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DOWN ON THE FARM

Filed Under: All You Need to Know, Blog, Family Travel Tips, Luxury Family Hotel Review

Posted on 31st Jul 2013

Urbanite Emma is converted to life on the farm…

“We did a lot of research before we went on our Featherdown mini break. Being armed with the knowledge of what your farm can provide is very important as you don’t want to find yourself short of anything.

Our farm experience was nothing short of perfect. Despite arriving late afternoon in the pouring rain, the kids were straight outside, wellied up and with heavy duty rain macs. Nothing was going to deter them from tearing round the farm. My toddler was totally fixated with the chickens that we were the carers of for the weekend and she remained so for the whole three days. She tried to feed them everything from Cheerios to soft toys to (most frequently) her dummy! We didn’t order the dog for the weekend but he became resident outside our tent, loving the attention my kids bestowed upon him.

The tents are amazingly equipped and surprisingly homely. Kids will love the cabin bed which is like sleeping in an oversized cupboard and the master bedroom is a good size with a double bed albeit a but hard). Second room has bunkbeds or, in our case, it worked well for our baby to be accommodated in the cot.

We loved the farm walk which entailed feeding the lambs, the horses and braving the stinging nettles. Our farm’s main source of income was in beef farming so we had a herd of grazing cows right in front of our tent (but with a suitable barrier) and found the chorus of moo’s, mixed with bleets and clucks, around us very endearing. It’s good to take the time to learn about your farm and get chatting with the owners as there is often so much more than they can offer which is not listed as standard on the website.

Some tips for prospective Featherdowners:

Take a camping stove. The wood burning stoves are great for heating the tent but heating water takes an age. All crockery is provided but the lack of hot water means washing up takes some negotiation and planning. If I had my time again, I would take lots of paper plates and cutlery to minimise time at the sink. Take extra blankets as the duvets are not thick and nights can be cold. Take extra candles and long matches: with no electricity you will burn through them in no time. Extra toilet roll, kitchen roll and tea towels were useful and bath towels are a must as they are not provided. Our farm had an honesty shop which was very well stocked so pack light on the condiments and anything that needs refrigeration as you can buy most things there.

It’s amazing how my husband, who seldom cooks at home, became the only one allowed to use the wood burner and the stove. It was man in hunting mode, only in this case, the forage only went as far as the farm shop for the local meat – some of the best sausages and bacon I have eaten for a long time, if ever. I have never seen anyone so keen to make fry-ups every morning. Freshly laid eggs from our chickens and I was almost ready to sell our London semi and head for the rolling countryside.

Featherdown Farms are made for those who love to camp without the labour that camping entails. It offers creature comforts with primitive living so you don’t feel as though you are cheating too much. Just a small amount of open space outside your tent is enough to keep even the most challenging child happy for hours and parents can feel safe knowing that however hard they may try (and believe me mine did), they just cannot escape!

I am really pleased Tots Too is partnering with Featherdown Farms – it’s just the easiest way to experience the back to nature feeling with the least amount of hard work.”

More…  Hollings Hill Farm >>   Canfields Farm >>

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