Down on the Farm: 5 Great Rural Locations for a Short Break

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By Richard Jones

Farming has long been a popular subject on TV and film. However, Amazon Prime’s Clarkson’s Farm, which chronicles the host’s adventures on Diddly Squat Farm, has taken the popularity of rural life to barnstorming new levels.

Many farmers think their work is often under-represented and under-appreciated, but TV shows go some way to getting the public to understand the hard work, dedication and stress that goes into this vital industry.

Of course, the locations featured in these real-life programmes are actual places, many of which can be visited by the public.

Not-for-profit farmer-owned consortium Farm Stay’s aim is to promote the UK’s agri tourism industry to as many potential guests as possible.

They have curated a special selection of traditional cottages, converted barns, lakeside wooden retreats, secluded shepherds’ huts, bell tents and glamping pods close to the famous TV farms you can visit.

So if you fancy waking up in the countryside, seeing sheep or cattle in the fields from your window, and watching farmers, some of them familiar faces, going about their work, check out these rural break options.

TV Show: Clarkson’s Farm
Location: Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

We were all glued to our screens watching the first series of Clarkson’s Farm, as unlikely farmer Jeremy Clarkson battled bad weather, unresponsive crops, disobedient animals and oversized farm machinery. A second series is due for release later this year, but in the meantime, visitors can always take a trip to the Diddly Squat Farm Shop.

Down on the Farm 5 Rural Locations for a Short Break Stable Cottage

Stay nearby
Stable Cottage at Long Compton, near Chipping Norton, is a comfortable, tastefully furnished cottage ideal for a couple or a single person. It has a fully equipped kitchen with dining table with a view out onto the stable yard. The cottage is great for country lovers who enjoy walking, with numerous walks and footpaths nearby including the Cotswold Way and the Darcy Dalton Way.

TV Show: Our Yorkshire Farm
Location: Upper Swaledale, North Yorkshire

Viewers love watching Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen and her husband Clive and their nine ‘free-range’ children on their 2,000-acre Ravenseat sheep farm in Richmond. The popular Channel 5 show is set to return for a sixth season later this year.

Down on the Farm 5 Rural Locations for a Short Break Blandswath_Cottage

Blandswath Cottage

Stay nearby
Blandswath Cottage near Kirby Stephen, close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is a spacious well-equipped property near to the banks of the River Eden. The cottage is perfect for families and guests are welcome to roam the owners’ working farm and the rolling countryside that surrounds the cottage. For angling fans, there are free fishing tickett. The Byre, also near Kirby Stephen, is a south facing single storey barn with its own sunny garden. Situated in the unspoilt Eden Valley, it’s also close to the Yorkshire Dales and surrounded by excellent walking country, rich in wildlife.

TV Show: Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales
Location: Durham

Former Countryfile presenter Matt and his family captured our hearts when we were invited in to watch them working on his parents’ organic sheep farm in the Durham Hills on Channel 4 last year, helping to secure its future. Cameras followed the seasonal activities on the farm, from lambing to shearing to the hay harvest.

Down on the Farm 5 Rural Locations for a Short Break New Cottage

New Cottage at Hollymoor Farm

Stay nearby
New Cottage at Hollymoor Farm, Bishops Auckland, is a perfect rural escape for two people. This self-catering property is on a working farm in an area of outstanding natural beauty, so leave the car behind and enjoy country walks from the door. The sunsets are magnificent and very romantic. Alternatively, Weardale Retreat is a luxury shepherd’s hut on Newlands Hall Farm, a working hill farm. Tucked away in a secluded position with its own secluded garden and a private patio area, there’s a wood fired hot tub to relax into after a day exploring.

TV Show: The Yorkshire Vet
Location: Thirsk, North Yorkshire

If you’ve watched Channel 5’s series following the work of vets in the late author James Herriot’s home town, then a visit to Thirsk in North Yorkshire is a must-do. The visitor attraction The World of James Herriot allows you to wander around the famous vet’s former home and discover more about the man who inspired the much-loved TV series All Creatures Great and Small.

Down on the Farm 5 Rural Locations for a Short Break Leake Greens Farm

Leake Greens Farm Lodge

Stay nearby
Leake Greens Farm Lodge, north of Thirsk, is a comfortable timber lodge sitting high on a hillside on a small working farm overlooking green fields and the Hambleton Hills. Perfect for a family break, there’s lots to see and do locally – the village pub is a short walk away and the Hillside activity park with children’s play area also close by. If bed and breakfast is more your style – Cundall Lodge Farm south of Thirsk has three spacious rooms sleeping up to eight people. There’s a comfortable lounge to relax in and guests can look forward to delicious breakfasts with locally sourced ingredients.

TV Show: Escape To The Farm With Kate Humble
Location: Upper Meend Farm, Monmouthshire, Wales

Kate Humble has hosted numerous series, including Escape to the Farm and Country Life for Half the Price. Her home is a smallholding in the Wye Valley, where she grows vegetables and keeps animals. If you fancy learning more about the farming life, there’s a calendar of hands-on courses offered on Kate’s small farm, with topics including bee keeping, smallholding for beginners and a day in the lambing shed.

Down on the Farm 5 Rural Locations for a Short Break Ciderhouse cottage

Ciderhouse Cottage

Stay nearby
Ciderhouse Cottage is on a working farm nestled between the Wye Valley and the Black Mountains. The cottage is a former cart shed built in the early 1800s that now offers accommodation for up to seven people. While the down duvets and Welsh wool blankets keep you snug at night, the location is a country lover’s paradise, with local footpaths connected to Offa’s Dyke and bespoke walking routes from the farm exploring the history of the Rolls family (of Rolls Royce fame) whose ancestral estate is nearby.

For more information on these and other farm-based, self-catering and bed and breakfasts accommodations, go to: Farmstay.co.uk

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