• dew pond at Hoe Grange Farm
    hoe grange blog posts

Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.

The Four Shires Bloodhounds meet at Hoe Grange

January 14, 2024
January 14, 2024 - The Four Shires Bloodhounds meet at Hoe Grange
-Older

January weather is usually cold and frosty, but this winter has been extremely mild and following the heavy rainfall the fields have dried up, which meant it was perfect weather for The Four Shires Bloodhounds meet here at Hoe Grange.

Four SHires Bloodhounds

The Four Shires Bloodhound Hunt is so called as it covers the shires of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. It attracts riders of all abilities and ages who enjoy cross country riding whilst tracking the scent of a human runner. Welcoming all, the hunt have a second field for novices and less confident riders who prefer to take the course gently and avoid the jumps.

The Bloodhounds


Did you know that Bloodhounds have a highly developed sense of smell? Unbelievably it’s up to 800 times greater than that of humans, and their long droopy ears help them couple the scent to their nostrils, which is why they make such superb hunting animals. Bloodhounds were originally bred for hunting deer and wild boar, and have been used since the Middle Ages for tracking people.

The breed is famed for its ability to distinguish human scent over great distances, even days later!

The Quarry

The human runner or “quarry” is usually Paddy Wright, who is a Derbyshire Cross Country Champion and fitness instructor. Being a runner over our steep, hilly Peak District terrain is not for the faint hearted and you certainly need to be extremely fit to keep ahead of the hounds! The runner gets instructions on the prearranged route from the huntsmen. Having a defined trail means the hunt can avoid fields with crops or animals.

hunt runner

Luckily bloodhounds are large but very gentle-natured and despite their name the runner suffers nothing more than a few licks when they catch up!

Hunting the clean boot

Hunting with bloodhounds is often referred to as hunting the "clean boot", although the runners’ shoes are definitely far from clean by the end of the day!

This differs from a drag hunt where a very strong scent is laid which often means the hounds tend to race along at great speed. When the blood hounds are following a human they have to work the scent to distinguish it from other smells and are therefore slower. Once they get the scent they start singing - it’s an amazing sound to hear them in full cry.

bloodhounds

The cross country course

The course averages 12 or 15 miles and is a pre-planned route so that the hunt can avoid worrying sheep and cattle or damaging crops. The runner can also adapt the route if he spots any unforeseen dangers. The route is split up into shorter sections called lines to allow the huntsmen to collect the hounds, ensure all the horses have caught up and allows the runner to get ahead.

Master of the Four Shires Bloodhounds

People often think that Bloodhounds started being used after the ban on fox hunting. This is certainly not the case. The Bloodhounds have been hunting across the Derbyshire countryside for many years. The famous Mitford sisters enjoyed hunting following bloodhounds and it is only fitting that Duchess of Devonshire is the current President of the Four Shires Bloodhounds.

I didn't join in the hunt and ride Oliver as he gets over excited with the baying hounds! Hounds, horses and humans all love a good day out in the countryside as you can see from the photos on our Facebook page.

Felicity

hunting with bloodhounds


in the press

our farm

our environment

View our accommodation...

Contact us or book direct online to avoid disappointment

Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  • star rating  Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    August 7, 2019

    star rating  Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    July 4, 2019

    star rating  A beautiful place to stay! Amazingly run family business! Everyone were very welcoming, friendly and cozy! The skylark pod we stayed in was very clean, cozy and well equipped! The... read more

    sophiee249
    January 2, 2020
  • star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    dghiggs61
    October 25, 2019

    star rating  Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    548julie
    September 14, 2019

    star rating  For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    EJYork2013
    June 25, 2019
  • star rating  lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    July 28, 2019

    star rating  We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more

    Ajtravels14
    February 3, 2020

    star rating  We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    Big_Al_0000
    July 16, 2019
  • star rating  It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    ElizabethA717
    September 21, 2019

    star rating  What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    rachelthomas2015
    June 18, 2019

    star rating  Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    mickvfr
    July 28, 2019
  • star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    October 25, 2019

    star rating  Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    August 3, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more

    Tiggywinkle15
    November 5, 2019
  • star rating  What a wonderful find. As our first experience of needing accessible accommodation we could not have wished for better. Beautiful well equipped lodges in lovely surroundings. We stayed in both... read more

    L9943KBlesleym
    April 3, 2020

    star rating  We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    Catboy86
    August 17, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    KBarry
    September 15, 2019
  • star rating  Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    Thesamps
    October 4, 2019

    star rating  We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    June 4, 2019

    star rating  On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    karenmD4738KD
    June 25, 2019
  • star rating  We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    Jdrichie12
    July 11, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    September 17, 2019

    star rating  Felicity and David made us feel very welcome right from our booking. The pods are well equipped and spotlessly clean. The area is very peaceful with great views and we... read more

    Adventurer_12121
    January 30, 2020
  • star rating  We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    plopster1
    June 7, 2019

    star rating  Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    Peachey167
    July 16, 2019

    star rating  Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    krimpenijssel
    October 25, 2019
  • star rating  What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    Wheelieuser
    June 13, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Skylark, one of the two glamping pods available at Hoe Grange in February 2020.

    Felicity & David welcomed us when we arrived to show us around... read more

    HelenLCarter
    February 6, 2020

    Join our mailing list