In search of family holidays in England? With plenty of things to do with the kids? Well look no further – here are our top picks for farm-stay holidays, right here at home.
Family-friendly farm stays: Coombe Mill, Cornwall
Coombe Mill, Cornwall
This family-run holiday hamlet near Bodmin Moor has 30 acres of land to explore, with lots of things to do with the kids. Choose from daily tractor rides, feeding the animals like ponies, sheep, goats and deer, indoor soft play and getting mucky in the mud kitchen, or catch a fish on one of the two lakes. The homely lodges are spacious enough for the whole family and many have built-in playrooms. There’s also an indoor barbecue hut, meaning you can enjoy hot dogs and burgers at any time of year.
This award-winning, eco and dog-friendly farm on England’s east coast specialises in staycations with the kids. There are 10 bespoke cottages (seven with hot tubs!) with private barbecues and open-plan interiors. In the rest of the 22 acres, you’ll find an indoor swimming pool, trampolines, indoor and outdoor play areas and endless pockets of nature to explore – from woodland paths to grazing farm animals. And with energy-efficient lighting, locally sourced foods and solar panels powering each of the cottages, Gladwins is hot on sustainability too.
Family-friendly farm stays: Nettlecombe Farm, Isle of Wight
Nettlecombe Farm, Isle of Wight
In the heart of the island is a working farm home to charming self-catering barns, stables and cottages – full of rustic touches. The ideal spot for a holiday with toddlers, there are lots of opportunities to meet the furry residents, from chickens and turkeys to piglets and reindeer. As well as animal encounters, there are large grassy areas equipped for playtime, and even a Wendy house to spark imaginations. For the adults there are fully-stocked fishing lakes and yoga sessions in the function barn. If you fancy exploring the area, there are an array of beaches nearby, as well as the spectacular Needles.
Nestled in the beautiful Holme Valley is Uppergate Farm, dotted with spacious converted barns fit for every member of the family. And with large kitchens, they’re ideal for whipping up tasty meals for even the fussiest of children. Each morning, the little ones are welcome to help tend to the sheep, ducks and cows (and bottle feed the new-born babies, if it’s that time of year). There’s lots of space to play too, and picnic areas for when rumbling tummies strike. There’s even a sauna and steam room for the grown-ups – for when you have a second to unwind.
Family-friendly farm stays: Budle Bay Croft, Northumberland
Budle Bay Croft, Northumberland
With a menagerie of friendly animals, a Pooh sticks bridge, a theatrical woodland stage and stacks of toys, Budle Bay Croft farm definitely has a lot going for it. It can sleep up to eight people (big and small) across two tasteful barn conversions, both with private gardens, cosy log burners, outdoor barbecues and tasty welcome goodies. There are oodles of opportunities to get up close with the animals, too, from collecting eggs to helping feed the lambs in the spring – and if a lamb is born while you’re there, you’ll get to name them! There’s also a large open fire pit perfect for an evening roasting marshmallows and plenty of wildlife to spot in the woods and paddocks, like badgers, rabbits and woodpeckers.