The ultimate accessible holiday hideaway in the tranquil Derbyshire countryside.
Our break at Hoe Grange Holidays came just at the right time; after a really busy month at work for me, and just before Darren started his new job. We were joined by our friends Chris and Kate (thanks to Chris for all of the lovely photos in this post) and it’s fair to say we were all in need of some R&R!
Disclaimer: Hoe Grange Holidays provided my accommodation on a complimentary basis for the purposes of this review. This is an honest review and my opinions, as always, are entirely my own. This review is entirely based on my personal experience of staying at the Hoe Grange Holidays, as a manual wheelchair user who is able to transfer, and is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to accessibility at the accommodation.
Working in accessible travel, there are some providers that you hear recommended again and again, the real industry superstars. Naturally over the years I’ve spent a lot of time with the owners of these businesses at trade fairs, awards ceremonies and meetings, and I’m happy to say that Felicity and David Brown from Hoe Grange Holidays have become good friends of ours.
This wasn’t our first stay at Hoe Grange; that was back in 2014, which you can read about here. So much has changed since then, both in my life and at Hoe Grange, that it really does feel like a lifetime ago.
This was our first long-distance trip since getting my new Motability car. In March, after a long wait, I collected my new Mercedes GLA which I absolutely love! The boot is the perfect size for my wheelchair, and the car itself is really comfortable, which is crucial for me as I tend to get a lot of aches and pains on a long journey. Darren tells me it’s very nice to drive, and happily the traffic was kind to us on the journey over to Derbyshire.
If you’re searching for a new Motability car, check out the MotaClarity website – where you can search and compare the latest Motability cars and the best Advance Payment offers.
Hidden in the spectacular Peak District hills between Ashbourne and Bakewell, Hoe Grange Holidays offers four stylish self-catering log cabins, and two gorgeous glamping pods, all situated on a working farm.
We stayed in the Rainster cabin, which has two bedrooms (one with two single electric profile beds), a spacious accessible layout, and a wheel-in wet room shower with grab rails, adjustable sink and toilet rails, as well as a luxury whirlpool bath in the family bathroom.
Hipley and Daisybank cabins have similar layouts and accessible facilities, with Hipley’s wet room having been recently refurbished to include a Clos-o-Mat wash and dry toilet.
The larger Pinder cabin has three bedrooms, with a standard family bathroom and a hot tub on the outside deck. Accessibility in this cabin is suited to more mobile, active guests.
On arrival I was instantly reminded of why I fell in love with this place 5 years ago – a real home from home; the magical combination of tranquil, middle-of-nowhere surroundings, the cosiness of the ecological, ground-sourced heating, and the views of contented farm animals out of every window give a cocoon of calmness. The baby goats in the paddock behind our cabin were my absolute favourite, so cheeky and mischievous, a joy to watch.
The high-spec, integrated accessibility which doesn’t feel at all clinical really contributes to this relaxed feeling. Here is a place where you don’t need to worry about your needs being catered for, where so much thought and care has gone into inclusivity, and if you do find that you need something that isn’t already offered the owners will do their very best to help.
Little Extras (that make a big difference)
To complement the cabins, a huge amount of accessible equipment is available to borrow. Mobile hoists, rise and recline chairs, zimmer frames, wheelchairs, shower chairs, audible alarms, hearing loops and so much more.
Every guest’s welcome pack includes freshly baked oat biscuits and bread, as well as fresh eggs and milk from the farm, locally sourced coffee and eco-friendly, lavender scented toiletries.
And Hoe Grange isn’t just about log cabins. Other (less accessible) accommodation options include gorgeous glamping pods and a gypsey caravan. Pets are welcome, so welcome in fact that guests can bring their horse on holiday!
There’s an on-site shop which stocks a selection of local foods and gifts, from ice cream, bacon, sausages and burgers, to toiletries, greeting cards and candles.
When planning this trip I had great ambitions to visit a lot of places in the local area. Even though this was my 5th visit to the Peak District, there’s still so much I haven’t seen. However, fatigue intervened, which I think it’s important to be honest about; I run this blog alongside a full-time job, whilst living with Cerebral Palsy, and that means that I’m not always able to manage a packed itinerary when I go away.
If you’re considering at break at Hoe Grange and you’d like to know about local attractions, events, activities and eating and drinking, visit their Things to Do webpage.
For those who want to enjoy a more relaxed pace, there are plenty of accessible activities on and around the farm to be enjoyed.
My ultimate favourite is the Boma 7 all terrain wheelchair. When I first tried it in 2014 I was rather apprehensive and cautious, it was so different to any wheelchair I’d ever used! I had another go in 2016 (borrowing the Boma when I was staying at another local cottage) but this time, I felt really confident and able to get the best out of the off-road experience.
Literally bombing through the farm fields with Poppy dog running alongside me, and then on to the High Peak Trail (accessed directly from Hoe Grange) – there’s just no feeling quite like the freedom of being independent in such a rugged environment that is usually off-limits to wheelchair users.
All of that Peak District fresh air certainly works up an appetite! For a special Saturday night in that was a bit different, we hired a log fired pizza oven from Hoe Grange (from £25, pre-booking required). The pizza oven was brought to our log cabin along with logs, matches, pizza paddle, cutting wheel, homemade pizza dough, flour and passata – leaving us to shape our dough, add cheese and our favourite toppings, and a few drinks to wash them down!
Chef Chris did a brilliant job of cooking the pizzas, which were so delicious. We had more than enough dough, in fact we took some leftovers home for lunch the next day.
It was so lovely to rediscover Hoe Grange Holidays all over again. This trip taught me that not every weekend away has to be about packing in as much as possible, sometimes, slowing down and just appreciating what is around you is really special.
For any accessibility information that I haven’t already covered, watch this video that I recorded with Felicity during my stay.