The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
From pumpkins to alpacas...udderly awesome farm fun
From meeting spring lambs and picking the plumpest, freshest fruit, to spending a day in the life of a farmer and then spending the night among the beauty of rural Scotland, agritourism has become a bit of a hot topic.
Not only is it a fantastic way to learn more about the life in the countryside, it’s also a chance to reconnect to nature after spending months at home.
With Covid-19 restrictions set to start easing in the coming weeks, there is no better time to plan your first agritourism adventure of 2021. So here are some suggestions of things you maybe didn’t know you could do at a Scottish farm.
Go for a swim
Located in Stirlingshire, Arnprior is the only farm in Scotland to boast its own private eco-pool.As well as enjoying a dip, guests can book a stay in one of four glamping pods.
Arnprior is probably best known for its events which include pumpkin-picking.The farm is home to more than 10,000 pumpkins and every autumn families can pick their own.
Enjoy a cream tea with a Highland coo
Well not literally, but Kitchen Coos and Ewes, based at Newton Stewart in Wigtownshire, does offer a special Cream Tea Coo Tour where you’ll meet their flock of Beltex sheep, take photos of the fluffy Highland cows and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration before finishing with a refreshing cream tea.A trip can include everything from a tour of the land accompanied by a knowledgeable guide to meeting the fold on a farmer-led Highland cow safari.
Party with an alpaca
Located in the beautiful Galloway countryside, Senwick Alpacas is a working livestock farm home to a pack of alpacas.
Not only can you book an alpaca trekking experience to explore the 320-acre farm, there is even the option of an alpaca party where you can meet the adorable creatures.The farm is also home to The Secret Studio, a luxury eco-bothy near a bluebell wood.
Spend the night in a helicopter
If you want to try glamping with a difference, then head to Mains Farm Wigwams near Stirling where you can enjoy an overnight stay in a converted
Sea King helicopter. Sleeping two adults or a family of five (two adults and three children), the helicopter experience boasts a mini kitchen, bathroom, and a cockpit seating area where you can enjoy stunning views over the Forth Valley.
Stay in a bespoke bolthole
Boutique Farm Bothies is a fantastic example of agri-accommodation. Set in Aberdeenshire farmland, the three bothies were designed and made by their owners. Being off the grid is a big part of this farm experience. Guests also enjoy a welcome hamper of homemade bread, jam and porridge.
Relax in a bothy with fab food
Wilson’s Farm and Kitchen in Kelso has Wee Bothies for hire. Previously grain bins, they seat up to eight people and come with a firepit. They are rustically decorated and hire includes a gourmet taster platter for lunch, tea and coffee, and home baking.
Go paddle boarding
Yes, really. Portnellan Farm on Loch Lomond combines all the traits of a working farm with a host of outdoor activities. Hidden away on the secluded south shore of the famous loch, the family farm is best known for producing organic beef, but has diversified to offer farm tours as well as speedboat tours, kayak and paddleboard hire.
See wild birds of prey
Lerrocks Farm in Doune, Perthshire is central Scotland’s only red kite feeding station.
Known as Argaty Red Kites, the farm offers hides and photography opportunities so that wildlife fans can safely watch these magnificent birds as they soar and glide.
The daily feeding sessions help support the red kite population.The working farm is a great example of how farming and wildlife conservation can help one another.
Sample Scotland’s first potato vodka
Ogilvy Farm in Angus is an example of the unique and exciting products that have been inspired by local crops. The farm created the country’s first potato vodka and now operates Ogilvy Spirits.
Learn more about the spirit-making process, and see where vodka is cooked, fermented, and distilled, before sampling the award-winning vodka as part of a special tour.
GoRural’s Lambathon is showcasing the importance of agriculture. Watch the videos on GoRural’s Facebook page with a different farm in the spotlight each day. For more inspiration go to visitscotland.com/ holidays-breaks/farm-stays.
More info at arnpriorfarm. com, kitchencoosandewes. com, senwickalpacas.co.uk, mainsfarmwigwams.com, boutiquefarmbothies.co.uk, wilsonsfarmandkitchen. co.uk, portnellanfarm.co.uk, argatyredkites.co.uk/home