5 farm stays around the world the family and kids will love

Dec 8, 2016

To escape the bustle of city life, MANDY LIM BEITLER checks out five farms where you can have an enriching getaway.

Caught up in our hectic lifestyles, many of us forget how to relax. Getting away for a short trip to a place with fresh air, luxuriant greens and perhaps even the clippety-clop of horses’ hooves is one way of rejuvenating our bodies and refreshing our minds.

1. Liberty Hill Farm Inn — Vermont, USA

Each day at Liberty Hill Farm begins with a hearty country breakfast and ends with a dinner prepared fresh from the oven, courtesy of hospitable ninth generation farmer Beth Kennett. In between, you may wish to pitch in with farm chores, whether it’s harvesting hay, bottle-feeding calves or milking the cows. Explore the surroundings on a leisurely wildflower walk; float down the White River in a tube; go mountain-biking in the Green Mountain National Forest or visit Vermont’s famed skiing villages (during winter) nearby. The main house is a Greek revival building almost two centuries old, with butternut wood beams, maple wood floors and comfortable country furnishings to make you feel right at home.

2. Aplagarden Guest Farm — Tidaholm, Sweden

Situated in central Sweden between Gothenburg and Stockholm, Aplagarden offers a peaceful farm stay where guests may wake up in the morning to a visit from a moose. Follow it out into the apple tree garden with its rich bird life, play with the farmyard animals, or stroll through the pastures and visit with the farm’s pride and joy – the beautiful American Morgan horses (above). Ride them in the indoor riding arena or on the scenic riding trails around Aplagarden, which is also flanked by some 40 lakes teeming with abundant fishing opportunities. In the evening, have a barbecue with your freshly-caught rainbow trout or enjoy meals cooked in a woodfire oven, paired with lively conversation with your hosts.

3. North Hayne Farm Holiday Cottages — Devon, UK

Set on 4ha of rolling pasture in peaceful Devon, North Hayne Farm Holiday Cottages specialises in family vacations. With seven stone cottages tastefully converted from old farm buildings, each named after a Beatrix Potter character such as Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten, it’s hard not to be enchanted. Help feed and care for the animals in a hands-on experience for the whole family. Collect freshly-laid eggs, walk the goats, bottle-feed the new lambs, enjoy morning rides on the donkeys, and don’t forget to give Patrick, the pot-bellied pig, a back scratch. Grown-ups may also indulge in holistic therapy treatments such as massages and foot reflexology while the kids work off excess energy with the toys and games in the play barn.

4. Kamahi Cottage — Otorohanga, New Zealand