Working Farm Near York

Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 15
Working Farm Near York

My husband and I, along with our reluctant 15-year-old son, are traveling to York, UK, for the first time and plan to see the historic sights in an near York over 3 days in late June.

The time in York is part of our 2-week trip to England. We will fly in and out of Heathrow. The current plan is to spend 4 days in London, 3 days in York (arrive by train and rent a car there), then travel to Portsmouth for 2 days, then on to Windsor for 2 nights before catching the plane home.

I would love to stay on a working farm near York as a "home base" for our travels in that area. We are "dog people" and would particularly enjoy seeing sheepdogs, but seeing other farm animals would be exotic for us city folk.

Does anyone have suggestions for working farms that take guests? I found a helpful website called Farm Stay, but many of the properties look like B&Bs in rural settings and don't necessarily have animals. Also, I don't know what "self-catered" means, but it sounds as if I'd be cooking. Is that right?

Thanks for your help!
island_girl2 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:33 PM
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You need to look at those with a red tractor logo - those are working farms. You may or may not be allowed to view the animals though, and staying on a farm could make it a pain returning to the US. Find somewhere you like the look of and contact the owners to see if you can visit the farm animals. Unless there is a reason to bring the sheep in, shearing, or whatever you are unlikely to see dogs in action. You would be better off searching for sheep-dog trials going on while you are visiting.

Self-catering - you do as much or a little cooking as you want, there is nothing to stop you eating at a local pub for instance.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:51 PM
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"Also, I don't know what "self-catered" means, but it sounds as if I'd be cooking. Is that right? "

Self-catering is just Brit-speak for 'vacation rental'. The same as renting a condo or cottage in the States. Cook if you want, don't cook if you don't want.

You will see LOTS of animals w/o having to stay on a working farm. As long as you are in the country you will see sheep, cattle, horses . . . they are everywhere. Staying on a farm is fine - but don't choose one simply so you can see animals. And as mentioned, many working farms won't want you mucking about w/ the operations.

Instead - look for village fetes in the areas you are staying . . . There will often be sheepdogs, sheep, etc. Ask at the tourist info office for local fetes.
janisj is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 03:09 PM
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Be aware that returning to the US you have to inform Customs if you have spend time on a farm. Concerned about hoof & mouth disease - not sure what they do. Sanitize your shoes?????
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:31 AM
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You can visit a city farm in London:

You could combine a visit to Mudchute City Farm with a trip to Greenwich, if that's in your itinerary:
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:38 AM
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How near York do you want to stay? This place is a fair trip away but sounds right up your street maybe for a night, and spend 2 nights in York itself?
Morgana is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:38 AM
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Apologies - it doesn't take children!
Morgana is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Our family spent a week in this cottage on a large estate (Birstwith Hall) near Harrogate as part of an extended trip to Europe a few years ago: There were horses stabled off the courtyard next to our house, and our daughter really enjoyed helping care for them. There weren't other farm animals at that time, but as janisj says, there are farm animals everywhere in the countryside. When you hike on public footpaths in the UK, you'll walk right through fields of sheep, cows, sometimes horses.

We loved this part of England...

KathyWood is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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You probably won't see a lot of animals on a normal working farm, although that sounds silly. for a start, many are intensively farmed so inside. Also most farms specialise in one type of animal so you won't get to see any variety. Or if outside, the animals may be quite a walk from the house. And the farmers may not encourage wandering.
You'd be better off visiting a farm attraction - wide variety of animals you can visit at close quarters.
There are probably some farms that provide the sort of experience you are looking for if you hunt around, but not many. I'm probably biased as I spent a weekend on a farm B&B once and it was so bad - the woman was very unhospitable - that it was like staying at Fawlty Towers.
nona1 is offline  
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