Farm stays give you the time to experience life on a farm. Now spring is arriving with rows of delightful daffodils, blushing blossoms overhead, and the birth of lambs and chicks, is there a better way to appreciate the season than staying on a farm?
What are farm stays?
In essence, a farm stay is any accommodation on a working farm, such as a cosy farm cottage, barn, shepherd’s hut, or caravan. Many are family-focused and offer you the opportunity to feed animals, collect eggs, apples and crops, as well as learn how a farm functions.
Most farm accommodation is officially graded by Farm Stay UK (a ‘Not-for-profit’ farmer-owned consortium). You’ll usually find your accommodation within working farms, smallholdings, rural enterprises, and properties. After being given a warm welcome by your host, they’ll show you around surrounding areas that they know inside and out. In time, you’ll enjoy the best country life experience.
Staying on a working farm will be an enriching experience for both you and your family. Awake each morning to the sounds of animals and create unique spring break memories. It is a time to learn how to shear sheep, while enjoying the open countryside and nature.
Plus, you can choose the pace of your break. Rise early with the cockcrow to milk cows and pluck fresh eggs from chicken coops for breakfast. Or, have a lie-in, before embarking on a horse/bike ride to the next village at lunchtime. For ideas, inspiration, and why a farm holiday could be your spring break of choice view these lovely locations below…
A great example of a working farm holiday in Wales is Humble by Nature, which was created by BBC television presenter and narrator Kate Humble and her husband Ludo Graham. Within 117-acres you can meet rare pigs, cows, chickens, and sheep. Learn traditional, rural skills from farmer Tim, such as hedge laying, cider making, bee-keeping, and planting an edible garden. Awake in a shepherd’s hut or sleep in a charming cottage nearby.
While staying in a self-catering holiday cottage in the idyllic Cheshire countryside, relax one day and help feed the calves. From January to April, you can watch lambs being born. Visit in summer to learn haymaking. There will be lots of walks to wander along, after discovering rare breeds of chickens, pigs and how farming is becoming more ecological.
3: The New Forest
To meet farmyard animals, escape to the New Forest and stay on a working farm or in a holiday cottage. Here, find friendly sheep, cows, and chickens when exploring the farm and notice wild pigs and ponies roaming freely across the forest. Collect eggs together at Hucklesbrook Farm, Fordingbridge, then stretch your legs by cycling somewhere pleasant for lunch.
In Cornwall, you’re never far from the coast. However, it also has many miles of countryside and farmlands to explore and visit, such as Trevaskis Farm, in Hayle. Through a natural affiliation with the environment and following best ecological practices, Cornish farmers have built a thriving agricultural industry, growing a vast range of high-quality products. So when you’re visiting, look out for your local farm shop to pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables for dinner. You can also find dog-friendly farm holidays, with footpaths nearby with ideal walks for you and your four-legged friend.
5: The Cotswolds
If you enjoy walking holidays, why not book into more than one farm stay in the Cotswolds, while following The Cotswolds Way? On route, stay in barns built of Cotswold stone and meet local farmers, to learn how they milk cows. They’ll share their experience of tending to the lambs and you can observe a simpler way of life. If you love gardening, get some inspiration to enhance yours by strolling through meadows, gardens, and woodlands throughout the Cotswolds. Spot native British flora such as orchids, poppies, bluebells, and buttercups and observe waterfowls along the river banks, lakes, and wetlands.
6: The Lake District
There are a number of authentic farm cottages in the Lake District to embrace the fresh air during a farm holiday. Walk amongst grazing sheep, while observing traditional farming. Or capture photos of this top World Heritage Site by visiting Lake Windermere and Whinlatter Forest. If you go self-catering, stroll to the local market to pick up some locally sourced bacon and bread. You can even round off the day by observing the buzz of a busy cattle market.
A stay in the Yorkshire Dales is a perfect place for a staycation in the UK. Full of friendly locals, pubs, and home to the three peaks, it’s not hard to see why. On a spring break here, gaze across meadowlands, drystone-walled fields, and hay meadows. While resting in a cottage, caravan, or cabin, listen to the sound of grazing cattle and wild birdsong. For a taste of farm life, ask the farm owner to arrange a farm tour, or venture to a farm park. Children can make farmyard friends such as llamas and then everyone can enjoy a cream tea in the sunshine.
Watch the farmers go about their daily farm chores, such as cow milking and lambing, or get involved and feed the lambs alongside them. There are many farming activities to enjoy throughout a stay in Devon, such as feeding the ducks, pigs, and goats. You may even be allowed to ride ponies, after learning about pig keeping. At the end of the day, relax in a cosy converted barn, stable, or large country estate with some scones, cream, and jam.
9: The Peak District
Find a barn or farm cottage on a family-run farm in the Peak District. While exploring the farm with the farmer, learn where your food comes from and meet all the animals. During the day watch the wildlife, such as butterflies and buzzards, and at night, spot owls and badgers. When the sun’s out, go mountain biking, climbing, or sailing.
10: Free working farm holidays in Europe
Would you be prepared to work on a farm, while staying in its beautiful surroundings and tucking into its products for free? That’s exactly what a free working farm holiday is. Set up by a (1971) London-based secretary (who wanted people to have access to the countryside and organic movement), learn about rural life when staying at one of many WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) farms worldwide. From France, Denmark, and outside of Europe, embrace solo travel or go with a friend.
Don’t forget Free Spirit Travel Insurance for Fram Stays
Will you be booking a stay on a farm for a great spring break? Whichever lush location you choose in the UK or Europe, our insurance will cover you and all your party – if they have pre-existing medical conditions or not – and regardless of their age. With Coronvirus Cover and over 100 activities included for free, you will all have the freedom to travel with confidence. Just use our online quote form to get your policy today.