Head to the countryside for a day on the farm. Take a farm tour – hop on the tractor-trailer for a ride with the kids, walk the farm trail, meet the farm animals or sit down to a delicious field to fork lunch at a farm restaurant or café. With lashings of fresh air, it’s the perfect family day out. Just remember to take your wellies.
10 of The Best Farm Tours For a Family Day Out in The Country
1. Riverford Organic Farm
Near Totnes, Devon
When? Guided Farm Tours from April – October. Year-round, self guided farm tours
Riverford Farm, of organic veg box fame, runs regular ‘Field to Farm’ tours on their Devon farm near Totnes. You hop into a Landrover and are driven off to see the seasonal vegetables growing in the organic fields. Along the way, spot the local hedgerow wildlife, listen to birdsong and admire gorgeous countryside views. The best bit – the farm tour can be followed with a sit down organic feast in the Riverford Field Kitchen. It’s one of the best farm restaurants in Britain.
For the self-guided tour, simply turn up and they give you a map with a recorded commentary by Riverford founder, Guy Watson. The full walk takes around 1.5 hours.
Good to know: They can lend you wellies.
Eat: Order a Riverford Organic Veg Box or book a table at The Riverford Field Kitchen.
Feeling inspired to cook? Order one of the excellent Riverford Farm Cookbooks.
2. River Cottage
When? Select dates throughout the year
There is no formal programme of farm tours at River Cottage. However, if you visit the farm in spring or summer for one of the River Cottage Festivals, they usually run tours for each one. Of course, if you sign up for a course at the Riverford cookery school, you’ll have ample opportunity to take a look around and even pick your veg from the garden.
Eat: Book a dining experience at River Cottage.
Feeling inspired to cook? Why not buy one of Hugh’s excellent River Cottage cookbooks.
Stay: Find The Best Places to Stay in Devon.
3. Darts Farm
Near Exeter, Devon
When? Various farm activities throughout the year
Darts Farm near Exeter is simply one of the best farm shops in the country. It sells an amazing selection of fantastic West Country produce but it’s definitely not just a shop. Although there are no organised farm tours as such, there are many different ways you can enjoy exploring Dart Farm. During the summer months, get lost in the “Maize Maze’, a fun thing to do if you have young children with you. There’s also Pick Your Own, an animal corner, fishing and a wetland project and bird hide. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can hire a bike from here and set off along the Exe Trail.
Eat: Try the lobster and chips at The Fish Shed or visit the Bumble Bee Café in Exmouth for cake and a pot of tea.
Stay: Find the Best Places to Stay in Devon.
4. Daylesford Organic Farm
When? Programme of seasonal farm tours and events
Picture perfect Daylesford Organic Farm in the Cotswolds offers three different farm tours depending upon the season. Popular with young children is the tractor-trailer ride to see the newborn lambs in spring. The tours run during the annual Daylesford Summer Festival held each May. During the summer holidays, you can visit the Market Garden with the head gardener or pick your own strawberries in July.
Year-round, visitors to Daylesford are welcome to take one of the sign-posted farm walks. The farm has over 2,000 acres of organic farmland, gardens and orchards. Some of the walks are suitable for buggies and small children.
Good to know: Daylesford is a shopping destination for all things beautiful. You will need your credit card.
Eat: book a table for lunch at The Old Spot Restaurant
Feeling inspired to cook? Why not buy the Daylesford Farm Cookbook.
Stay: Daylesford has its own exquisite and very stylish holiday cottages on the farm. For alternative options, take a look at our recommendations for The Best Places to Stay in The Cotswolds.
5. Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park
When? Daily Farm Tours From February- end of December
The nation’s favourite farmer, Adam Henson, runs The Cotswold Farm Park. The park was founded by his father in 1971 to help protect rare breeds of farm animals. You pay an entrance fee and have access to everything. There’s a daily tractor and trailer ride around the whole of the Farm Park. You get to see all of the goings-on around the farm and take in wonderful views as a guide talks you through the journey.
Rather uniquely, they also run Fun Rides where you get to enjoy exclusive access to their private Estate in the heart of the Cotswolds. Bring your own horse and join them on a 10-mile ride with jumps along the way that are suitable for all ages.
Eat: Tuck in to sausages and chips at The Old Spot farm restaurant.
Inspired to find out more? Read Adam Henson’s book.
Stay: The farm park has its own campsite with shepherd’s huts and glamping pods. For alternative options, check out our guide to the Best Places to Stay in the Cotswolds.
6. The Isle of Wight Garlic Farm
Newchurch, Isle of Wight
When? Regular tours during the school holidays and at weekends from Easter to September
Enter the world of all things garlicky at The Isle of Wight Garlic Farm. Climb aboard a tractor-trailer for a guided tour through the fields and learn all about garlic growing, the farm and the local surroundings. You can also pick up a map from the farm shop and go on your own walking tour. It’s particularly pretty when all the alliums are in flower.
Eat: In the restaurant at the Garlic Farm (the garlic bread is very yummy).
Feel inspired to cook? Buy the Garlic Farm Cookbook.
Stay: The Garlic Farm has its own self-catering cottages. For alternative options, take a look at our recommendations for Best Places to Stay on the Isle of Wight.
7. Brogdale Farm
When? Guided Farm Tours April – October. Self-guided walks, year-round.
Brogdale Farm is rather unique because it houses the nation’s heritage fruit collection. From April-October, there are three guided tours of the orchard each day. A fantastic time to visit though is for one of their special events. Go to the Apple Festival in October to tour the orchard or visit for the Hanami Festival in spring to see the cherry blossom in its full glory.
Eat: Bring a rug and picnic under the boughs or head to Whitstable for a seafood supper.
Stay: The Best Places to Stay in Whitstable.
8. Yeo Valley Farm
When? Year-round programme of events
You’ve seen the pots of creamy delicious yogurt but did you know that you can visit the actual farm in Somerset? Yeo Valley run a series of fun and interesting events that include visits to the farm and the Yeo Valley Organic garden. You can book on to a ‘Yeo Valley From Farm to Fridge Day’. The day includes a guided walk around the farm in the morning that involves meeting the cows and hearing how it all began – from experiments on the kitchen table to becoming the largest British Organic Brand today. In the afternoon, you visit Yeo Valley HQ and immerse yourself in all things yogurt.
Eat: Book a table at Yeo Valley Canteen, a fabulous staff restaurant that has opened its doors to customers.
Inspired to cook with yoghurt? Buy the Yeo Valley cookbook.
Stay: See our guide to the Best Places to Stay in Somerset.
9. Secret Valley
When? Farmer John Tours, March-October
Secret Valley is an organic farm nestled in the Quantock Hills of Somerset. It offers popular glamping options but also a range of activities on the farm. You can take a Farmer Johns Farm tour in an open trailer. It’s suitable for both adults and children. The tour includes games and surprises along the way and there’s a spot of wine tasting (the farm has its own vineyard).
Eat: Secret Valley has a large kitchen space where you can prepare your own food.
Inspired? Why not take the camping cookbook with you.
10. Leckford Farm Estate
When: Open Farm Sunday
Leckford Estate near Stockbridge, in Hampshire, is a farm that’s owned by Waitrose. Year round you can visit its farm shop, café and large garden nursery. It also offers golf and fishing on the estate. On Open Farm Sunday, the estate opens its door so that visitors can have a behind the scenes peek at how Waitrose produces its food.
Eat: The Waitrose Farm Shop has its own cafe.
Inspired to cook? Try cooking from the Waitrose Cookbook or take a cookery class at The Waitrose Cookery School (in both London and Salisbury).
Stay: The Peat Spade Inn recommended in our guide to the Best Places to Stay in Hampshire.
Open Farm Sunday
Make a date in your diary for Open Farm Sunday Day 2019 and you’ll have the pick of the crop when it comes to farm tours. Every summer hundreds of farms participate all across the country. Open Farm Sunday 2019 will be taking place on 9th June.