You can enjoy yourself on holiday in the country reassured by the fact that you are contributing to reducing climate change and leaving a low carbon footprint.
Farm Stay members David and Felicity Brown of Hoe Grange Holidays in The Peak District Derbyshire have been selected as one of four finalists for the Best Business Initiative category in the Climate Week Awards to be held on Tuesday 4th March at the Excel Centre, London, as part of the launch event for Climate Week 2014.
Instigated by Kevin Steele in 2011, Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. Culminating in a week of activities from 3rd to 9th March 2014, it showcases practical solutions from every sector of society that help people live and work more sustainably.
Hoe Grange Holidays is very much a sustainable business, combining a range of renewables to offer low-carbon holidays. David and Felicity Brown have strived to minimise use of fossil fuels; 75% of energy needs are produced on site with a 10kw wind turbine, solar power enhanced with a tracking system, heat pumps and zero waste to landfill. Together these initiatives have reduced carbon output by over 21 tonnes per year.
Renewable energies harnessed together
Just as important as these measures is the fact that the Browns openly share their passion with holiday guests and local businesses giving guidance on practical steps to achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.
Warm & cosy - heated by ground source system
David Brown commented “We are delighted to be finalists in these prestigious national awards. We hope our actions not only inspire guests and businesses alike to find out more about climate change and what can be done to reduce energy and waste, but also how to adapt to change”.
Felicity added “Climate Week is a great opportunity for us all to concentrate on reducing the amount of energy we waste in our homes and workplaces every day. We believe small improvements can be as important as big innovations and can really make a difference. Come and stay with us in the Derbyshire hills and we will show you how”.
What will you try for Climate Week? Find out more about local events and how to take part in the Climate Week Challenge; a competition for teams of 4 to 6 people, which gives experience of tackling real-life environmental issues to a deadline, at www.climateweek.com
In case you hadn’t noticed we have had a lot of rain, which may have put you off a UK holiday. However, despite all the water we’ve had of late there are still plenty of reasons to book a break with Farm Stay, as there are tons of things you can do with the kids!
In today’s blog, Farm Stay UK takes a look at some great tips for families who want to stay in the UK for their next holiday but who may be a little lost as to what they can do when the skies open up!
Stately Homes and Castles
The UK has an array of stately homes and castles, which offer a brilliant day out rain or shine. Cardiff Castle and Edinburgh Castle are great examples of castles with very elegant interiors. However, for a more romantic setting you’ve got Chatsworth House or Belnheim Palace to consider!
Theatre and the UK has had a long standing relationship. After all one of the most famous writers in the world came from Stratford-upon-Avon. There are great matinee performances throughout the UK at small and large theatres alike, such as the Birmingham’s Rep or Manchester’s Royal Exchange.
If you want a bit of warm and what is effectively an indoor countryside experience, then you shouldn’t miss some of the best botanical gardens in the world! You can chill amongst tropical plants in the glasshouses of Kew Gardens. Edinburgh has a wonderful botanical gardens and of course if you want to really excite the kids and you’re in Cornwall then you should get on over to the Eden Project!
If you’re with friends then a day out shopping can be a wonderful way to avoid the rain! With so many sizeable shopping centres it really doesn’t matter what the weather’s doing. Glasgow’s Merchant City is a great place to seek out designer bargains and of course the Bullring in Birmingham can offer every shopper a great day out!
Spas and swimming pools
When it rains outside one of the best things you can do is pamper yourself with a spa or even a family swim. Splashdown Water Park in Poole offers some wonderful slides for the kids and adults to enjoy, while you can get a more relaxed atmosphere at Thermae Bath Spa – which is Britian’s only natural thermal spa!
Museums and galleries
If your children are a little older then a visit to a museum or gallery might be the answer. We have a wealth of cultural treasures in the UK if you’re willing to take a look. The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead offers a cultural experience, while you can get a hook on Scottish history at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Caves and Caverns
Who said you can’t be outside when it rains? Okay not quite outside but you can head underground and see the spooky caves at Wookey Hole or enjoy the Cheddar Gorge Caves. These are wonderful things to see and children will be enthralled by the experience. Another more unusual outing might be the gigantic hydroelectric power station at Dinorwig in Snowdonia! If you’re in Derbyshire and the Brecon Beacons or Devon you may want to consider some pot holing if you’re feeling adventurous!
Being close to water needn’t result in getting wet! Britain boasts some truly amazing aquariums. There are actually numerous Sea Life Centres in the UK, including Edinburgh and Weymouth and The Deep in Hull has over 30 exhibits and 40 rather amazing sharks!
Indoor Entertainment Centres
If you want a mix of entertainment under one roof then you might like the Xscape Centre in Milton Keynes. It has a bowling alley, climbing wall, cinema, great ski slope and even a parachute simulator! Any child would be excited at the prospect of all of those!
Rain needn’t put a downer on your holiday plans and with Farm Stay you can get out and about for the day and come back to a country cottage or bed and breakfast that’s warm, welcoming and a lot of fun!
Why not take a look at our accommodation search and find your perfect break with Farm Stay?
In case you haven’ t seen it, Farmhouse Breakfast Week has been in full-swing in the UK and Farm Stay members have been doing everything to get involved.
Farmhouse Breakfast week is a celebration that champions the importance of breakfast and is run on behalf of arable farmers everywhere. It started on the 26th of January and ends on the 1st of February, so there’s still time to do something if you want to! The effort to get the nation to ‘Shake Up Their Wake Up’ highlights the fact that 47% of people skip breakfast regularly and that it’s far better to enjoy a healthy breakfast by eating what’s good for you each morning.
Cheshire Farm Stay opened their doors at four of their properties to serve cooked breakfasts, afternoon teas, bacon baps, coffee and cakes and had a massive success in raising over £1000 for charity.
There was also a big breakfast event at Bucklawren Farm where some tasty breakfasts were lovingly cooked by Farm Stay members in an event that raised over £3,000 by serving 280 people! Over the years, they’ve actually raised well over £30,000 for charity through Farmhouse Breakfast events so definitely deserve a mention!
The picture from L to R is Sheryl Murray, MP for South East Cornwall; Barbara Sleep; Robert and Jean Henly
Farmers in the UK dedicate their time and energies into producing good quality foods for the nation to eat, so it’s great to see an initiative that promotes that, and of course it’s equally great to see our members getting involved.
For anyone that reads our blog and who follows our news via our Facebook page, you’ll know that recently we drew a winner in our Winter Photo Competition. Therefore, in today’s blog we not only wanted to officially congratulate winner Jeremy Andrews but we also wanted to feature just some of the wonderful photographs that were sent in to us. They really were amazing!
The competition was all about why the UK is such a great holiday destination in the winter time and we asked people to send in photographs that highlighted our beautiful countryside to the full and they didn’t disappoint!
However, having so many excellent entries really caused us a problem because it was so difficult for us to choose a winner! This is why it seems only fitting that we not only highlight the winner but spend a bit of time acknowledging the effort that everyone made during the competition.
We will be holding more competitions in 2014 and should you be looking for a great holiday in the UK make sure you take a look at what Farm Stay has to offer via our accommodation search!
Jeremy Andrews took a stunning photograph of rolling fields covered with snow in Mid-Wales and we absolutely loved it, which is why he was awarded the £100 in Farm Stay vouchers.
Well done Jeremy for such a great photo and do let us know where you end up with your vouchers!
Other favourites have included;
This very Christmassy photo from Bobby Green. Many Farm Stay properties are pet-friendly so it was lovely to see a cosy scene for Christmas complete with sleeping dog!
Snow was high on the agenda for many (well you can’t have a real winter without seeing some snow right?) and we particularly enjoyed Claire Nelson’s entry seen here:
Fiona Haward produced a gorgeous shot of this rather lovely Red Highland, looking very warm indeed! We have a lot of Farm Stay properties in Scotland and these beauties can be found roaming fairly regularly!
And where would any ‘Farm’ be without some sheep? This photo from Raymond JP Watson depicting some inquisitive and apparently photogenic sheep is a smashing effort!
If you want to see all the other entries that were posted to the competition, take a look at our Facebook page where you can see them in all their glory!
Again, many thanks to all those who entered and sent in some amazing pictures…you were all worthy winners and we do hope you’ll enter again next time around!
While we would probably all agree that booking a holiday gives you a great feeling, choosing where you want to go in the UK is more difficult than you might think. After all there are so many great places to explore you may not even know where to start!
Perhaps you want to try the Peak District or after years of hearing how great it really is, you’d like to book a break to the Lake District in 2014. Whatever location you end up choosing, it’s then time to choose where you want to stay, but that’s actually the easiest thing to do with Farm Stay UK.
We have holiday cottages, farm houses, bed & breakfasts and even camping options at Farm Stay, giving you every single opportunity to find the perfect holiday for you, you and your partner, the family and even your best friends.
In 2014, Farm Stay UK is offering you even more, choice and some authentic countryside experiences you won’t find anywhere else. The great thing about the way we do things here is that you get to stay in properties that are run by people in the know! Our Farm Stay members put a lot of time and effort into creating breaks that embrace everything about the countryside you may not find anywhere else. Whether that’s insider knowledge of a particular area, or the best way to see the views when you get to your destination, it’s the personal touch that really counts.
Farm Stay UK has cottages and holiday properties all over the UK and that means you can find somewhere that’s close to some of the UK’s most popular places and attractions. From the Eden Project through to Alton Towers, you’ll find somewhere that’ll make your 2014 break special.
You’ve only got to check out our Facebook page and Twitter accounts to see how many people love the Farm Stay experience. Why not join the Farm Stay family and book your next break with us? Try our accommodation search now and see where you might end up this year, creating memories that will last a lifetime – or at least until the next holiday break you come back to Farm Stay for!
Farm Stay offers a unique range of holiday accommodation, from traditional cottages, converted cattle sheds, chapels, and coach houses to cosy Scandinavian log cabins, there is something to suit everyone. Some of our rural hideways offer unusual additional facilities enabling you to make the most of your holiday whatever the time of year.
Winter warmer - new barrel sauna at Hoe Grange Holidays
Hoe Grange Holidays in the Heart of the Derbyshire countryside brings a little piece of Scandinavia to The Peak District. In addition to the cosy timber log cabins and the Swedish style log-fired wooden hot tub there is now a brand new Barrel sauna, with its own log fire with heat retaining stones to get things really steamy! With room for up to 6 guests at a time this is bound to be a popular new facility, enabling guests to truly relax, unwind and get back to nature.
A great way to start the New Year – book a short break at Hoe Grange and treat yourself to an amazing relaxing experience.
log fired sauna bliss
The winter holiday is often something that is not always considered, in favour of the more classic summer break or beach holiday. However, winter holidays in the UK offer a chance to do things a bit differently and often allow you to make real time for fun with family and friends.
Any time this winter you can enjoy some great rest and relaxation with Farm Stay UK and relish that time with your family and friends in a beautiful countryside setting or on a working farm.
Farm Stay UK has member properties throughout the UK and hosts that are always ready to make your stay a great one. So whether you want a cosy cottage for two in the Peak District or you prefer a family break on a real working farm you’ll find we have the answer.
With a great choice of bed and breakfasts and self-catering options you’ll find the luxury and traditional are easy to find on a Farm Stay break, which keeps everyone happy.
The greatest thing about a countryside break in the UK has to be the multitude of activities you can partake in. Yes, even in the winter time you can spend some time horse riding, cycling or enjoying a swim in an indoor pool and you can throw in a spot of fishing if you feel like it. It’s all there, waiting for you …
Everyone has a different picture of what a winter break is about and Farm Stay knows more than most that sometimes you will want time out. That’s why we’re proud of our members who know everything there is to know about their area. You just can’t get this kind of service from a standard hotel, which is maybe why so many people choose a Farm Stay break in the first place.
If you have a winter break over half-term, why not take the kids on a Farm Stay break and get them out and about enjoying the countryside. You may even find it a brilliant excuse to shed a few pounds in the New Year – saving you from a dreaded diet!
Booking through Farm Stay UK
Finding your perfect winter holiday is so easy! Simply look through our website and browse or if you want something highly specific then use our accommodation search and find your ideal break, complete with the facilities you want with just a few clicks!
Why not book today and plan some time for you this winter!
We firmly believe that the UK has so much to offer you on a holiday – no matter what time of year it is. So to celebrate all that is great about a winter break in the UK, Farm Stay UK has launched the winter photo competition!
All you have to do is grab your camera and take a photo of your ideal winter scene in the UK and simply upload it to our Facebook page!
Whether that’s a photo of the night sky, the northern lights in Scotland, a misty meadow on a winter morning or the entire family jumping into their favourite puddle, the choice is completely yours! In fact, the more original and inspiring the better!
Farm Stay will then judge all entries and give £100 of Farm Stay UK holiday vouchers to one lucky person, which can be used for any holiday of their choice.
Our competition is all about sharing our beautiful landscape and showing the world how great the UK is as a holiday destination!
Let’s face it we’ve got such diversity in our countryside that we’re spoiled for choice really!
The competition is running now until Sunday 5th January 2014, so don’t forget to make the most of your photo opportunities to be in with a chance of winning!
Winter wonderland at Stoneleigh Park
Terms & Conditions
1. You can enter as many times as you wish
2. Photos must belong to you
3. By entering you give Farm Stay UK permission to use your photograph in marketing and promotional material and the Farm Stay UK website, including the blog.
4. The winner will receive £100 in Farm Stay UK vouchers to use at a Farm Stay property.
5. There is no cash alternative to the prize.
6. You must be 16 or over to enter the competition
7. The closing date for entries is Midnight on Sunday 5th of January 2014. Any photos entered after this date will not be included in the competition.
8. Farm Stay UK will choose a winner from all the entries and announce that winner on the Farm Stay UK Facebook wall by 10th January 2014.
9. Images must be taken in the UK
10. The competition is open to the general public but excludes Farm Stay employees and anyone connected to the Farm Stay brand (including property owners).
The Gloucestershire Cotswolds and the Royal Forest of Dean are famous for their picturesque Christmas markets and Santa Special’s Steam train rides! Why not book a pre-Christmas short break at one of our lovely cosy Farm Stay Holiday Cottages or B&B’s and get well and truly into the Christmas spirit!
Guests who visit Farm Stay member Hunting Hall Farm near Holy Island in North Northumberland will be able to explore a wonderful haven for wildlife. Throughout the past 25 years Tom and Karen Burn have been working to help wildlife on their 278 acre family farm. They have recently been presented with the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Farming and Land Management Award for Excellence, the second time they’ve won this category. Earlier this year they were proud to receive a ‘highly commended’ in the RSPB Nature of Farming Awards.
To help visitors explore the beautiful farm countryside, Karen and Tom worked with a teenage environmental group to create a farm trail. This lovely walk meanders through organic meadows, small woodlands, ponds and past beautiful areas of wildflowers, a haze of blue borage, sunflowers and fluttering butterflies. Karen and Tom have created an organic community orchard on the farm for the local village. Here, hard paths wind between very young heritage fruit trees, herbs and flowers, to a sheltered seating area. There is also a disabled access path at Hunting Hall leading to a pond with a bird hide and pond dipping platform, the perfect place for a quiet evening stroll or afternoon adventures with a fishing net.
Close to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the farm is a wonderful base for wildlife watchers. You’ll see wading birds, geese or grey seals sunning themselves on sandbanks around the island, or you can visit the Farnes to see the nesting sea bird colony or brightly coloured Puffins.
To complement the farm’s environmental work there are two award-winning green holiday cottages at Hunting Hall; Newt Cottage 4 star gold and The Fuffins 5 star gold. Guests can discover the luxury of deep feather duvets dressed in scrumptious organic cotton bed linen or enjoy tea and homemade cake from the generous welcome pack in front of a cosy open fire.
In the picture-postcard farmyard you’ll see Tom’s rare breed pigs, hens, geese and even a peacock. The farm’s organic sheep are sold to a butcher, George Payne, and his redcurrant & mint sausage using Hunting Hall organic lamb recently won the prestigious Smithfield Award for best English Lamb Product.
It’s been a super award-winning year for this very green farm! Find out more at www.huntinghall.co.uk or contact Karen Burn 01289 388652