Down on the Farm
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 June 2015
What better way to enjoy Norfolk's stunning countryside and rural heritage than by booking a holiday on the farm, asks Rachel Buller.
Whether you want to escape the rigours of daily life or let your children interact with cows, lambs, chickens and pigs, a Farm Stay break is the perfect way to really appreciate rural life.
The organisation – a not-for-profit farmer-owned consortium - was established in 1983 as a way of supporting farms nationwide to diversify into tourism, offering bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation. Many farms have extended the tourism side of their business further in recent years, adding camping facilities and even putting teepee tents and yurts in their fields for glamping. In Norfolk it is a great way to see and understand the countryside, enjoy a traditional farmhouse breakfast, and many also welcome animals.
“There are 20 Farm Stay members throughout Norfolk offering a diverse range of holiday accommodation, from historic farmhouse bed and breakfast to tastefully converted barns, stables and haylofts,” says Yvonne Silk, from Farm Stay East Anglia. “Many guests return time and time again, to escape to the peace and quiet of the countryside, for walking and cycling breaks. It is also perfect for families as children can enjoy the great outdoors, wonderful wildlife and get plenty of fresh air.”
As well as Farm Stay offering practical business advice, Yvonne says there is a friendly support network locally which gives members the chance to meet and share ideas.
“Members look at how they can enhance their businesses and have added games rooms, play areas, on-site fishing, caravan and camping - all to enhance the guest experience.”