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Over the Farm Gate

Autumn escapes filled with Fall family fun

Those looking to get away this Autumn may find that staying in the UK is the best option, as prices begin to fall, the crowds depart and the landscape comes alive with changing colours of the season.

Deserted beaches, crisp clear days and harvested fields await with a rural break, and choosing to stay on a working farm means you can connect with nature, give back to local communities and enjoy fun, local activities. 

With a range of accommodation options from glampsites to self-catering cottages and B&Bs, Farm Stay UK has options for everyone. Facilities such as private hot tubs, wood burning stoves, and fire pits are all on offer and fresh local produce is often available straight from the fields. 

Some of the best Autumnal activities to make a Farm Stay break top of the list this year are:

Enjoy a hands-on alpaca experience or miniature Shetland pony trek

There are plenty of chances to get up close and personal with the animals at Goxhill Meadows.

Remote, rural yet only three miles from the seaside, this East Riding of Yorkshire smallholding has miniature Shetland ponies, alpacas, pygmy goats, sheep and chickens. Guests can bring their own dog, or even their own horse. They offer meet the alpaca experiences from £75 for 90 minutes, where families can feed and walk the animals, as well as a range of other animal experiences from £65 for 90 minutes. 

Stays on site are in three insulated Landpods which can open up to the skies for spectacular star-gazing on clear nights. Each of the Landpods has its own private open space with a firepit and stylish canopy for outdoor cooking. A picnic bench and table, with comfortable chairs and throws/blankets are provided. There are two standard-sized double beds (bunk arrangement) with comfortable mattresses plus the bench seat as a 5th bed, large enough for a child. To complete the picture there are eco-friendly toilets and a hot shower in its own shower pod plus the quirky horsebox-kitchen, with everything you need for your stay.

Price: From £69 per night for up to five people, with a minimum two-night stay.



Head out on a cider cycling tour

Herefordshire is proud of its apple-growing and boasts an abundance of cider producers, as well as the Museum of Cider, housed in the original 1888 Bulmers factory. Visit Herefordshire has maps for three cider tours which are ideal for keen cyclists, but great for those travelling by car too. Old Barn House, Hereford is a great base from which to explore the southern cider circuit, and is not far from both Hereford and Ross-on-Wye. This charming cottage provides a luxurious getaway for up to eight guests in four double bedrooms, including one accessible room on the ground floor, and boasts a private outdoor hydrotherapy jacuzzi hot tub, beautiful mature garden and ample parking. It’s also dog-friendly, with a maximum of two dogs which must be booked in advance (£25 per dog per stay) and are provided with their own doggie welcome pack.

Price: Starts from £200 per night, for three, four or seven-night stays.












Go wild food foraging with TV’s Kate Humble

TV presenter 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 including chickens, sheep and pigs. To learn more about rural life, Humble by Nature offers a range of courses including Wild Food Foraging. Autumn is a fantastic season to go foraging, with crab apples, rosehips, cobnuts and orchard fruit ripe for the picking. 

After your educational day, retreat to the nearby Ciderhouse Cottage on Penylan Farm for a peaceful stay on this working farm nestled between the Wye Valley and the Black Mountains with panoramic views. The cottage is a former cart shed built in the early 1800s that now offers accommodation for up to six adults plus an infant with an open-plan kitchen/dining/living area with original oak beams, underfloor heating and a gas wood burner to take away evening chills. There are three comfortable bedrooms – a master bedroom with a spacious wet room ensuite, and two twin rooms with additional bathroom. All have down duvets and Welsh wool blankets to keep you snug at night.

This location is a country lover’s paradise, with lots to do and explore locally. Local footpaths connect to Offa’s Dyke or you can follow a bespoke walking route from the farm exploring the history of the Rolls family (of Rolls Royce fame) whose ancestral estate is nearby.

Price: Starts from £345 for a short break of three nights.