When new flowers, leaves and greenery start exploding into life it’s time to get out of the city and into south west England’s most bountiful areas to enjoy the season’s emerging beauty.
If you want a holiday enjoying a truly traditional country lifestyle, how about a farm holiday? Imagine the peace and quiet of springtime in the country, enjoying walks through blossoming fields. You may be keen on the idea of a real rural experience, collecting eggs from free range chickens and mucking out in a pair of wellies. Kids love nothing more than petting new spring lambs and dogs whose idea of heaven is gambolling down rambling country lanes.
Here are some great ideas for authentic rural holidays during spring in the south west of England:
Springtime in Devon
Devon is renowned for its lush, rolling hills and rich farmland, not to mention lengthy areas of coastline, which make it the ideal location for getting active on your springtime country break.
East Devon is where you will find the most fertile farmland. West Ilkerton Farm in Lynton is probably the best “adult break” in the area. Activities include touring the farm in a Landrover, riding at the nearby stables and walking down the nearby country pathways, which run all the way to the coast, three miles away. Pets are allowed on the farm so this is an ideal dog lover spot. For a real challenge, if you visit in early May, the annual North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival is a really fun way to enjoy the spring air.
South Devon is the place to visit for those with young children. Knowle Farm, in Totnes is an example of this paradise for nature loving families. Set in 44 acres of wonderful countryside with private bluebell-filled woodland and riverside walks the farm offers six beautifully converted barns overlooking lovely farmland views.
The area is awash with local attractions, with award winning Woodlands Leisure Park opening its doors to excitement and nature, the sea views of Dartmouth and the history and interest of Salcombe, all making for a varied and interesting trip.
Springtime in Wiltshire
If food is your passion, spring is a season filled with edible delights and Wiltshire is the ideal place to visit to take advantage of many of them.
Start your day with a Wiltshire breakfast made with the highest quality local meats at Manor Farm, Grittleton. Here you can find a traditional working farm, grade II listed farmhouse and the area is well placed for Castle Combe, Bath & the Cotswolds.
You can’t visit Wiltshire without taking in the one of the North or South Food Trails. On offer are tiny cafe’s serving local cheeses, top quality restaurants serving the best locally sourced produce and farmers markets offering new spring Lamb, tender Asparagus, delicious purple stem broccoli and the freshest dairy produce.
For a non food related activity, whilst on your farm stay, visit Longleat Safari Park. Spring is time for new births and Longleat keepers were delighted to announce the birth of three flamingo chicks which have all hatched out over the last four weeks.
For those who appreciate architecture, Longleat House comes to life in the spring time as the daffodils emerge on the east lawn and children will love seeing the newly born Scimitar Horned Oryx calves.
Springtime in Dorset
Dorset in the spring time is the art and craft lover’s dream getaway with a stay at award winning Highway Farm, in Bridport, offering art courses, flower arranging classes and willow workshops for kids and adults alike alongside farm tours and country walks through the flowering Dorset hills.
Spring is the passion of nature lovers and gardeners alike. Rudge Farm is set in the heart of Dorset countryside, reflecting the traditional image of springtime in Britain with flowers round the door and quaint villages within walking distance.
If farm life begins to tire you could choose to visit the RSPB reserve at Wareham for a morning of spring birdsong, the dawn chorus or even a spring watch reptile ramble. Mallinson Woodland Workshops teach the art of traditional woodworking, deep in the forest as the leaves begin to bloom.
Springtime in Somerset
If you are looking for views and open space on your farm break Somerset is the place to go. Westermill Farm is set in the heart of Exmoor National Park. Famed for its protected status, it is a truly remarkable landscape, especially as the wildflowers of spring make their first emergence.
From the site, you can enjoy a few days by the sea, explore the beautiful countryside, or dip into a pool of local heritage. Or simply sit back and take in the stunning views, whilst enjoying a spot of fishing, which the area is famed for. Kids will enjoy Wookey Hole Caves and The Fun Farm, in Taunton, offers great “wet weather” activities.
Exmoor is the ideal place to escape from a busier pace of life, being close to the M5, major airports and train services at Exeter, Bristol & Taunton, and within 3 ½ hours drive time from London and Birmingham.