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Old Leckie Farm
© VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

Holidays

Working farm holidays & stays in Scotland

Farm stays - header Newton Farm Holidays and Tours, Angus 

Experience the best of rural Scotland on a farm stay or day out at a working farm. You might want to get stuck in with daily farm duties, such as collecting eggs, or simply relax and enjoy country life.

For kids, is there a better prospect than spending time surrounded by farm animals and having lots of fun trying outdoor activities? We think not! There are plenty of great ways to enjoy the surrounding countryside, from long bike rides to foraging. Does this sound like your type of getaway? If so, it's time to roll up your sleeves, pull on your wellies and head down to one of the many welcoming farms across Scotland.

The Benefits of a Farm Stay in Scotland

Guardswell Farm

The Infield, Guardswell Farm, Perthshire © VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

While there is a quintessential image of staying in the countryside, farm stays come in all shapes and sizes too. Will it be a first-hand experience looking after the animals or will you choose a farm stay with a twist instead? Many farms across Scotland are expanding and sharing their agricultural experiences, traditional as well as new ventures. From yoga retreats to watersport activities, being in the fresh air will certainly uplift your mood.

Find out more about the benefits of a farm stay in Scotland:

How to experience the best of Scottish Farm Produce

Farm produce

© Craig Stephen / Go Rural

If it’s one thing that Scotland is renowned for is its food & drink. With suppliers from across the country specialising in everything from Scotch lamb, Scotch beef, and pork, to cheese, ice cream and more, Scotland has got you covered! If you love all things cheese then St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese is the place for you. Discover the process of making Artisan cheese with the milk sourced from the farms very own herd of Friesian Holstein. Pick your own fruit and vegetables at Broadslap Farm in Perthshire, not only will you get to taste locally grown food, but it will help to reduce your food miles too. What are food miles you may ask? Food miles are calculated on how far your food has travelled before reaching your plate. You can easily reduce this by visiting some of our fantastic farmers’ markets. Make a trip to Wilson’s Farm & Kitchen for the ultimate field-to-fork experience. Take a farm tour where you can see some of the crops growing, watch a sheepdog demonstration and, of course, say hello to the adorable farm animals. You’ll be guaranteed a hearty meal here once the tour has finished using the freshest of ingredients from artisan producers.

It’s not just our attractions who are leading the way when it comes to eating local, many of our restaurants take great pride in making delicious dishes from scratch, working closely with local food and drink producers from across Scotland. Howie’s Restaurant in Edinburgh is renowned for its meat and seafood dishes; enjoy mouth-watering lobsters from Eyemouth, haddock from Peterhead, salmon from the Shetland Isles, or perhaps duck will take your fancy? Mharsanta in Glasgow takes their Scottish food and drink offering very seriously too. The restaurant works alongside Rodgers the Butchers, Graham’s Dairy, MacSweens Haggis, The Fish People and craft beer companies, including Innis & Gunn, to provide visitors with a Scottish dining experience like no other!

Can you handle the heat of the kitchen? Follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s most famous chefs and take part in a cooking class. Ballintaggart, Nick Nairn Cook School and The Station House Cookery School will help put your culinary skills to the test as you serve up and sample your wonderful foodie creations.

Discover more of Scotland’s food and drink.

Farm Tours

Lennox of Lomond Farm Tours

Farm Tours Lennox of Lomond Farm Tours © Go Rural / Craig Stephen

Have you ever wanted to experience life on the farm? Now is your chance! Let our farmers lead the way and show you around on a farm tour. From feeding the animals and alpaca walking, to visiting a barley farm and learning the process behind making Scotland’s national drink, get ready to enjoy the wonders of agritourism!

  • Jacksons At Jedburgh, Scottish Borders – running farm tours from April to October, you’ll get the chance to meet some woolly residents, including wool shedding sheep and Salers Cross cattle. Spring is the season of new beginnings and new life, meet adorable new-born calves when lambing season takes place throughout April and May.
  • Newton Farm Holidays, Angus – experience a day in the life of a farmer at Newton Farm Holidays. Choose from a wide range of first-hand experiences including bottle feeding the lambs, walking your very own alpaca or take part in the Feeding Frenzy when dinner is served to the animals in the evening.
  • Bellevue Farm Tours, Arran – you’ll have lots of farm duties lined up for you on a day visit to Bellevue Farm. Feed the animals, collect fresh eggs from the hens, see the machinery and learn more about working farm life in general. The farmers will happily give you the lowdown of their busy daily routines throughout the seasons. On a nice day, make sure to bring an alfresco feast while you sit in the picnic area, kids will also be in their element while letting off steam in the outdoor play area.
  • Byres Farm, Moray – it’s not just all about the animals on a farm tour, have you ever wondered what the process is behind making Scotland’s national drink from start to finish? Take a trip to Byres Farm and all your questions will be answered on the Malting Barley Whisky Tour. Meet with one of the farmers where they will take you through the fields explaining the process of growing barley which is used to make the famous Glenlivet whisky. You’ll also be shown all the machinery used to harvest this crop. Don’t worry if learning about whisky isn’t your thing, book a tour on the General Farm Tour for a behind-the-scenes look on a mixed farm, from meeting the animals to seeing a range of machinery. To guarantee your place, all tours must be pre-booked.
  • Lennox of Lomond, Argyll – when it comes to farm tours, Lennox of Lomond certainly doesn’t disappoint. Experience a day in the life of a farmer and you’ll get stuck into lots of different activities throughout the day, from sheep shearing and feeding the animals to sheepdog demonstrations. After a busy morning, you’re bound to have worked up an appetite. Enjoy a freshly prepared 3-course lunch before setting off to finish the rest of the afternoon’s activities. If you’re looking for more ways to get around the farm, take the Quad Bike Trailer Tour, it’s the best way to get up close to see cows and sheep in pasture. Looking to learn a new craft during your time here in Scotland? Take a beginner’s class in Dry Stone Diking, an age-old technique used to restore walls and raised beds on the farm.

VIRTUAL TOURS

Check out Go Rural's Facebook page to see videos of virtual farm tours and look out for live events - a great way to enjoy life on the farm if you can't visit in person!

Responsible Tourism and Sustainability

We’re big when it comes to sustainability in Scotland. To help protect our beautiful country for future generations, we’re taking important steps to reduce our carbon footprint and transform our sustainability vision into reality. We’re recognising businesses and accommodation providers who are adding sustainability features, promoting the benefits of shopping local and encouraging visitors to explore off-the-beaten track to discover more of Scotland’s hidden gems.

Our farm stay experiences boast lots of eco-friendly credentials. At Burnhead Bothies, guests can enjoy an affordable stay without breaking the bank. You’ll stay nice and warm during the winter months with the accommodation insulated with sheep’s wool and with access to fresh water from your own private spring. Wake up to the sound of farm animals with Arnbeg Farmstay in Kippen, Stirling. This modern farmhouse is set to impress guests with its sustainability features, including ground source underfloor heating, rain harvester water and even a wind turbine onsite. 

Live like a local at Ardtornish Estate in Argyll & Bute. With 11 self-catering properties to choose from including five Victorian Apartments and six stone-built lodges, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a comfortable stay here with its roaring log fires and dramatic scenery. Make the most of your time by enjoying the region’s outdoor pursuits, from kayaking and canoeing with Otter Adventures to walking up the Rahoy Hills. The estate also takes great pride in its local produce. If you’re planning to host a family feast, make sure to pick up fresh local cuts of meat at the Gift Shop or Information Centre where staff will be able to provide you with delicious recipe ideas.

Over 70% of Scotland is farmland and it is vital that we stay committed to maintaining our country’s natural beauty and most importantly, explore responsibly. Before you visit, make sure to familiarise yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. You’ll find lots of useful tips on how to be a responsible tourist while enjoying the outdoors.

Find out more on Scotland’s Responsible Tourism Promise.

Scotland's Rare Breeds and Where To See Them?

The Royal Highland Show

Sheep at the Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

You’ve heard of Shetland ponies, Clydesdale horses and Highland Cows, but how much do you know about Scotland’s less-common cattle breeds? We think it’s time for you to meet the natives! Say hello to a few Hebridean Sheep at Guardswell Farm, enjoy a refreshing pint of milk sourced from an Ayrshire cow at Mossgiel Farm or take the whole family on a farm tour with Kitchen Coos & Ewes. If you’re looking for more ways to spend time with the animals, Blackstone Farm Clydesdales in Ayrshire provides the perfect family day out. Enjoy a ride on horseback and be given the opportunity to take care of these majestic creatures throughout the day. From washing and feeding to grooming, it’s the ultimate experience for all animal lovers. Want to mix things up? Feel like a big kid again and operate your very own digger on-site, you’ll be put to the test with lots of fun challenges.

Of course, no farm stay experience would be complete without getting the chance to meet our most famous furry residents, the Highland Coo. Don’t let the name fool you though, you can just about see them anywhere in Scotland, from Kintore Castle Fold in the North East and Pollok Country Park in Glasgow to even our most remote islands including Lewis and Harris. Make all your friends and family jealous with wholesome pics of Highland coos while you learn all about the different breeds and habitats within the area too. 

Find out more on where you can see Highland Cows in Scotland.

Farm Experiences Throughout The Seasons

Spring

Old Leckie Farm

Old Leckie Farm © VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

Spring brings new life on the farm here in Scotland and who doesn’t love seeing adorable farm animals? Lambing season takes place throughout April and May each year welcoming the arrival of newborn lambs. Experience life on a working farm tour where you will discover the ins and outs of lambing season, as well as the day-to-day farm duties. Farms taking part include Lennox of Lomond, Bellevue Farm, Native and Wild and Boutique Farm Bothies

Find out more fun ideas for a spring break in Scotland.

Summer

Portnellan Farm

Portnellan Farm luxury Speedboat Tours © Go Rural / Craig Stephen

The temperatures are rising, and it looks like Scotland is ready to entice you with its sizzling selection of farm experiences. Cool down at Portnellan Farm in Argyll where you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to all things watersports. Feel the wind in your hair as you take a speed boat tour on Loch Lomond or enjoy a relaxing day afloat in a canoe or kayak. If you prefer to stay on dry land, the farm offers a range of farm tours where you will learn all about organic farming or why not enjoy the best of both worlds with a farm and speedboat tour?

Summer in Scotland is also your prime opportunity to soak up the sunshine and go fruit picking. You’ll find a tasty selection of in season fruit to pick from leafy hedgerows. Fill your punnet with strawberries at Craigie’s Farm in Edinburgh or find a new fruit to try at Cairnie Fruit Farm where you will come across ripe and juicy tayberries, brambles, gooseberries, cherries and much more.

Find out more about local food experiences in Scotland.

Autumn

Pumpkins

Pumpkins at Arnprior Farm © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

It’s never too late to enjoy what Scotland has to offer during the cooler months. Immerse yourself in autumn colours, with hues of mustard yellows, glowing oranges and vibrant reds to help you celebrate this picturesque season in all its glory. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to go pumpkin picking. Whether you’re looking to get wickedly creative at home with your carving skills or use them for delicious recipes, you’ll be able to find any pumpkin size or shape, and even pick from a range of colour too. Kilduff Farm, Loch Ness Pumpkins and Arnprior Farm are just some of the pumpkin patches that you can find here in Scotland.

Find out more farm experiences to try in Scotland this autumn.

Winter

The Beauly Firth

Looking Down Over Snow Covered Farmland Above The Beauly Firth, Near Bunchrew, Inverness © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

It might be getting crisp and colder outside but that doesn’t put a stop in farmers' tracks. Many farms across Scotland are gearing up for the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas. Planning to host a big family feast? Support local Scottish food and drink producers by ordering online. You’ll find fine cuts of meat for your main course, a selection of creamy cheeses for your after-dinner cheeseboard and even a selection of alcohol for a special toast. Take a look at some of the amazing Scottish food & drink businesses to order from to help you get ready for the big day. Christmas is also a time for giving and if you’re looking for some much-needed gift inspiration, a gift card to a farm experience will no doubt put a smile on loved ones faces.

Here is a selection of farms which currently offer farm experiences:

Stay on a Working Farm in Scotland

Boutique Farm Bothies - Lambs

A couple experience the best of rural Scotland on a farm stay at a working farm with Boutique Farm Bothies © VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

Experiencing life on the farm can be fun but everyone deserves a little time to relax and unwind. When it comes to farm stays, Scotland boasts a wide range of accommodation and is perfect for any occasion. Couples can book a romantic getaway at The Hideaway in Angus. With up to four Hideaways to choose from, each is exclusively designed with its own unique furnishings. Take a romantic picnic lunch while gazing out to the picturesque views of Angus, Fife and Perthshire from the top of Balluderon Hill. In the evening, head back to the comforts of your accommodation and have a glass of champagne in your very own private hot tub! 

Perhaps you’re looking to explore further afield? Stay in the luxurious Nortower Lodges. This working Shetland croft is complete with two newly built lodges, Boitan and Holsas for you to stay in. Be at one with nature as you take in the beautiful scenery and the natural fauna and wildlife that surrounds you. Work up an appetite while you visit Mackenzie’s Farm Shop and Café nearby, you’ll be tempted to try some of their delicious homemade dishes. Why not try and replicate some of these dishes from scratch? Pick up some of the finest ingredients, from beef, lamb and pork to freshly made jams and chutneys, whatever you decide to make there is doubt that you are bound to cook up a storm in the kitchen. If you’re looking for some much needed cooking inspiration, Make it Scotch have a wide range of recipes to help you get started.

Holidays are also a great opportunity to try something new. Take it up a notch and settle for a quirky farm stay instead. Escape to a hobbit house or treehouse at Craighead Howf in Perthshire, stay in a beautifully converted bus at The Bus Stop in East Lothian or reside for a few nights on a Sea King helicopter at Mains Farm in Stirling. No passport is required for this stay!

Find more quirky places to stay on a farm in Scotland.