The wonderful British countryside has played host to holidaymakers for years, and these days it's possible to get a glimpse of the farming livestock, people and traditions by staying on a working farm.
Not only can you take in some of the UK's most stunning landscapes, but you can see and taste the best of British food and let the kids enjoy the fresh air and fun. Here are five of the best the country has to offer.
Just a few miles from Dorset's famed Jurassic Coast, Smallicombe is a 70-acre livestock farm specialising in rare breed pigs such as Berkshires and Middle Whites. Provided you don't get too attached to these endearing creatures while you're there, you can enjoy the farm's very own bacon for breakfast. Guests can help feed the pigs or chickens, and see the Dorset Down sheep and Ruby Devon cattle. There is self-catering accommodation on offer, starting from £295 per week, or you can choose B&B starting from £85 for a short one or two-night stay.
If it's a seaside stay you're after, Plan Farm, on the west coast of Scotland's Isle of Bute, is a clear winner. Here you can relax in 1,600 acres that includes a 6th century monastery and a massive 8km of coastline. As well as the 100 cows and 700 sheep, there's a good chance you'll spot deer, buzzards and grey seals during your stay. Three nights in the Shepherd's Cottage, which sleeps four, costs from £329.
Brackenborough Hall Farm, Lincolnshire
An 18th century coach house provides the accommodation at this biodiverse farm, where guests can choose from one of three apartments for three to 12 people. There are 800 acres of cattle-grazed parkland to explore, along with oak woodlands and the rich array of native wildlife that live there, including roe deer and barn owls. A grass tennis court and deserted medieval village are other attractions, and the owners provide free guided tours of the estate should you wish to learn more about this history of this beautiful manor. Prices for the self-catering accommodation range from £415 right up to £1345, depending on the number of guests and length of stay.
Humble by Nature, Wales
Nestled in the Wye Valley is Springwatch presenter Kate Humble's working farm. It's the perfect destination for anyone looking to learn more about life on a farm, as there are courses aimed at teaching guests various rural skills, as well as a series of cookery courses designed to keep kids entertained. For families, there is a self-catering cottage with its own private garden (from £110 per night), while the shepherd's hut in the woods makes for a more romantic break for couples from £80 per night. Courses cost extra.
Yew Tree Farm, Cumbria
As if the stunning Lakeland fells setting isn't enough, this 17th century farmhouse has plenty of history, having previously been the domicile of one Beatrix Potter. The farm is now in the hands of a tenant farmer, who welcomes guests to the Grade-II listed farmhouse, as well as tending to his Swaledale and Herdwick sheep. Nearby there is plenty to do, with walking, cycling, climbing, horse riding and fishing available in the beautiful Lake District, and if you visit in October, you can join the farmer as he takes his rams to market in Broughton-in-Furness. A seven-night stay in August costs £1,368, but the house, which featured in the film Miss Potter, is simply wonderful.
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