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Best UK farm holidays: family-friendly breaks on working farms

Keen to slow down, unwind and make lasting family memories? A UK farm stay offers it all, with the bonus of adorable animals and stunning countryside. We've rounded up 10 of the best family-friendly UK farm holidays, as recommended by fellow parents.

By Jenny Elliott | Last updated Jun 23, 2023

Best UK farm holidays

If you’d rather not rush for flights and wrangle kids through airport queues, staying at a UK working farm offers the perfect tranquil alternative. And with fresh eggs to collect, animals to pet, onsite activities and nearby attractions, there’s plenty to keep kids and parents entertained.

But which UK farm stay to choose? By consulting our Mumsnet holiday forums and reading hundreds of reviews, we’ve drawn up a list of 10 of the best farm holidays in the UK, all highly recommended by parents.

So, escape busy diaries and get a taste of the good life at one of these family-friendly farm stays, carefully chosen to suit a range of budgets and broods.

If you're thinking of an outdoorsy break with the kids, we've also got guides to the best family campsites in the UK, the best glamping sites, the best Eurocamp sites, the best campsites in Europe and the UK's best holiday parks, as well as a handy piece rounding up all the camping essentials you need for a fun and comfy night under canvas.

Best UK farm holidays at a glance

  • Best overall: Feather Down College Farm, Norfolk | Book now

  • Best budget: Hideaway Escapes Whitley Farm, Pembrokeshire | Book now

  • Best for hot tubs: Feather Down Manor Farm, Hampshire | Book now

  • Best by the beach: Widmouth Farm Cottages, Devon | Book now

  • Best dog-friendly: Feather Down Warren Farm, Somerset | Book now

  • Best for activities: Feather Down Upper Shadymoor Farm, Shrewsbury | Book now 

  • Best with a pool: Bucks Farm, Suffolk | Book now

  • Best luxury: Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire | Book now

  • Best organic: Beechenhill Farm, Derbyshire | Book now

  • Best for alpacas: Fenham Farm Coastal Retreat, Northumberland | Book now

1. Best overall UK farm holiday: Feather Down College Farm, Norfolk

College Farm Feather Down Farms

Best overall | Check availability 

What we like

  • Hosts Lucy and Marcus get rave reviews for being friendly and helpful

  • Eco-bricks for the stoves are long-lasting and sustainable

  • There are indoor and outdoor play options, plus BeWILDerwood, Africa Alive and Roarr dinosaur park are all under an hour’s drive away

What we don’t like

  • Not all hideaways have ensuite showers, so check when booking if you prefer not to use the shared shower block

  • No pool

What Mumsnet users say

"College Farm in the Norfolk Broads - it’s got an indoor play barn and outdoor area. The indoor play barn was a lifesaver when it rained! Plenty to do in the area too"  – Fivemoreminutes1

Our verdict

Feather Down Farm’s collection of UK farm stays has been offering families the chance to connect with nature for the last 20 years. This pretty farm is particularly popular with Mumsnetters thanks to its idyllic location on the Norfolk Broads, an easy drive from some long sandy beaches. Its position within a dark sky area also makes it ideal for watching the stars twinkle.

The site consists of eight ‘canvas hideaways’ (think very comfy glamping lodges with separate bedrooms, soft mattresses, well-equipped kitchens and flushing toilets). The lack of electricity and Wi-Fi, though, still gives it an off-grid feel, and kids will love watching the kettle boil on the stove and going to bed by lamplight.

Playgrounds, a trampoline and an indoor play barn allow little ones to blow off steam and make friends with kindred spirits. Come spring, there are lambs to bottle feed, as well as cows, sheep and chickens milling about.

Read next: The best family hotels in Norfolk, according to Mumsnetters

2. Best budget UK farm holiday: Hideaway Escapes Whitley Farm, Pembrokeshire

Whitley Farm UK farm stay

Best budget break | Check availability

What we like

  • The spacious site has lots of accommodation options

  • Good variety of animals

  • Well-stocked honesty shop

What we don’t like

  • Narrow gravel lane to reach the property

  • No indoor play options

  • No pool

Our verdict

This great value farm stay has many different accommodation options, making it an excellent site for groups with different budgets and needs.

Love your creature comforts? The farmhouse offers bed and breakfast and has a good-sized family room. Otherwise, there are 14 camping pitches, as well as fun glamping options, including a vintage caravan or yurt.

The playground is ideal for little ones with energy to burn, and there’s a whole menagerie of animals to meet, including Mable the pig, a crew of alpacas and Peanut and Twix, the pygmy goats. You’re handy for exploring Pembrokeshire, including visiting Oakwood Theme Park and the picture-postcard seaside town of Tenby.

3. Best UK farm holiday with hot tubs: Feather Down Manor Farm, Hampshire

Feather Down Farms Manor Farm

Best for hot tubs | Check availability

What we like

  • Spacious, tranquil site with a relaxed vibe

  • Firepits for each canvas hideaway

  • The chance to soak in a hot tub with beautiful views of the South Downs

What we don’t like

  • Not for families that want lots of onsite activities

  • Hot tubs are limited, so be sure to request when booking

  • This mainly arable farm doesn’t have a vast range of animals (although there are sheep, pigs and cows)

What Mumsnet users say

"We are in NW London and Manor Farm was v. easy to get to, and there are lots of things a 45-min drive away in the New Forest. We went to Beaulieu Car Museum one day, the Owl & Otter Sanctuary one another" – Kiwinyc

Our verdict

Located in the South Downs National Park, this Feather Down farm has seven canvas hideaways that can sleep up to five adults, plus a child under 12 in a super cute cupboard bed. There’s also a firepit outside each tent for evening cook-ups and marshmallow toasting. And by booking one of the hot tubs, you’re sure to soak any lingering stresses away.

As with all the Feather Down stays, the absence of electricity and Wi-Fi means life slows down, and screentime can be replaced by nature walks and family board games. Although, should you want to up the pace, a ride on the nearby steam train heritage line may be just the ticket.

Read next: Best family hotels in the New Forest

4. Best farm holiday near the beach: Widmouth Farm Cottages, Devon

Widmouth Farm UK farm stay

Best near the beach | Check availability

What we like

  • Friendly animals include six goats, six alpacas, two sheep, two farm cats, chickens, two geese and a turkey

  • When the tide is out, walk along the beach for cream tea in Watermouth Harbour

  • Beautiful countryside and sea views

What we don’t like

  • Phone signal can be patchy and Wi Fi slow

  • The private beach can be pebbly underfoot and so worth packing beach shoes

  • Taller adults may find the low ceilings and some smaller beds in the cottages a slight challenge

What Mumsnet users say

"Has its own beach. Lovely place" – poshbosh

Our verdict

Children will love feeding the friendly resident animals here, as well as going for paddles on the private beach. And should anyone need further diversions, the 35-acre grounds has a playground and woodland to explore, plus family attractions such as Watermouth Castle, Exmoor Zoo and Ilfracombe Aquarium close at hand.

The pretty, traditional self-catering cottages range from cosy one-beds to spacious three-beds. All come with individual parking spaces and access to the communal laundry. Dogs are welcome and have their own exercise field.

Read next: Where to stay in Devon with the family, according to Mumsnetters

5. Best dog-friendly UK farm holiday: Feather Down Warren Farm, Somerset

Feather Down Farm Warren Farm Somerset

Best for dogs | Check availability

What we like

  • Gorgeous off-grid location for exploring the natural playground of Cheddar Gorge

  • Thoughtfully stocked honesty shop

  • Great extras, like pizza night, farm tours and electric car charging

What we don’t like

  • No indoor activities for rainy days

  • Just five canvas hideaways mean a tranquil feel, but it can book up fast in the school holidays

What Mumsnet users say

"We did it years ago near Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. It was nice - very nice bathroom facilities where we were and lovely that the tents were nicely spread out. And there were animals and chickens where the kids could go and collect eggs" – Sharkyfan

"Yes, loved it, going again definitely. We went to Cheddar Gorge one" – Witherhills

Our verdict

Set at the heart of the Mendip Hills, this scenic 1000-acre farm stay stretches the whole length of the Cheddar Gorge. Its location makes it the perfect haven for families and their waggy-tailed friends, with hikes around the famous cliffs, as well as gentler woodland walks and seaside strolls.

Back at the farm, kids can let their imaginations fly while clambering around the play fort. And for a small fee,  a tractor and trailer ride provides lots of bumpy fun while learning about hillside farming and spotting sheep and cows. End the day slurping mugs of hot chocolate around the campfire.

6. Best UK farm holiday for activities: Feather Down Upper Shadymoor Farm, Shrewsbury

Upper Shadymoor Farm Feather Down Farms

Best for activities | Check availability

What we like

  • There’s a range of activities to please tots through to teens

  • The water package includes a hot tub, paddleboarding, a boat trip and wild swimming

  • Lovely range of animals, including deer, sheep, working dogs, horses and chickens, plus seasonal goats or pigs

What we don’t like

  • It’s a bit of a drive to a supermarket should you forget something vital

  • No playground

What Mumsnet users say

"We did a Feather Down for my 40th last summer and really enjoyed it. It is pricey, but we couldn't find anywhere else with a B&B on site for the non-camping members of the family and anywhere else with a wood-fired hot tub for hire... Our son loved looking after his chickens, sleeping in the cupboard and hunting for firewood, and the other tents were close enough for him to run off and make friends while we kept him in sight"  – droogie

Our verdict

With deer safaris, sensory walks, pony grooming and bubbling hot tubs on offer,  there’s plenty to keep boredom at bay at this farm in the Shropshire Marshes. Tweens and teens might also enjoy kayaking and paddleboarding, plus wild swimming in the picturesque lake.

The six off-grid canvas hideaways sit within a grassland glade wrapped in bluebell woods. Pick up fresh bread and seasonal provisions at the Fox’s Larder honesty shop in preparation for a sunset barbecue.

7. Best UK farm holiday with a pool: Bucks Farm, Suffolk

Bucks Farm UK farm stay

Best with a pool | Check availability

What we like

  • Lots of opportunities to interact with the animals

  • The market town of Halesworth is two miles away, with its restaurants, pubs and train links to London Liverpool Street

  • Lots of indoor activities, including a heated pool, gym and sauna

What we don’t like

  • The check-in time of 4pm is a little late in the day

  • Often limited availability in school holidays, so you’ll need to book well in advance

What Mumsnet users say

"We went to Bucks Farm in Suffolk, really recommend it. Lovely owners who let children feed the animals, and has the plus of an indoor pool" – Ruthiebabes

Our verdict

Young animal lovers will adore Bucks Farm, half an hour’s drive from the Suffolk coast. Not only are there sheep, goats and ponies to feed, but there are also guinea pigs and rabbits to stroke, as well as fresh eggs to hunt for.

The heated indoor pool is bound to be popular, as are the trampoline, playground and ride-on toys. And should the weather take a turn for the worse, there’s an indoor play room brimming with books and games. The self-catering cottages range in size, with the biggest sleeping nine. All have private outdoor space; two come with hot tubs, ideal for an evening recharge once the kids are tucked up in bed.

Read next: The best UK hotels with swimming pools

8. Best luxury UK farm holiday: Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire

Clydey Cottages UK farm stay

Best for luxury | Check availability

What we like

  • Activities for the kids, including a pool, playground, kids’ club and indoor playroom

  • Spa for parents

  • A range of cottages, including the farmhouse which sleeps eight and has a private hot tub

What we don’t like

  • Unsurprisingly for luxury cottages, it's a pricey stay, especially in the school holidays

  • If we were being super picky, it would be good to be a touch closer to the beach (Poppits Sand Beach is about a 30-minute drive away)

What Mumsnet users say

"Would highly recommend Clydey Cottages in Wales (Pembrokeshire). Our kids are 2.10 and 6 months, and this place was just perfect for them. It is pricey in a you get what you pay for kind of way" – MrsPlopperson

Our verdict

It’s easy to see why parents rave about these award-winning farm cottages in this beautiful part of Wales.

The converted 18th-century farm buildings have lots of period charm, plus welcome modern touches such as fluffy towels, underfloor heating, microwaves, dishwashers and Wi-Fi. And then, of course, there’s the heated indoor pool – and the complimentary kids’ club means parents can take some well-earned downtime in the spa.

Daily animal feedings mean lots of opportunities to get to know the pigs, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits and alpacas. You’re also well placed here for fun day trips to sandy beaches, Crosswell Riding and Trekking Centre and the Welsh Wildlife Centre.

Read next: The best hotels in Wales for your next family holiday

9. Best UK organic farm holiday: Beechenhill Farm, Derbyshire

Beechenhill Farm UK farm stay

Best organic farm | Check availability

What we like

  • Lots of free range animals roaming about, including chickens, goats and Hatty the dog

  • Autism-friendly farm stay

  • Has won awards for eco-friendly policies and approach

What we don’t like

  • Not many indoor activities in the immediate vicinity (although Derby and its museum are less than an hour’s drive away)

What Mumsnet users say

"Would recommend this site" – Dontslipontheice

Our verdict

This organic farm stay, in the heart of the Peak District, has a brilliant inclusive ethos. There’s a sensory story available to help children get prepared for staying away from home. Plus, pre-stay visits can be arranged for those who would find them helpful.

There are three charming, well-equipped cottages in total; the largest sleeps six and is wheelchair accessible. Children will love the garden chess set, grass sledging and hunting down Penny and Elvis, the free range pygmy goats. Parents will no doubt be fans of the ‘book ahead’ Swedish wood fired hot tub and barrel sauna.

10. Best UK farm holiday for alpacas: Fenham Farm Coastal Retreat, Northumberland

Fenham Farm UK farm stay

Best for alpacas | Check availability

What we like

  • Stunning location, close to Northumberland’s sandy coast

  • Can book alpaca walks

  • A focus on eco-friendly practices and local produce

What we don’t like

  • No playground or pool

Our verdict

This farm stay bed and breakfast overlooks the magical Holy Island on the Northumberland coast. There are seven ensuites in total, and two of the largest can be set up as triples or family rooms. It’s possible to arrange boating and fishing trips, although animal enthusiasts might be especially keen on spending time feeding and walking with the sociable herd of alpacas.

Away from the farm, there’s a whole host of brilliant family day trips, from spotting puffins on the Farne Islands to letting loose at the new Lilidorei attraction at Alnwick Garden, which features the biggest play structure in the world. After a day’s exploring, kick back in the social lounge and soak in the sea views.

Read next: The best family hotels in Northumberland, according to Mumsnetters

What is a farm stay?

A UK farm stay is an immersive holiday where families can escape the usual hustle and bustle of life by staying on a working farm. From feeding farm animals to exploring the countryside, it offers a unique opportunity for children and their parents to connect with nature and spend quality time together.

Are farm stays good for families?

Farm stays are a fantastic choice for families keen on a change of scene and pace of life. Kids can get up close to adorable farm animals and learn about nature in a hands-on way. Meanwhile, parents can relax and enjoy the peaceful countryside while the little ones embrace their inner farmer: a win-win for the whole family.

What’s included in the price of a UK farm stay?

As with hotel bookings, it’s a good idea to double-check what’s included in the price of your farm stay up front. Usually, all guests will have access to the main onsite facilities. Some activities, such as guided walks and tractor rides, may have an extra charge. If dogs are allowed, it’s normal for there to be an additional fee.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what UK family farm stays were being recommended.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at what UK farm holidays had won accolades or been featured in 'best choice' lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best UK farm holidays for families at the moment.

About the author

Jenny Elliott is a freelance lifestyle and travel writer based in Leeds. Her work has featured in publications such as the Guardian and Lonely Planet. She also runs her own blog, The Little Adventurer, where she documents the joys and frustrations of travelling with her two rascals.

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