Edinburgh — By Andy Hayes on September 19, 2010 at 5:49 am
Filed under: accommodation

Edinburgh FarmStays

One of tourism’s biggest trends in the last year has made its way into the Scottish capital.  It’s farmstays – tourist friendly accommodation on a working farm.  They come in a variety of flavours, from simply staying on a farm to a fully fledged working holiday.  I think they’re a great idea, as they offer tons of benefits for everybody:

  • Visitors get comfy accommodation in a quaint, rural setting and get to learn about what’s going on with local agriculture.  Visitors also get direct access to the perfect tour guide – a local!
  • Farmers, who have always struggled in the face of food conglomerates, have a new additional revenue stream.

If you’re travelling with children, that’s even all the better, especially for those kids who live in cities and have never had the experience of milking a cow or tasting the milk while its still hot.  Or perhaps the parents haven’t done that either!

Farmstays can often be very cost effective as well, if you’re on a tight budget.  You can choose a farm where you chip in on some of the work, which can reduce costs; farmstays almost always include your food as part of the package.

Farmstays Near Edinburgh

I’ve found a few farmstays that are an easy drive from Edinburgh that might just be perfect for your next visit to the city.  Most of these choices are working farms where you don’t have to jump in and do any work, except just show up for breakfast in the morning.

Bo’mains Farmhouse

Bo’mains (map) is in the Scottish central belt, about  halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, which makes it a perfect spot to explore both of these cities.  It’s near Linlithgow, with its haunted palace, and very close to Falkirk and the amazing Falkirk wheel.  The farm is a working farm, and each guestroom has a private verandah to enjoy the view and atmosphere.  If you need to de-stress or relax, this is the kind of place to do it.

More Info on the Bo’mains website.

Bankhead Farm

Bankhead (map) is another idyllic location to find some fresh air and get away from life yet still be a short hop from either Glasgow or Edinburgh.  Bankhead sits atop the Bathgate Hills, offering fantastic views in all directions.  It is a working farm, and the wee ones will love the plethora of animals wandering on site: swans, badgers, pheasants, owls, harens, hares and more!   You’ll also love watching the baby lambs being fed their bottles – maybe you can feed one too.

More info on the Bankhead website.

Crosswoodhill Farm Holiday

Crosswoodhill’s cosy cottages (map) are really my “vision” of what a farmstay should look like.  Old fashioned, classic, and super comfortable, you might not want to leave after staying here.  The farm covers 1,800 acres, and while you aren’t allowed to help out, you can meet and greet with the animals and go exploring on the grounds.  It’s an epic hiking site, but just bring waterproof footwear, because its farmland, not hiking paths, so it can be boggy!

More Info on the Crosswoodhill Farm website.

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