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About High Trenhouse

High Trenhouse, a privately owned residential management centre, welcomes visitors with authentic hospitality. Excellent facilities for relationship-building interaction provide a stimulating and wholesome ambience to inspire vision, stimulate creativity and raise awareness. Our purpose is to help clients contribute to a better world.

Our values

Our self-directing hospitality team looks after people with heartfelt care and warmth. Resident proprietors provide overall guidance and advice, supported by a small office team. Together we uphold the values and traditions we have evolved over forty years. We host clients in a way that awakens awareness and changes perception, enabling them to achieve their personal and corporate objectives.

Since our inception we have touched the earth lightly. Sustainability was a founding value and as a result, we have been ahead of the game. We minimise energy use, conserve, recycle and compost. We source locally and minimise waste. We respect our natural environment.

The overall outcome is that High Trenhouse is a place with soul, offering authentic hospitality and seclusion; an unpretentious place to be, away from the mad modern world, in the unspoiled heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park – the best possible circumstances for private retreats, whatever your purpose.

Where we began

The idea of a dedicated ‘learning centre’ arose in the seventies. After a long search for suitable property John Varney bought High Trenhouse, formerly a 1000 acre hill farm, whose dilapidated buildings presented a suitable challenge.

Informed by experience in architecture, education and mountaineering, and inspired by the Bauhaus and the work of J. G. Bennett, John gathered a small community to make the idea a reality. It was to be an antidote to the fragmentation of urban-oriented society, helping people discover their potential and to live wholesome lives. They employed the principles of reciprocal maintenance and engaged their clients with cows, pigs and ducks, a small dairy business and adventure on the hills. They practiced what they preached; independence, mutual respect, closeness to nature and a spirit of enterprise.

The place and lifestyle was the learning medium and their excellent results clearly benefitted many individuals. In the early 80s they began to leverage their efforts by working with management teams. Following a period of dramatic discontinuity and deep learning, John and Bernadette invested in significant development, establishing the Centre for Management Creativity (CMC) in 1990.

A fast learning curve was aided by contact with such notable thinkers as Edward de Bono, Robert Fritz, Eli Goldratt, Lou Tice, Charlie Krone, Arie de Geus and Colin Funk from the Banff Centre. Outstanding colleagues were privileged to do cutting edge work with many significant clients both at High Trenhouse and elsewhere. The place evolved, spawning innovative work on change leadership and associated ventures in experiential learning and visual thinking methodologies.

In the almost 30 years since then we have hosted countless management groups as well as facilitating many of them as they tackled the challenges of change. In the last decade we have also added leisure business to benefit from the wonderful ambience at weekends and holidays.

We strive to practice what we preach, the whole enterprise being run so far as possible by our self-organising teams; office team, hospitality team, strategic team, facilitation team, working together to provide you with outstanding service.