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Get mucky and stuck in or simply fresh air in your lungs on one of these working farmstays

When the city rush becomes too much, or the only type of cattle you remember are the ones served up on your plate, a farm break could be the answer to your urban fatigue.

Whether you’re looking for a free bed in return for a day of fruit picking in the sunshine (could happen), tucking into some fresh cheese made by your own fair hands or galloping over the hills on the back of a trusty steed, the UK has a host of retreats to suit your rural ambitions. 


High Bullen, Exmoor

Best for: Horse riders

Game Of Thrones nerds, console yourselves now that season three’s over by getting off the sofa and unleashing your inner Daenyres Targaryen or Jon Snow on horseback. At High Bullen farmstead in the Lyn Valley, you can spend a weekend learning to gallop across the heather moorlands of Exmoor National Park.

The courses are suitable for complete beginners and experienced riders and you can take part in moonlight rides, horseback treasure hunts or cross country jaunts during the visit. Accommodation is in a 17th-century farmhouse which has wonderful views to the Black Mountains of Wales. From £220pp, including meals.

More: spiritofexmoor.com

The Magdalene Project, Somerset

Best for: Green-fingered travellers

Get really stuck into farmhand life on The Magdalen Project, where volunteers can stay free of charge for anything up to three months (meals included) in exchange for pitching in on the farm. This could include fruit picking, fence painting or getting involved with the horticultural side of things: sowing, planting out or hedge laying.

Workers tend to clock off about 3.30pm so after you’ve downed tools you can go wandering in the nearby hills, borrow one of the farm’s bikes and go for a cycle, or help out in the organic kitchen and pick up a few farm cooking tips.

More: themagdalenproject.org.uk


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UK's best farmstays: Get back to nature and experience the charming British country life
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