As restrictions continue to ease across the country, let’s discover the best of rural Scotland at these farm stays and experiences.
Businesses in the hospitality sector have been welcoming guests back with open arms – and quite rightly so – but being given the go-ahead to venture further off the beaten track, it’s the perfect time to consider other ways to spend our weekends.
Surrounded by vast countryside, farm experiences allow you to learn all about agriculture and local produce.
And with Scotland boasting a wide range of unique farms to visit in the north, north-east, Tayside and Fife, getting back to nature will prove to be a breeze.
Byres Farm – Fochabers, Moray
Byres Farm is a mixed arable and livestock farm on the banks of the River Spey in Moray, farmed by the Smith family as part of their farming business. They grow malting barley for the Speyside whisky industry and keep beef cattle and sheep.
The family has created a unique facility to allow children and the public to see first-hand what happens on a real farm.
It is an opportunity to showcase Scottish farming to the public and educate people in the food production process, from field to fork.
(Please note Moray is currently in Level 3/Tier 3 just now).
Ardgarry Farm – Invergarry, Highlands
Ardgarry Farm is peaceful, tranquil and set in an idyllic rural location, yet is still centrally placed for the major tourist attractions in the area and touring the Western Highlands.
Guests can meet the farm’s donkeys and ponies, explore forest and river walks, and enjoy wildlife and bird watching, hillwalking, climbing, and loch or river fishing.
There is also a water sports centre just 5km away offering white water rafting and kayaking.
Puffin Croft Petting Farm & Farm Shop – John O’Groats, Highlands
Puffin Croft is the most northerly petting farm and farm shop in the UK, open every day from 10am to 6pm.
After meeting the animals – which includes donkeys, goats, pigs and sheep – guests can browse gifts in the farm shop, as well as enjoy cakes and pies that are made in the farm bakery on-site.
Wester Hardmuir Fruit Farm – Nairn, Highlands
During the summer months, visitors at Wester Hardmuir can pick their own top quality fruits while enjoying a walk around the farm.
There is also a picnic and play area close to the farm shop, which customers are welcome to use making Wester Hardmuir a fun day out for all the family.
Wynford Farm Park – Aberdeen
Wynford Farm Park provides fun for the whole family, offering you the chance to meet an array of adorable animals.
There’s also a playground, enchanted forest and cafe, which serves homemade meals.
The farm uses its own meat wherever possible, including sausages and handcrafted burgers using organic Aberdeen Angus beef.
Doonies Rare Breeds Farm – Aberdeen
Doonies Rare Breeds Farm is one of only two Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) approved conservation farm parks in Scotland.
The farm aims to provide people of all ages with a fun and informative visit, help preserve rare and endangered native farm animals, work closely with the RBST to increase the population of these endangered animals, and educate visitors about farming.
It covers 134 acres on the southern side of Aberdeen from Nigg Bay to Cove.
Down On The Farm – Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
Down On The Farm offers a range of unique rural experiences from farm tours to cream teas and quirky places to stay.
Set in an area of natural beauty, the 200-acre farm extends right down to the Moray Firth coast.
Three tours are available to choose from including sheep shearing, lambing and a trailer tour.
Aberdeenshire Highland Beef – Banchory, Aberdeenshire
Guests can take an exclusive, one-hour tour around the Aberdeenshire Highland Beef farm based on the outskirts of Banchory.
They will have the opportunity to meet the native breed, photograph them, learn about their history and receive a delicious locally sourced afternoon tea packed lunch, which can be enjoyed at the farm’s designated picnic area, or taken away.
The afternoon teas are sourced from Country Flavours of Alford and include a selection of fresh home baking, sandwiches and sausage rolls.
Boutique Farm Bothies – Huntly, Aberdeenshire
The Boutique Farm Bothies in Scotland are all individually designed and built with love and passion by a family of farmers.
Each has its own playful character and an authentic nod to its agricultural history, sited independently of each other in their own spot on the farm allowing guests to feel closer to nature and rejuvenate.
There are also a number of walking and biking trails nearby.
Newton Farm – Forfar, Angus
Winners of the Best Outdoor Experience at VisitScotland’s Regional Thistle Awards 2018-19, Newton Farm offers affordable, educational, interactive experiences to inspire young and old, sharing its family’s farming life with you and your party.
Its authentic, guided farm experiences take place on a working Angus farm providing a unique opportunity to find out what daily life is like on a Scottish farm and where our food comes from throughout the seasons.
Claireville Alpacas – Leven, Fife
Claireville Alpacas is based at a working farm called Blyth’s of Fife in Balcurvie, Windygates near Leven in Fife. The farm has been producing quality agricultural products for more than 70 years.
Claireville is run by mother Linda and daughter Claire who decided to diversify and introduce alpacas to the farm, initially starting with just a few alpaca, and the whole herd grew from there.
Their goal moving forward is to allow other people to enjoy the friendly animals. They provide many services such as alpaca walks, meet and greets, adoption, alpaca therapy visits, and much more.
Craigduckie Shepherd’s Huts – Dunfermline, Fife
Nestled near Dunfermline, Easter Craigduckie is every inch the friendly and traditional family farm, filled with grazing sheep, cattle and chickens.
South-facing, overlooking both Loch Fitty and a beautiful green landscape, the two shepherd’s huts, named Ewe View and Lamb Lookout, are perfectly positioned for you to relax and unwind amongst nature.
Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze – Cupar, Fife
Established in 1970, Cairnie Fruit Farm & Mega Maze is a popular award-winning local landmark set in the Fife countryside.
It features a farm shop with ready-picked fruit including strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, brambles, cherries pumpkins and more, as well as a mega maze and large indoor and outdoor cafe.
The cafe is renowned for its delicious made on the premises home baking.
Guardswell Farm – Kinnaird, Perth
Guardswell Farm is a 150-acre grassland farm, which boasts panoramic views extending from north of Dundee, along the River Tay, across the north of Fife, down to the Carse of Gowrie and all the way along to Glencarse.
It is for those who like wandering up hills or camp firing, enjoy the sound of lambs bleating or birds cheeping, and want to admire the view or snooze in the sun.