Let’s go lambing on a Farm Stay break
Farm Stay holidays offer families the opportunity to find out what goes on beyond the farm gate and see for themselves how farmers take care of their animals. And if you’ve ever been on a walk in the country in the spring you’re likely to have stopped to admire the sheep and their frolicking lambs. Don’t they always look so cute? If you would like to have a memorable ‘up close’ experience with lambs, find out more about them, bottle feed a youngster and maybe even watch some being born, then read on!
Many Farm Stay hosts throughout the UK offer lamb experiences on their farms. When looking for your next Farm Stay break, simply select ‘lambing’ in activities and experiences and begin your search. Lambing takes place from late February through to April (on some farms in November too). It’s a good idea to start planning your break as soon as you can, checking that your chosen farm will indeed be offering these experiences in the coming months.
Here’s a selection of options to inspire you to take an authentic farm break in 2022*.
Learn about lambs
Church Farm in Wiltshire is a working sheep farm with a flock of 250 breeding ewes. Farmer Steve has a variety of breeds, including Texels and Lleyns. Spring lambing starts in late March, which is the farm’s busiest time. If you’re staying here around this time, then all being well you’ll be able to get involved and help feed some of their newborn lambs.
Becky runs Farm Sessions which are an opportunity for guests to see what goes on behind the scenes of this sheep farm. Activities include feeding, a farm tour, farm-themed games and even sheep herding. If this appeals to you, ask about what can be booked when you’re planning your stay.
Church Farm is located between Bath and Bradford on Avon. It has eight award winning single storey cottages converted from former cow byres, with exposed beams and vaulted ceilings. There are cosy cottages suitable for couples and for families of 4, while The Granary, a large converted barn, sleeps 12. The indoor heated pool is particularly popular with guests.
The farm is ideally located within walking distance of a host of amenities, including an excellent village pub, and the family farm shop and café.
A day’s course in lambing
At Hare Farm, near Rye in Sussex, there’s an opportunity to join the lambing team for the day and get hands-on with learning all about lambing. It’s described as an informal, action-packed course that includes a mixture of listening, observing and doing. The team will explain the how and why of what they do then enable guests to put theory into practice by completing a number of tasks.
Lambing courses are usually held in March and are ideal for complete beginners with a keen interest in what really happens at lambing time, to sheep keepers with small flocks and limited experience who are looking to learn more.
The day, which runs from 10am until 4pm, is for a maximum of 8 people and is priced at £100.
In terms of accommodation, Hare Farm is proud to offer The Oast House, a stunning historical building where, in days gone by, hops would be dried and stored. It has been converted into a unique and luxurious holiday house with five bedrooms and four bathrooms to accommodate 10 or more people.
If there’s just two of you, why not make your lambing season experience all the more authentic by staying in the traditional shepherd’s hut all fitted out to keep you warm and cosy, with everything you need inside or in the nearby barn. Both properties boast uninterrupted views of the unspoilt Brede Valley.
Farmer Percy at Humble Bee Farm, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, is already thinking about the March Lambing Weekends with his flock of Texel sheep!
Lambing Weekends take place each weekend in March and are open to guests who stay on the farm. Expect informative talks by Farmer Percy, a visit to the lambing shed and the opportunity to find out more about what happens on this busy farm. Don’t miss the chance to say hello to the dads too – Texel rams Tom, Dick and Harry, and the newcomer from New Zealand, Brian!
Humble Bee Farm has a fantastic choice of accommodation ideal for families, including three lovely cottages, wigwam lodges, deluxe wigwams, spacious nomadic yurts, and 16 ‘big chief’ wigwams each sleeping a family of up to 5. Plus, there are pitches for tourers, motor homes, camper vans, and tents.
An unforgettable experience
Lambing takes place in from February on Millmoor Farm near Chester in Cheshire, so why not enjoy an out of season break for the chance enjoy the unique experience of watching lambs being born? You can view the ewes throughout the day and evening, and even help bottle feed the newborn lambs.
Millmoor Farm is a great place to get a feel of what life is like on a busy modern working farm. Although mainly a cattle farm, the owners have 500 breeding sheep, as well as rare breed chickens and pigs that you’ll also be able to meet. They also grow arable crops, which are mainly used as feed for the animals.
For a stay on the farm there are six award-winning self-catering cottages set in a stunning rural location to choose from. There’s something to suit everyone, from Carters Lodge, a romantic cottage for 2, several cottages that sleep 4, 5 or 6 people, and Drovers Barn, a beautiful two storey house that accommodates 7.
*Arrangements for lambing activities may change or be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Please note, for medical reasons, a lambing experience is unsuitable for pregnant women.