Farm Holidays – a Win / Win situation for everyone
The inexorable rise in the popularity of UK farm holidays would appear to provide benefits for everybody involved. It gives families living in built-up urban areas the opportunity to sample life in a totally natural environment surrounded by green fields, farm animals and wildlife. In other words, it plugs a gaping hole in people’s lives as we experience the relentless creep of urbanisation.
For Britain’s farmers and their wives, this burgeoning segment of the leisure industry also provides much needed diversification both in terms of time and money. It really is an urban myth that there is no such thing as a poor farmer. There, are of course, a limited number with 1,000 acre + farms who make a good living but most farms struggle to do particularly well especially if they are overly reliant on a low margin activity such as dairy production.
It therefore makes a lot of sense to diversify into the provision of holiday accommodation by converting redundant barns and outbuildings into comfortable and well-appointed farm cottages. Since space is rarely an issue, many farms also provide other useful amenities such as games rooms, swimming pools and children’s play areas.
Nor is the move by a farmer into this activity always just about money.
The farming profession is characterised by intermittent bouts of intensive activity and, in between these, most farmers and their wives usually have surplus time on their hands when they can attend to property maintenance, acting as hosts to their guests and helping children experience day-to-day life on a working farm. A dairy farmer, for instance, would just have two milking sessions a day – one in the early morning and another at tea time. This leaves a lot of spare time to fill, even after taking account of other routine tasks. Diversification into farm cottage accommodation also provides farmers’ wives with an interest and welcome human contact with the outside world.
Of course, there will always be a place for trips to the Costas and bucket and spade holidays in Devon and Cornwall but more and more families are discovering the rustic charms of farm holidays in the UK. Those who are prepared to venture as far as the South West, can, of course, enjoy the benefits of a holiday based on a working farm as well as easy access to the seaside.
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