Farm stays open a whole new world, with family-friendly holidays offering the chance to enjoy the freedom of country living

The summer holidays are here, and as families search for new places to explore and fun things to do, the popularity of farm holidays and experiences is on the rise. Taking some time out in the countryside allows children and their parents to relax and unwind, reconnect with nature, and learn more about the farming and food production happening on their doorsteps.

Surrounded by some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery, these working farms provide a fantastic array of day-out experiences, such as egg-collecting, trailer tours and feeding cute baby lambs. If you are planning a longer stay, take advantage of one of the many quirky accommodation options on offer, from stylish glamping pods and charming farmhouse bed and breakfast to luxurious self-catering cottages.


At the foot of the Gargunnock Hills near Stirling, Old Leckie has been in the same family for more than 100 years. Its beautiful, five-star self-catering accommodation, housed in the  old Coachman’s quarters, is a little piece of luxury at the heart of the working farm. The farm, complete with cows, sheep, chickens and pigs, century-old trees, hidden bridges and waterfalls, is a lovely backdrop to a holiday in the countryside.

Owners Alison and Fergus are on hand to help visitors enjoy a bespoke tour, with the opportunity to meet the animals and learn more about Scottish farming and food production. The icing on the cake is the farm tasting, where you can sample Old Leckie’s award-winning free range eggs, Highland beef, and outdoor reared pork and lamb.

(Image: Bellevue)


This family-run, working farm near Blackwaterfoot on the scenic Isle of Arran, is a proper country escape, offering family tours, fresh farm produce and luxury cottage accommodation. The tours and experiences allow visitors to explore the farm, meeting sixth generation farmers Donald and Ailsa Currie, collecting the morning eggs, feeding the alpacas, or meeting Highland cows, pigs, donkeys, hens, sheep and ducks.

Bellevue’s holiday cottages (charmingly named the Sleepy Sheepy and the Snoozy Coo) provide family friendly, self-catering accommodation with fantastic views, just a five-minute walk from the beach. Each cottage can host four people, with patio doors onto a barbecue area, and a large, child-friendly garden. Home-reared meat is available to buy at Bellevue, along with a range of other local produce, including Arran cheese, milk and jams and chutneys.

(Image: Down on the Farm)


In a scenic corner of North East Scotland, the Short family offer a fantastic range of rural experiences, from farm tours and cream teas to quirky places to stay with the family. With stunning beaches, bracing cliff top walks, ancient castles and endless sunsets on its doorstep, this 200-acre farm offers visitors the chance to take a trailer tour of the farm, meet the animals and learn more about sheep and cattle farming in this area of outstanding natural beauty on the Moray Firth coast. All tours end in the 150-year-old ‘chaumer’ (farm bothy) with hot drinks and farmhouse baking.

There are several accommodation options, including the fantastic Hideaways. This is glamping at its best, with all the ambience of a camping holiday plus kettle, microwave, fridge, crockery and cutlery and even a TV (although it’s unlikely you’ll want to tear yourself away from looking at the scenery….)

(Image: Wilsons Farms)


On the edge of the pretty Borders village of Morebattle, the Wilsons’ home farm at Cowbog in he Scottish Borders has around 250 cattle, arable crops and a host of conservation features the cows help to manage. Its Field to Fork walking farm tour gives visitors of all ages fantastic insight into how the food grown here ends up on your plate, and how the farmers are striving to develop biodiversity on their land.

It’s also a chance to meet some of the farm animals (as up close and personal as you are comfortable with) and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal afterwards. Cleverly, Wilson’s has repurposed its grain stores to offer a quirky, fun and private way to dine and relax in the countryside without worrying about the weather. The ‘off grid’ Wee Bothies have their own private fire pit and seat up to eight people.

(Image: Long Island Retreats)


Step off the beaten path and feel yourself relax and unwind on the isle of South Uist. The owners have taken the opportunity to breathe new life into traditional croft buildings, transforming them into luxurious, off-grid, self-catering accommodation.

The range of island experiences on offer include the chance to meet the locals, hear tales of yesteryear, learn a little Gaelic, and meet the animals, including Highland cattle, Shetland ponies, saddleback pigs and wild red deer. You can spend an idyllic morning getting to know the ponies, learning the art of sheep shearing or heading out on the machair to learn about the unique ecosystem of South Uist. Long Island Retreats also run field to fork tours, where you can sample some homegrown croft produce.

(Image: Kitchen coos and ewes)


Neale and Janet McQuistin at Airyolland Farm in Newton Stewart came up with the idea for Kitchen Coos and Ewes to allow them to share their passion for these fantastic animals. Amid majestic scenery, on what is essentially a farmer-led cow and sheep safari, visitors can learn about how Highland cows and sheep help wildlife and biodiversity, and there will be plenty of photo opportunities. A proper treat is the Cream Tea Coo tour, which ends with a delicious cream tea with your hosts.

There is much fascinating history on the working farm, too - the remains of a Bronze Age hut circle, for example, traditional dry-stone dykes and remnants of lazy beds, a form of 18th century agriculture. Each trip ends with a cuppa and home baking fresh from the farmhouse kitchen.


Farmers Graeme and Louise and family have created a memorable and award-winning set-up at Newton of Fothringham farm in idyllic, rural Angus, where visitors can take a tour, feed the alpacas, groom the Highland cows and cuddle the spring lambs to their hearts’ content.

Families can also enjoy exploring peaceful trails, or join in the fun with their little ones and Timmy the vintage tractor on a tour of the farm. Younger children will love the fact some of the alpacas are named after Disney characters (Bolt lives up to his name) and you will also likely encounter Julie and Hetty, the Highland coos, some very curious runner ducks and Lucy the micro pig. The lovely accommodation at Newton Farm includes a family ensuite B&B room in the main farmhouse, complete with a Taste of Angus breakfast experience; and a three-bedroom self-catering cottage.