Feather Down

Options & prices

Balnab Farm

Dumfries and Galloway, Whithorn

★

Rated with 9.5

(30 Reviews)

Escape to a simpler life with Chloe and Gavin

Chloe and Gavin Vance along with their eight children started with Feather Down in the summer of 2021 and what a start it has been! It is not the first Feather Down farm we’ve had in Scotland but it is the most southerly, being in Whithorn just a couple of miles from the Solway Firth. Within just a couple of months, their Feather Down experience has been written up in the Guardian and the Scotsman as a go-to family holiday in Scotland. Their third-generation farm can lay claim to having one of the oldest continuous dairy herds in the UK, their 120 head of Holstein Friesians producing milk that goes into the ‘Seriously Strong Cheddar’ you see on the supermarket shelves.

Fresh sea air

Even at the height of the summer, you’ll find gorgeous spots just a short drive from the farm that will have you wondering where the crowds are. The fishing village of The Isle of Whithorn would be rammed if it were in Cornwall, the seaside town of Garlieston and beaches like Rigg Bay too. There are many out-of-season attractions too. The Wigtown Book Festival in September could go toe-to-toe with its equivalent in Hay and the Galloway House Gardens are worth a visit at any time. All in all, a stay at Balnab Farms makes the ideal family holiday in Scotland.

What to do at Balnab Farm

The farm is a veritable menagerie with dairy calves, pygmy goats and Shetland ponies to name but a few within view of your canvas hideaway. You and your children could experience helping feeding and grooming the animals or take a tractor ride around the farm, unforgettable moments to share together (select dates and additional cost). Also at the centre of the encampment is a play area with climbing, water play and straw bales giving all the space and imagination that children need on holiday. Tractor rides and Shetland pony rides (what other breed would you have for a family holiday in Scotland?) are all extras available to book at regular times, so everyone will be worn out by the time night falls and you all retire to your comfy Feather Down beds.

What can you expect?

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    Dog-friendly

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    Honesty shop

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    Pizza oven

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    Private shower

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    Outdoor playground

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    Farm tour

What animals will you find on this farm?

Sheep

Goats

Calves

Lambs

Ducks

Ponies

Pigs

Cows

Dogs

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What our guests like

  • ✓ 4 canvas hideaways
  • ✓ No electricity
  • ✓ View cow milking
  • ✓ Close to the beach
  • ✓ Feed the animals
  • ✓ Tractor rides

Explore our canvas hideaway

Lines Options & prices
Safari tent interior glamping England
Boerenbed UK 1279 copy
Glamping cooking
Glamping tent inside
Glamping cupboard bed
Check A unique off-grid experience
Check The perfect adventure for children
Check Quality family time
Check Small scale farms
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    Including wood for the wood-burning stove (1 pack per day)

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    Including welcome package with bed-linen, towels, candles, matches, washing-up liquid and other basic items

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    Private showers

What do our guests think?

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Average rating
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9.5

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31/05/2024

A wonderful return to Balnab Farm and a welcome break from the hectic busy-ness of everyday life.

10

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12/04/2024

Despite the weather rain and very high winds the field very muddy didn’t prevent us having a great time . Balnab was such a great place , such a lovely hosting family. Both adults and children aged 7&10 years loved the farm tour, feeding the calf’s and goats . The only negative part of the review was the shop not having milk in the machine for the kids to get their milk shakes , there was a sign saying machine empty will be filled soon , resulting in kids continually being disappointed over a 24 hr period of going back and forward till it was filled the following day. Also the pizza £50 paid for 5 x Pizza that the farmer fires up the outside oven and you have choice of making your own, however without even explaining this won’t be happening we received 5 x pizza that was frozen shop buys on paper plates with tin foil and bland this was very disappointing and not worth £20 let alone £50, if we had been informed about this we would have asked for a refund as they had to be paid prior to our arrival. This did put a sour taste in our mouth as I personally would have been embarrassed to charge that amount for those Pizza’s . Overall would still return in the warmer season and just forget about ordering Pizza etc .

10

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Mrs Gallagher

22/09/2023

Beautiful service, before and during our stay; lovely site with play equipment, loved the personal touches i.e. farm tour and hot tub and it all felt clean and safe. Nothing was too much trouble.

10

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Miss Hall

28/08/2023

Our holiday on Balnab farm was full of wonderful experiences…a return to a simpler life where we watched our son play until the sun went down, make friends, run free and experience amazing new things. We will be back.The beds are lovely and comfy, the tents are clean and nicely finished and the outdoor private shower is a lovely experience. Taking a camping stove is really helpful in terms of heating water and food through more easily than on the log burner.Gavin the farmer was so kind and attentive to our farm loving little boy, he listened and explained all the answers to his many questions…and the opportunities for hands on experiences (calf feeding, goat feeding, tractor ride/meet the herd) were wonderful!

10

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Mrs Brown

11/08/2023

We absolutely loved our stay , from feeding the goats to having a play in the Ket it was a brilliant family weekend away.

10

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Mrs Fenwick

07/08/2023

Lovely few days away. Great spot for exploring Galloway. I think the £30 late arrival and departure fee feels a bit uneccesssary as it goes against the welcoming feel that a family run farm generates. I also think that wood should be free.

8.8

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Mr Lemmon

07/08/2023

Excellent

10

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Mrs McMonagle

01/08/2023

A wonderful break in an atmospheric canvas cabin, great for kids, super comfy beds, and the hosts were welcoming and very accommodating. Our son really loved the farm experiences especially feeding the calves.

10

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Mrs Woollcott

07/07/2023

Relaxing and great for kids

10

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Mr Thomson

16/06/2023

A fantastic outdoor experience

10

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Mrs McManus

26/05/2023

What a weekend!! From the moment we were met by the lovely, smiley Cloe to when we left everything was great! Kids (14,13 and 9) LOVED it. Dog was beside herself with joy (who knew dogs and goat can actually play together??!). And husband and I are now looking at when we can go back. The Vance family are just amazing- it takes some super human strength to run dairy farm, campsite, shop, have 8!! Children all while keeping a smile on their faces. Nothing is too much trouble- when something malfunctioned in the tent it was fixed within minutes. We fed calves and goats, played on our own play park complete with hay bales and tractor, played football, drank “home” produced milkshakes, hung out with the horses, cows, goats and pigs that are literally outside your tent, BBQed and visited the gorgeous surroundings. Oh. And the sun shone!Basically- book this now. You will love it!

10

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Mrs Little

15/05/2023

We loved it. The children loved it so much they wanted to stay for always

8.8

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MRS MCVICAR

07/04/2023

Family of four, 2 kids. I was apprehensive with no electricity and no wifi - how would they cope! We had the best time. There was something so special about going back to the basics but still having comforts such as comfy beds, cooking facilities, toilet etc. the kids loved the animals and now want goats as pets. They made friends and had a ball playing at the play area. The farm tour and feed the calves was fab. There is so much close by as well, we did the chocolate factory and visited the mull of Galloway lighthouse . It really was a special holiday ad we have made memories to last a lifetime - thank you x

10

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Mr Kirsop

25/07/2022

Balnab farm We had a wonderful stay at Balnab farm from 25th to 28th July. We could not have been made any more welcome by Chloe and Gavin, their son joe, or their lovely daughters who were happy to play with the visiting kids. The whole family were happy to share their place with us, answer any questions, sort any issues and it was really special.The farm is perfectly situated to explore the isle of Whithorn, Newton Stewart, Kirkcudbright, and further.The tents are comfortable and well equipped and you feel close to nature but with most of the comforts of home. We loved the oil lamps and wood stove which were all set up (more oil and wicks available in honesty shop). We brought our own gas stove which was handy for boiling water for coffee. We had glorious weather but the tents are big enough should the weather confine you to barracks. A power bank is handy for charging phones and check all the info for handy things right remember like lighters, torches and hey fever tablets. The private outdoor showers have a great view and the buckets that form the shower head are so quirky (they continue to pour after you turn off so make sure you turn tap right to close).Our 9 year old (and us) loved the animal pens which are opposite the tents and house calves, goats, pigs and ponies. We loved occasional visits from the farm dogs bonnie and Flo. And Bernie the goat who liked to go a wander.The activities like feeding the animals, the tractor ride, pony ride and hot tub were worth the extra fee and really enhanced the experience.Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the wonderful Vances. Lots of happy memories made.

10

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Mrs Fullarton

24/06/2022

Fun, unique and with amazing hosts on hand at every turn. Such a lovely family who shared so much of their knowledge about the farm. Can’t thank them enough x

8.8

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Mr Jolly

24/06/2022

Best family holiday ever ☺️☺️☺️

10

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Miss Frew

17/06/2022

Great break away with 2 young kids. Cosy and comfortable tents and plenty of space for the little ones to roam free, feed the animals and play on the tractor.

10

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Mrs McLean

30/05/2022

We had an absolutely brilliant time at Balnab Farm. The kids loved everything from the animals to the play area to the tractor rides. We all thought the accommodation was amazing, and Chloe, Gavin and their family were such great hosts. 10/10 - lots of special memories made!!

10

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mr campbell

24/09/2021

great for kids and adults

8.8

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Mrs Goddard

23/08/2021

My son who’s 6yrs old rated it as a 10.5 which says it all!

10

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Dr Polli

20/08/2021

Relaxing and refreshing (parents), fun and amazing (kids)! We were made very welcome and had a great week.

10

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Mrs Bays

06/08/2021

Refreshing and relaxing break in a fantastic part of Scotland. Lots for kids to do and everything you might need is provided for. Totally recommend the breakfast box!

10

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Mrs Viggiani

02/08/2021

Balnab was our best Featherdown experience yet. Wonderful location and lovely hosts. We were able to relax whilst our children played in the hay, fed the animals and made new friends. Will definitely be back!

10

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Mrs Bradshaw

23/07/2021

Just wanted to say thank you so much for a fantastic holiday. Definitely made some fantastic family memories this weekend. The set up is amazing. I felt I could totally relax and let the kids run free. They loved getting to feed the animals and their ride on the tractor. The tents were superb and had everything we we needed. We will all be recommending balnab farm to our friends and family

10

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Mrs Millar

19/07/2021

Great fun on the site for families, the 24 hour access to the farm animals was a brilliant surprise. Kids loved the hay slide & playpark.

10

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mrs mclaren

09/07/2021

An opportunity for our children to connect with nature, make new friends, play safely outdoors , experience fresh air and sunshine in abundance and for our family to spend time together appreciating farm life and country living. Was just magical and the level of comfort and style made for a terrifically enjoyable few nights spent sleeping under the stars. Can’t rate it highly enough!!!!

10

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Ms Wardrope

09/07/2021

Absolutely fabulous!

10

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Mrs Evans

09/07/2021

Brilliant family holiday

10

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miss Killean

05/07/2021

Idyllic! A perfect family holiday . Chloe and Gavin were brilliant hosts

10

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Miss Hunter

02/07/2021

Authentic child friendly farm experience. Our 6 year old just had the best time playing with the other children on the hay bails and running around with pigmy goats. Chloe, Gavin and their family made us feel very welcome and at ease. Any questions or issues were quickly addressed. We highly recommend it for families with children.

10

Meet your hosts

Chloe and Gavin

Balnab Farm is a 3rd generation family-run dairy farm, a short drive from some stunning coastal views and plenty of play space for kids. A warm welcome awaits you from Gavin, Chloe, Joseph, Finlay, Ruby, Anna, Charlotte, Rosie, Eilidh, and Morven.

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We are excited to welcome you to our corner of paradise and teach you all about our family-run dairy farm.
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Highlight

Pizza Night

The farmer will usually fire up the pizza oven during your stay. Everyone gathers round to tell their stories of the day’s adventures and invent pizza toppings you’ll never find on the high street.

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Highlight

Ask the Farmer

The farm tour is a must if it’s on offer during your stay, but you don’t have to wait until then. The farmer will be delighted to tell you more about farm life at any time.

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Highlight

The Farm Shop

It’s great for the basics and usually even better for local produce and low food miles. And every Feather Down farm shop operates on an honesty basis. At Balnab farm, you'll even find a fresh milk dispenser, produced and pasteurised directly at the farm!

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If John Lewis sold holidays, they'd look like this

Options during your stay

Stove and lamp service
Stove and lamp service
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Your stove and lamps are lit before arrival, when you arrive before 6 p.m.

BBQ Box
BBQ Box
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Recommended!

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A selection of locally produced meats such as sausages, burgers, ribs, minute steaks. Enough for 6 people and the contents of the box differ slightly per farm.

Pets
Pets
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Bring your dog along. A maximum of 2 well-behaved dogs per canvas hideaway. The price is per dog, per stay.

Please note: You are required to keep your dog on a leash while on the campsite.

Campfire Pack
Campfire Pack
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Includes all the essentials for a memorable night around the campfire! Pack can include firewood, matches, lighters, marshmallows, outdoor sparklers, popcorn, and hot chocolate ingredients. These packages vary per location. 

Nearby the farm

Beaches

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With sea-views from the top of Balnab farm, you'll only a short distance from the waves! Rigg Bay is ideal for a family beach trip, sheltered from the prevailing wind and beautifully still and warm on a sunny day.

Isle of Whithorn

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With a historic link to St Ninians first Christian Church in Scotland, Isle of Whithorn still holds the remains of Saint Ninian's Chapel. As one of the most southerly villages and seaports in Scotland, you'll find local fish and chips, tasty food at The Steampacket Inn and options for sea or river fishing too.

Garlieston

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Garlieston started as a fishing village but nowadays you'll find lobster boats and cute quay-side café. Just a few miles from Balnab farm, be sure to visit Galloway House and Gardens with gorgeous blooms and flora to enjoy.

Wigtown

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A book-lovers haven! As Scotland's National Book Town, Wigtown hosts it's famous book festival each September which is not to be missed. It's perfect for exploring quaint, independent book shops or as a base to walk through the Machars peninsula, you may even spot an Osprey or two!

What a weekend!

★

Rated Balnab Farm with a 10,0

FD Balnab small 061
What a weekend!! From the moment we were met by the lovely, smiley Chloe to when we left everything was great! Kids (14,13 and 9) LOVED it. Dog was beside herself with joy (who knew dogs and goat can actually play together??!). And husband and I are now looking at when we can go back. The Vance family are just amazing- it takes some super human strength to run dairy farm, campsite, shop, have 8 Children, all while keeping a smile on their faces. Nothing is too much trouble - when something malfunctioned in the tent it was fixed within minutes. We fed calves and goats, played on our own play park complete with hay bales and tractor, played football, drank “home” produced milkshakes, hung out with the horses, cows, goats and pigs that are literally outside your tent, BBQed and visited the gorgeous surroundings. Oh. And the sun shone! Basically- book this now. You will love it!

Updates

View blogs and articles
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07/02/2024

A family guide to Dumfries and Galloway

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10/02/2023

New milk pasteurising facility at Scottish dairy farm

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