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.
Entering the Empress ballroom at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool for this year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence was a wonderful trip down memory lane. Can you believe it was 32 years ago that an apprehensive young farmer nervously asked a clothing studies student to dance at The Young Farmers Christmas Ball in the very same room?
Little did we know then that all these years later we would return to the place we first met for such a successful evening. We thought the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence venue was a good omen for us and that certainly proved to be the case; a fabulous double celebration winning both the Gold Award for Access for All and the Silver Award for Sustainable Tourism! Here we are with both our awards which were presented by VisitBritain Marketing Manager and Sponsors Barclays.
The whole evening was an amazing experience. On entering the Winter Gardens we were ushered into the world’s largest indoor illumination experience which blends traditional Chinese lantern crafts with the latest in lighting technology, and sparkling 3D effects. It was incredible and definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Blackpool.
Of all the Illuminasia halls my favourite was the "Land of the Giants", which made you feel like Alice in Wonderland after she has drunk the potion, and there before our very eyes was an enormous Jack Russel dog just like our own Fudge, and even wearing a blue collar. Look at the pop up banner in the foreground and you can see just how big "Fudge" was.
After a delicious 4 course dinner the suspense and waiting were finally over and our VisitEngland Awards for Excellence were announced. We were absolutely thrilled and delighted to receive, not just one, but two of the top awards.
Returning home with both the Gold Award for Access for All and the Silver Award for Sustainable Tourism was incredible. To be recognised as one of the top businesses for two national awards makes all our hard work worthwhile and is also due to our dedicated staff and most importantly to you, our guests.
Look who we also bumped into in the bar - Countryfile presenters Adam Henson and John Craven. VisitEngland awarded the accolade "Outstanding Contribution to Tourism" to the Countryfile team for the programme’s contribution to raising awareness of England’s rural tourism offer.
To round off an excellent evening we sneaked up onto the balcony to take in the atmosphere and hold hands as if we were 21 again!
Although you'll laugh at this - we nearly didn't bring the Gold trophy home!! Felicity decided she wanted to take a photo of the trophy with the Blackpool Pleasure beach roller coaster in the background as our hotel window overlooked the “Big One”. She placed the award on the stool in front of the open doors - great arty photo shot for our social media she thought.
What happened next? She picked up the camera and turned back horrified as the award went tumbling out through the window - which was bad enough, but we were on the third floor!
Double celebrations turned into double trouble! How to break the news to David that his prized Gold Award was lying on the gravel at the base of the “Big One” and how to get it back as it was not even in the hotel grounds!
Luckily the trophy wasn't made of glass and being a VisitEngland high quality product it survived the impact intact. A big sigh of relief and thanks to the hotel staff who kindly retrieved it for us. After all our hard work we honestly didn't mean to throw it away.
An amazing night to remember - 32 years on and 32 years still going strong!
David and Felicity
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
What can I say?
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
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