Agriturisms in The U.K.

British farm stays from $30 per person

Thatched Farm in Suffolk, England
Thatched roof but free WiFi—that's the new age of farm tourism. Double B&B rooms start at £38 ($58) per person (including a Full English breakfast) at the aptly-named Thatched Farm in Suffolk, England (
Farm stay operations in Great Britian can range from a cozy guest room and a full English breakfast at North Farmcote Bed & Breakfast in the Cotswolds (, to Shenval B&B organic farm in the Scottish Highlands near Loch Ness charging £26 ($39) per person (, to to Reddivallen Farmhouse, a stone cottage on an organic beef farm in Cornwall, not far from Tintagel, a.k.a. Camelot (

All of those charge around £30–£35 ($45–$52) per person per night—and that's about typical for a farmhouse B&B in the U.K.

A self-catering cottage on a farm in the English Lake District or Scottish Isle (or anywhere else) starts around £225–£350 ($340–$530) per week—that's from just $28 per person per night for a couple.

How to find British farm stays

Many local tourist offices have lists of local farm stays.

Sadly, few are listed in general guidebooks—but there are often farm stay guides available in local bookshops.

You can always just look for signs on country roads, pointing down rutted dirt tracks toward a farmhouse set among the vineyards.

If you want to find and book a few before you leave, here are the best online resources for finding farm stays all across the U.K.:

Farm Stay UK ( - Sometimes buggy site, but if you can get it to work it lists nearly 1,200 rural accommodation options across the United Kingdom (farmhouse B&Bs, self-catering rural cottages, campgrounds, caravans, and rural hostels).

Organic Places to Stay ( - B&Bs, rental cottages, homestays, and camping sites on working organic farms—including more than 500 in Great Britain.

Visit Scotland ( - That is a deep link to the page within the "Accommodations" section of the official Scottish tourism orginization's website that focuses on Scottish farm stays—more than 90 of them. (It might move, so you might have to root around if the link is broken.)

Feather Down Farm Days ( - Six organic farms in England and Wales that use the Feather Down Days luxury tents (like a safari tent on steroids with a rustic touch—basically part cabin, part canvas) and ethos.

ECEAT ( - The European Center for Eco Agro Tourism is a Dutch concern selling guidebooks to agritourism establishments across Europe. Its sister site (all in Dutch, but the details are easy enough to savvy) lists about three dozen in the U.K.

Visit Britain ( - In the past, the official website has broken out farms under their accommodations listings. For unfathomable reasons, this is not currently the case (you have to root around the B&B listings to find them), but who knows? They might start giving us the option again in the future.

Become a farmhand; sleep for free - If you really want to get your hands dirty, sign up to become a temporary farmhand through one of two volunteer organizations: WWOOF ( and Helpx ( Full Story

What is a farm stay?

The concept behind agritourism (or farm stays, or guest ranches, or farmhouse B&Bs, or rural tourism, or whatever you want to call it) is simple: you spend the night as a guest on a working farm. From there, though, the concept flies off in many directions.

Sometimes you just hole up for the night in a B&B converted from a farmhouse.

Sometimes you actually stick around to do volunteer work for a few days (a week, two months, a year), as with the worldwide WWOOF and Helpx networks.

Sometimes, just renting a cottage in a rural area where sheep wander past your window is enough to count.

Ideally, the property's owners live on-site and are farmers who derive the bulk of their income from agriculture, using this newfangled form of tourism merely to help make ends meet.

In some countries, the practice of agritourism is highly regulated; in others, it’s a wild west of opportunities, and you have to pick carefully to avoid spending the night in a barn atop a pile of hay (unless that's what you want—I've done it, and it's great).

How much does a British farm stay cost?

Double rooms at farm stay operation run anywhere from $30 to $400, but usually around $70 to $160.

What is a farm stay like?

I've stayed at loads of agriturisms: vineyards and dairy farms, barns amid olive groves and frescoed villas next to horse stables. Each stay has offered me a different experience of farm life for a fraction the cost of a hotel.

Many agriturisms require a two- or three-night minimum stay (for some, a week).

Roughly half accept credit cards.

Sometimes you get four-star luxury and satellite TV. Sometimes you’re a straw's-width from sleeping in a stall.

Most, though, are just what you'd expect from a farmhouse B&B: simple comforts, solid country furnishings, and rural tranquility—barnyard noises excepted.

The hosts tend to be a sight friendlier than your average hotel desk clerk. Some invite guests to dine with them, family-style, in the farmhouse. One shepherd let me stir a bubbling pot of sheep's milk to help it on its way to becoming pecorino cheese. Vineyard owners love to crack open bottles of their best to guide you through the finer points of wine tasting.



Tours Under $995 G Adventures

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in November 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.