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About High Trenhouse

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

Our values

The self-directing hospitality team, supported by a small office team, looks after people with heartfelt care and warmth. Resident proprietors provide overall guidance and advice. Furthermore a facilitation team provides additional resource. Together we have evolved values, traditions and processes over forty years. Clients are hosted in a way that awakens awareness and changes perception, enabling them to achieve their personal and corporate objectives.

With sustainability as a founding value since our inception. We touch the earth lightly, because we:

  • minimise energy use, conserve, recycle and compost.
  • source locally and minimise waste.
  • respect the natural environment.

As a result High Trenhouse is a residential management centre with soul, offering authentic hospitality and seclusion. It is an unpretentious place to be, away from the mad modern world, in the unspoiled heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It provides the best possible circumstances for private retreats, whatever your purpose.

Where we began

John Varney had the idea of a dedicated ‘learning centre’ in the seventies. It was to be an antidote to the fragmentation of urban-oriented society, so helping people discover their potential and to live wholesome lives. After a long search for suitable property, he bought High Trenhouse, formerly a 1000 acre hill farm, whose dilapidated buildings presented an exciting challenge.

Informed by his experience in architecture, education and mountaineering, and also inspired by the Bauhaus and the work of J. G. Bennett, John gathered a small community to make the idea a reality. Employing the principles of reciprocal maintenance, they engaged their clients with cows, pigs and ducks, a small dairy business and adventure on the hills. They practiced independence, mutual respect, closeness to nature and a spirit of enterprise.

Residential Management Centre

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

Notable thinkers such as Edward de Bono, Robert Fritz, Eli Goldratt, Lou Tice, Charlie Krone, Arie de Geus and The Banff Centre contributed to our learning curve. The centre evolved, spawning innovative work on change leadership and associated ventures in experiential learning and visual thinking methodologies. Outstanding colleagues engaged in cutting edge work with many significant clients at High Trenhouse and elsewhere.

In the almost 30 years since then High Trenhouse residential management centre has hosted and facilitated countless management groups as they tackled the challenges of change. In the last decade, leisure businesses have also benefitted from the wonderful ambience at weekends and holidays.

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