Top 5 Farmstay Holidays
Farmstays are a perfect way to get back to nature and enjoy the solitude of the countryside whilst still being engaged with the land. Perfect for families with kids (although, honestly, who doesn’t like watching lambs frolic and slipping eggs out from under a feathery chicken bum to fry for their very own breakfast?) a few days in the country, far away from the big smoke, is good for all that ails ya. Here are our Top Five farmstay holidays, as listed on Greentraveller:
1. Huntstile Organic Farm, Somerset
Escape into the country and stay at this lovely Tudor farmhouse on a working organic farm. Huntstile has its own Stone Circle, spring-fed lake & woods to explore. They grow a variety of organic veg, soft fruit, herbs, flowers and combinable crops (wheat, barley, oats, and peas) on over 650 acres of organic land, along with a small amount of organic medicinal herbs for Neals Yard and Rutand Bio-Dynamic....they also have a flock of organic chickens that lay the most delicious free-range eggs in the world – you can try them for breakfast!
B&B from £75 for 2; camping from £12.50 per pitch; cottages from £340 per week.
2. Wheatland Farm, Devon
Unwind amidst Devon’s beautiful countryside, knowing your stay helps protect rare orchids, owls and dormice. Relax in comfortable low-impact lodges, a cottage or a converted barn. Borrow bikes, fish the pond, or explore 21 acres managed for wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for rare flora and fauna – a tour of the land is always enthusiastically given. Grown-ups appreciate the genuine welcome, the peace, and the fabulous surroundings. Children, even the youngest, revel in the space and freedom – it’s what childhood is meant to be. Borrow a bike and explore the local lanes and pubs, catch a bus through the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere reserve, or just relax on the farm – play volleyball, fish, explore, or sit on the veranda with a book or a glass of wine while the buzzards call to you from above. Sigh. Lodges from £595 per week; cottage from £495.
3. Mandinam’s Shepherd Hut, Black Mountains
By the edge of a lake under dappled shade, the Shepherd's Hut is a magical, secluded place with wonderful views overlooking a far-off Iron age fort. Walk up the steps to your balcony where you can look at the stars by night or drink you morning coffee. Everything you need for a cosy break for two is included. Near the lake is a small barbeque where you can cook your supper while you watch the ducks, coots and geese. There are two bikes available if you’d like to borrow them and you might want to indulge in a bit of splashing in the wood-burning hot tub. Just don’t spill your wine. From £80 per night; £450 per week.
4. Little Goonreeve, Truro, Cornwall
Little Goonreeve Farm, located on the Mylor peninsular between Falmouth and Truro in rich farming country with rolling green grazing pasture, has two peaceful 1950’s cottages, situated within the farm’s small-holding. There is a diverse range of livestock which supply pork, beef and eggs to guests and the local community. The on-site meat sales is ideal for teaching children the cycle of food production and the owners are always on hand to show interested guests around. The younger family members can enjoy egg collecting and getting to know the miniature horses (who are off the menu, they will be pleased to hear. Phew.). Close to the Carrick Roads, one of the most beautiful sailing areas in the world, where there is an integrated network of ferries, buses and trains which allows car free travelling. Lodges from £485 (smallest) to £1200 (largest) per week (high season); cottage from £495 per week. Low season from £200 per week.
5. Tregoyd Mountain Riders, Powys
Tregoyd Mountain Riders offer horse riding, pony trekking, hacking, riding holidays, lessons, bed & breakfast for horses (and their riders) and livery in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Based in the old family farmhouse in the middle of working stables, you can experience the very best mountain riding Wales has to offer. All ages and abilities are catered for and they are open all year round - a bountiful breakfast is available and sometimes there's supper and a picnic lunch going, too. This is really only for the horse mad – and there’s always something going on: gymkhanas or dressage in the ring or a picnic hack off in to the mountains. This is every pony-mad girl's dream holiday. B&B from £60 for 2; B&B and horse riding from £86; horse B&B from £60; prices per night.