled Access Day is sponsored by Euan’s Guide: a really useful listing and review site that helps disabled people and their families know which venues are truly accessible.

Disabled Access Day came about after Paul Ralph, a powerchair user, went to a ‘try it out day’ at his local bus company: the open day reassured him how ticketing worked and if his powerchair would fit on the bus. This positive experience gave Paul the idea to organise the first Disable Access Day in 2015 to encourage disabled people to get out and try something new.

This year as part of our 10th anniversary celebrations we decided to take part and invited Canine Partners to bring some their assistance dogs along too. We had an excellent turn out with Andy Pollock visiting us in his official capacity as Mayor of Wirksworth. Andy used to be a Ranger, based at Middleton Top on the High Peak Trail, and helped us along the way by leading our annual Roman and Railway Ramble as part of the Peak District Walking Festival. His extensive knowledge of the archeological features of the local landscape and his identification of birds and flora always made the walks fascinating.

Mayor Andy Pollock and other doggy guests
The Mayor of Wirksworth, Andy Pollock, and other doggy guests

Alongside The Mayor Andy, another Andy came along to support Disabled Access day. Andrew and his Canine Partners dog Garfield (I know Garfield should be a cat!) who have stayed several times at Hoe Grange and enjoyed our accessible log cabins. We were always impressed with the skills that Garfield demonstrated and how he helps Andrew with everyday tasks, making life easier. Garfield and  other working dogs who have been on holiday here gave us the idea of raising funds to train an assistance dog to celebrate our 10th anniversary year.

Who could resist?
Who could resist?
"Rio"
“Rio”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felicity’s cakes went down a storm, the Boma 7 off-road wheelchair was extremely popular, but the stars of the show were without doubt Garfield and the Canine Partners dogs, particularly Rio the demonstration dog, a gorgeous handsome GoldenDoodle.

Guests find out about the Boma and Canine Partners
Guests find out about the Boma and Canine Partners

Rio and his friends demonstrated their skills, which include everyday tasks such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and fetching help in an emergency. They can even help people to get undressed and remove a card from an ATM!

Assistance dog helps to undress
Rio gives trainer Laura a helping hand to undress.

Canine PartnersFind out more about Canine Partners and how these amazing dogs really can transform lives. Alternatively, discover our disabled holiday accommodation.

Felicity

Slow Travel in The Peak District

In today’s fast moving technological world we sometimes forget to slow down and take time to enjoy and explore the world around us.

Bradt SLow Guide to The Peak DistrictHowever help is at hand from the latest Bradt Slow Travel Guide which celebrates our fabulous Peak District.This captivating and extensive guide is the perfect travel companion detailing where to taste the region’s best produce, which accommodation offers character and colour (naturally featuring our Hoe Grange Holidays self-catering log cabins!), travel tips on how to make the most of your stay and some fascinating facts surrounding the quirky traditions and stories of local folks.

Bradt’s Slow Travel Peak District brings a new perspective to this much-loved area. Slow down and let expert local author Helen Moat guide you to not just all the well-known places, but away from the crowds to uncover the hidden corners of the Peak District. The author’s love of interesting and colourful stories is linked to the natural and manmade features of the area, highlighting the quirky and unusual, places and points of interest off the beaten tourist track, from dales to abandoned mills, historical ruins, strange follies and irresistible pubs.

Author Helen MoatHelen moved to the Peak District in 1999 and has over time come to realise that “you could live a lifetime in the Peak District and still not cover every bridleway, packhorse route or public footpath. This book is only a taster – and hopefully an inspiration for your own exploration.

Writing Slow Travel Peak District has allowed me to engage with the Slow philosophy as never before: to look up, look down and catch the detail; to stand and stare and ponder; to wander down hidden dells or jitties. I’ve learned to stop and chat with strangers: National Trust volunteers, foodies, twitchers, ramblers,climbers and river swimmers, to name but a few – and found them eager to share their knowledge of and passion for the Peak District. I’ve learned to read the landscape, from the ruin on the hilltop to the tell-tale rise of an Iron Age hillfort or an abandoned mill. I’ve learned the songs of birds and to scan the hillsides for signs of life. It has been a life-enriching experience.”

As part of her research for the guide Helen visited us at Hoe Grange and loved our cosy log cabins nestled in the undulating limestone hills.

“This pretty, immaculate farm, set in rolling countryside below the High Peak Trail offers four spacious log cabins, three sleeping four and one sleeping six. Owners, Felicity and David, have worked hard to reduce the business’s carbon footprint with solar panels and wind turbine, supplying much of the farm’s energy requirements. The couple are fastidious in their attention to detail and in their care of visitors, personally greeting guests on arrival, and welcoming them with homegrown flowers, home-made biscuits and bread, along with free-range eggs from the farm. The lantern lit barrel-shaped sauna and wood-fuelled hot tub on the edge of the farm also add a nice touch for total relaxation under the stars at the end of a busy day . But it’s the award-winning ‘access for all’ accommodation, along with stabling for horse owners that makes this accommodation special. A few hundred yards up through fields will take walkers, cyclists and horse riders onto the High Peak Trail, with stunning views of the countryside. There’s even a Boma 7 all-terrain wheelchair for guests with limited mobility.”

Whether following Helen’s favourite walks and bike rides, venturing into hidden dales, caves and ravines, ambling through the national park’s charming villages or biting into a freshly baked Bakewell Pudding, you’ll find the Slow Travel The Peak District  goes far beyond conventional guide books in celebrating our special region and is an invaluable source of information – I can’t put my copy down!

Why not order your own copy of Bradt’s new Slow Travel Peak District guidebook?

For an exclusive 20% discount visit www.bradtguides.com and enter the code HOEGRANGE at the checkout.

Happy reading!

Felicity

Fame for Fudge

Out Now! The 2016 Peak District Visitor Guide, A quality lifestyle type brochure featuring the best places to visit and stay in the area.visit Peak District guide coverBut this years edition has the added benefit of a picture of the cutest Jack Russel in the world – our Fudge!VPD visitor guide
Page 40 highlights the best accessible places to eat, visit or stay in the Peak District showing how, not only do we live in the best National park, it is also the most accessible. and what better way to explore than on the Hoe Grange Boma 7

Fudge also says that we must not forget we also have the best walkies in the world with a good number of squirrels to add to the excitement. check out our Dog Friendly page for walks and dog friendly pubs.

Order your copy of this years guide here, but don’t book anywhere else but Hoe Grange!!

David

 

10 years and we are going to the dogs!

It doesn’t seem like it, but in a few weeks time it will be 10 years since we welcomed our first ever guests. I can well remember two very nervous hosts showing in our first visitors  Mr and Mrs Clews and their friends Mr and Mrs Fox, who brought 2 horses with them.

A couple of weeks later we welcomed Mr and Mrs Fosby, who was a our first wheelchair using guest. Little did we know how large a part both of these type of guests would play in shaping the business we have today.

We have met some extraordinary people over the past 10 years, many who have become good friends and appear at astonishingly regular intervals. Our most regular guests being Neville, Val, Bob and Thelma who have been nearly 30 times and have another 3 holidays booked for 2016!

lambs cowAnimals have played a huge part in our success. Our dogs, Twix, Crunchie and Fudge get more mentions in the guest book than we do, also the horses, chickens, sheep and even the odd (very odd!) calf “Austin”.

 

 

We have welcomed 100’s of horses over the years, and even a cat or two, but what has impressed us the most are the fantastic assistance dogs we see on a regular basis. These superbly trained dogs make difficult lives that little bit better, and at the same time provide comfort and companionship like no other!

We want to celebrate our 10 years by doing something special, so we have decided to  raise enough money to buy and train a Canine Partners assistance puppy! Our target is £5000 over the next 12 months and we have some exciting plans to make this happen.

I think you may meet this little fella at one of our events
I think you may meet this little fella at one of our events!

When booking online you can choose to donate £5 or more by selecting the drop down menu and there are collecting tins in the cabins for your loose change.

We took part in a photo shoot for a charity calendar in association with Molten Rock the manufacturers of the magnificent  Boma 7 off-road wheelchair with 1/12th of the proceeds going to our fund. Order your copy here!

In February we are holding a charity cinema evening showing my favorite film “Hot  fuzz” where guests will dress appropriately and join in with the film, we will of course be selling Cornettos that night!

On Friday 11th March we have an open day from 11am to 3pm to celebrate Disabled Access Day – come and join us for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April we have invited owners of Boma 7’s from across the country to get together for a fun off-road challenge across our farm fields, followed by an afternoon coutnryside walk/Boma trek.

On Friday May 6th our neighbour, super star Vicki Lambert, has kindly agreed to sing for her supper as Dusty Springfield – she has an amazing voice and I guarantee she will make it a fun evening and get you all dancing and singing along.

For the more active in July we will be hosting a cream tea walk for the Erewash Ramblers and there will be a reindeer walk nearer Christmas. Who knows what else we will get up to?

We would love for you all to be involved with as many of the activities as possible and help us to achieve our target, and help change someone’s life. Maybe you would benefit from an assistance dog? Find out what a Canine Partners assistance dog could do for you and how to apply.

We will be keeping you up to date with our progress here on the blog and on our Facebook page – watch this space!

David

Canine Partners

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

Super Sunday in the sunshine

David and I took our Boma 7 off-road wheelchair along to Lea Green Outdoor Activity Centre for Super Sunday.

What is Super Sunday I hear you ask?

A fabulous day of family fun organised specifically for children with disabilities and additional needs, so they could try adventurous activities, crafts, dance and drama and generally have a wonderful day away from the stigmas of everyday life.

off-road wheelchair fun
Bling from Sandcastle Waterpark with the Boma 7

The day was all the more enjoyable due to the glorious September sunshine and the taste of delicious ice cream from local dairy farm Matlock Meadows.

Amco and Network Rail organiser Valerie Rogers teamed up with Accessible Derbyshire to put on the Super Sunday fun day once again and to promote accessibility across Derbyshire, providing valuable information for parents and carers on what Derbyshire and the wider Peak District has to offer.
A large proportion of the sponsorship was raised by AMCO and Network Rail staff losing weight in a “Slim for Health” challenge.

The smile on the children’s faces said it all, and the sound of laughter echoed across the fields, as everyone enjoyed the exciting accessible activities on offer. There was something for everyone to try, from the high adrenalin zip wire, high ropes, team swing, and wheelchair abseiling, to fun circus skills, fabulous face painting and creative crafts.

Team swing

High climbing twoer

off-road wheelchair over bumpy ground
taking the bumps with ease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Boma 7 off-road wheelchair proved very popular, trekking up the steep slopes to the wood and back over the bumpy lumpy humps! Bling from Sandcastle Waterpark joined in the fun and soon got to grips with the controls showing how easy this rugged all-terrain wheelchair is to operate, even whilst waving to the children!

Gillian Scotford from Accessible Derbyshire was delighted with the support and attendance of the event: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to work in partnership with AMCO and Network Rail on reviving the extremely popular Super-Sunday event which means so much to so many families. On their behalf that we want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone involved for making such a fun packed day truly accessible for all ages and abilities”.

Ask us for details of the exciting accessible outdoor activities on offer in our area which you can enjoy whilst staying with us at Hoe Grange – we’re here to help!

Felicity