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Happy Christmas Holidays (and not a flake of snow in sight!)

Over the last three years Christmas has been a rather magical affair – snow has arrived days before the big day as though pre-booked by guests seeking a wonderful winter wonderland experience. The woodland hues of browns and greens give way to gleaming white and the dark, reflective mill ponds take on a translucent opacity as they freeze and turn to ice. Families with young children have revelled in the joy that the white stuff brings – sledging, snow balling and rolling snowmen have created Christmas memories sure to last a lifetime.

Aside from the very obvious delight that a ‘white Christmas’ brings, snow is without doubt a mixed bag of blessing and curse. When it falls we work very hard to ensure that roads and tracks are cleared so that guests can come and go from the mill and that their family and friends can visit them with ease. All of this matters so much more at Christmas when the majority of guests have relatives living in the area and are staying at Hewenden as a convenient and relaxing way to spend time with them. This year, like every year previously we were delighted to welcome guests from all over the world, many of whom have stayed before – all of whom were here to spend this special time with those they love.

This year, however, we were unable to provide the picture postcard Christmas experience as snow failed to make even a fleeting appearance. While it is sad that we were denied some amazing snowy photo opportunities that have become a regular feature on our facebook page at this time of year, it was quite nice to have a year off shovelling, gritting and clearing over the festive period. The woodland valley of Hewenden looks beautiful whatever the weather and the guests who stayed seemed to appreciate the special atmosphere – snow or no snow!