In the UK, we are fortunate to have so many interesting and varied places to visit, from National parks and forests, through to bustling cities or quaint villages. A short break is a great option for a staycation and often you can find great locations just 2-3 hours from home that you might not have explored before.
However, we know that travelling with children can include a minefield of choices, not least where to go to keep them entertained but also give you a chance for some rest and relaxation as a parent. Choose from a selection of our 29 small-scale farms with animals, play equipment or extra activities to keep them entertained all day long while you enjoy relaxing with a hot cup of coffee!
If you want to mix countryside with sand and sea, Norfolk is the perfect place for a short break. With 90 miles of coastline, you’ll never be far from a sandy beach, rolling cliffs or coastal salt marshes for a day of exploring and adventure. If you prefer to stay inland, you can discover the city of Norwich with it’s ancient cathedral (it has the largest cloisters in England) and cobbled Tudor streets, a true step back into days gone by. To entertain the kids, you can take a trip to Bewilderwood or Roarr dinosaur park – a great day out for all ages.
At College Farm near Southwold, you’ll be close to the broads, beaches and beautiful villages for your staycation. There’s a play barn to keep the kids busy as well as an outdoor playground for sunny days and communal covered seating area – great for meeting up with others and sharing your farm stay experience together. You’ll see cows grazing in the salt meadows around your tent with sheep to meet and say hello to during your stay
While it may be more well-known for fake tans and reality shows, there’s a rich history surrounding the county of Essex alongside a countryside that is vast and varied. It’s also been classed as Britain’s driest county – great for planning an outdoor adventure! It’s 350 mile coastline is longer than the journey from London to Paris; imagine the adventures you could have exploring the beaches, coves and piers.
At Layer Marney Tower, you’ll be staying just down the road from Britain’s oldest city Colchester. But it will feel like a million miles away from the city hustle and bustle with rolling fields, fresh air and stunning wildlife. Meet the sheep and goats that live at the farm, along with watching wild deer roam from the comfort of your canvas hideaway. Children can run free in the fields and woodlands creating their own adventures, or enjoy climbing and sliding in the playground around the back of the tower, all while you relax in a warm hot tub and read that book you’ve been trying to finish for months!
Often overlooked as a short break destination, Bedfordshire is located in the heart of England with great transport links and only a short drive from London. With the cities of Oxford and Cambridge nearby, you’ll have lots of options for exploring somewhere new. If you prefer to stay in the countryside and be surrounded by nature and fresh air, there are charming villages and market towns close by too. If you want to indulge in some history, Bletchley Park is nearby for those young and old to discover more about world war two.
New Barn farm is the perfect escape from the city for animal lovers. Immerse yourself into farm life with farmers Will and Hannah, who will show you around their animal and arable farm as well as offering a tasty pizza night during your stay. You’ll be able to meet and cuddle the guinea pigs in their barn throughout your stay as well as meeting sheep, pigs and goats, you can even book to groom the ponies too! Explore the farm and nearby forest by foot, bike or even a pedal kart, it’s an adventure for the whole family.
The New Forest is a well-known short break area for those wanting to escape to nature and discover somewhere new. Explore a place where ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer roam free across wild heathland, ancient woodland and clifftop paths. If you want to venture out of the woods, take a trip to Somerley House where you'll find all manner of fairs, activities and festivals throughout the year, something for all ages.
At Midgham farm, kids can roam free around the woods and explore the play features including rope swings and sand pits. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, try your hand at fly fishing, coarse fishing or swimming in the nearby Hampshire Avon. With a whole host of animals including ponies, pigs, sheep and spring lambs, they’ll be plenty to keep everyone entertained during your weekend farm stay.
If you're looking for a short escape with beautiful beaches, stunning castles, exciting culture and delicious food and drink, then take a look at Kent. Just an hour from London down on the South coast, you’ll have plenty of choices of what to do over your weekend getaway. Why not visit Hastings, the seaside town rich with British history or explore the woods and rolling hills of High Weald, an AONB.
Reviewed by Sainsburys as the ideal spot for a family break in Kent, Sunninglye farm will transport you to a world of nature and wildlife. You’ll enjoy views from your canvas hideaway across the fields and woodland, perhaps spotting the wild fallow deer. For animal lovers, you’ll meet a plethora of farm animals include sheep, goats, pigs, horses and donkeys. With a lake onsite, you can take part in the raft building activity, brunch adventure or even go fishing, a great activity for all ages.
Home to Windsor Castle, Berkshire is known as a royal county due to it’s historic connections with the royal family. Just a stone’s throw from London, you’ll experience a short break weekend surrounded by history, nature and the great outdoors. Create long-lasting memories while visiting Windsor castle or maybe Ascot races, or slow down the pace of living with a horse-drawn canal boat ride, a truly unique event.
New to the Feather Down farm collection this year, Foxglove farm has a hands-on element within their dedicated care farm. Get to know their South African boar goats, feed the chickens and say hello to the sheep while Flint the sheepdog rounds them up in the fields. If you want an active holiday, Inkpen Common nature reserve is a short walk from the farm, an ancient heathland where rare birds and species can be seen. And a short drive away, you can climb up to Walbury Hill, the highest chalk hill point in Southern England.