Agritourism: Fabulous ‘Farm Stay’ Vacations in the USA, the UK, and Italy! Part I

The popularity of American ‘Farm Stays’ has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Putting up city folk in converted barns, cabins, cottages, and platform tents is not only a good way of earning extra dollars for American farmers, it allows the public at large to learn about the way food is produced and brought from the farm to the table fork so-to-speak.  Today in America alone, there are over 1000 farm stay destinations that offer unique accommodations and experiences for both the budget-minded and the celebrity-minded.  Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure or a quiet retreat, a ‘Farm Stay’ vacation allows both adventure-seeking guests and holiday travelers to help as little or as much as they want with hands-on farm activities such as picking fruits and vegetables, milking cows, collecting eggs, and making homemade cheese, butter, and jam – OR – by simply relaxing in the serenity of the landscape i.e. dipping in a farmhouse spa, hiking, biking, and horseback riding nature’s trails, hitching a hayride or perhaps a tractor ride, and yes –  sipping the finest pinot noir in the gardens whilst watching fireflies twinkle and the sun set over the hills.

As for ‘Farm Stay’ vacations in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – they have been around since the 1980’s.  Perhaps the biggest difference between American and British ‘Farm Stay’ vacations is the growing number of posh “Five Star Farm Stays” set in luxurious settings with romantic self-catering cottages next to stately homes, castles, and five hundred year old thatched farmhouses. In lieu of farm equipment and animal feed, one is offered a croquet lawn and a portable barbecue instead.  You might say – tourism has overtaken the working farm in these cases where saunas and hot tubs have replaced the pigsties.  Another trend is the fast-growing franchise of “Featherdown Farms” across the UK. Launched in 2006 and now up to 29 locations, these highly stylized safari-style campsites set on working farms, now offer young British parents with children the chance to live an “idealized” version of life on the farm.

Either way in America or the UK, a “Farm Stay” vacation is certainly here to stay.  In our next follow-up article, we shall look at the booming big business of ‘Farm Stay’ vacations in Italy. Ciao for now.


1- Liberty Hill Farm, Rochester, Vermont

2- Hull-O Farms, Durham, New

3- Abbey Road Farm Bed & Breakfast, Carlton,

4- Farm Sanctuary, Watkins Glen, New York

5- North Country Farms, Kilaeua, Kauai,

6- Blackberry Farm, Walland,

7- Pagett Farm, Palermo, Maine

8- Juniper Moon Farm, Palmyra,

9- S&S Homestead Farm, Lopez Island,

10- Philo Apple Farm, Philo,

Helpful US Farm Stay Resources:,,,


1- North Wheddon Farm, Exmoor, Somerset, England

2-Troytown Farm, St. Agnes, Isles of Scilly, England

3-Yaxley Hall Home Farm, Hemingstone, Suffolk,

4-Higher Lank Farm, Bodmin, Cornwall, England

5-Coldharbour Cottage, Stone-in-Oxney, Kent, England

6-Clyne Farm, Mayals, Swansea, Wales

7-Hagley Bridge Farm, Somerset, England

8-Farnless Farm Park, Sedgefield, Durham, England

9-Inchie Farm, Port of Menteith, Stirling, Scotland

10-Maddybenny Farmhouse, Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Helpful UK Stay Farm Resources:,,,


Have you any green ideas, insights, experiences of your own to add or share?