20 Oct 2012
Down on the farm
Minnie’s a bit young to appreciate any kind of animals just yet (including our pet terrapin, who’s almost certainly eyed her up as a snack already) but writing about the new wildlife map from First Choice got me thinking about the kind of cute furry creatures she’s likely to want in her future.
And with impeccable timing, Holidaylettings.co.uk sent me a list of working farms where you can stay with kids. As I’m a lovely sharing sort of person, I thought I’d let you know them too…
Merico, Corfino, Villa Collemandina, Lucca Province, Tuscany, Italy
Staying on a farm needn’t mean slumming it – as well as beautiful mountain views and the villa’s own private pool, farm owner Natalina, who’s also a shepherdess, can supply guests with food including salami, cheeses, vegetables, eggs and poultry. Plus there’s sheep, goats and horses on the organic farm, set in the village of Corfino on the edge of Tuscany’s National Park of the Oricciella.
Holwell Farm Cottages, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Dartmoor, Devon
This century-old model farm has two cottages in its grounds, with log fires, private gardens and original granite coin stones. As well as feeding the farm animals (including Dartmoor ponies, saddleback pigs and South Devon cows), you can learn how to make sausages at the farm’s own butchery. Although perhaps not if the kids have got too attached to the aforementioned pigs…
Overbrook Barn, Flash, Buxton, Peak District
It’s not just sheep, pigs, chicken and ducks at this 18th century farm in the Peak District National Park – they also breed alpacas. Stay in the converted barn, and as well as meeting the friendly alpacas, you can buy home-produced meat, eggs and vegetables.
Ty Hir, Penderyn, Rhondda Merthyr Tydil, South Wales
Look out for traditional hill farming methods while staying in the old farmhouse with its oak beams and vaulted ceiling, including sheep being gathered in by farmers on horseback. The working farm also has sheep and poultry, and two pubs in walking distance – plus actual walks through the Brecon Beacons from the doorstep.
Quinta Azenha, Aldeia das Almoreiras, Ourique, Alentejo, Portgual
This log cabin is set on a small farm with pigs, chickens, guinea fowl and ducks, and you can buy free range organic eggs or help yourself to various vegetables grown on the farm. There’s also an outdoor swimming pool, with lovely views across the unspoiled countryside of the Alentejo.
Mill Farm Glamping, Devizes, Wiltshire
Guests can collect eggs from the farm chickens, enjoy tours of the organic farm, donkey rides and climbing straw bales, and help feed the chickens, ducks and rabbits. Plus, although you’re camping, there’s a flushing toilet, hot shower and wood fire stove in the dining area to keep you warm. Oh, and the local pub is just a short walk away…