Farm Stay UK Reveals UK's Most popular UK Destination for 2022
Two leading trends: ‘Remote’ and ‘Rural’
Farm Stay, the market leader in UK farm holidays, has revealed its most popular destinations for 2022 – and there are some surprises!
According to the not-for-profit, farmer-owned consortium, holidaymakers looking for a countryside escape or working farm holiday are favouring the following UK locations in their staycation searches:
Yorkshire Dales – up 200%
Derbyshire and Dorset – both up 140%
The Peak District and Northumberland – both up 80%
Whilst Yorkshire has traditionally been Farm Stay UK’s most popular county, there has been a significant shift in destination preferences since earlier in the year.
In April, the most popular Farm Stay destinations were, in order of preference, as follows:
Speaking about the changing trends, Kay Barriball, Farm Stay Chairperson says:
“Whilst we can’t definitively explain why there’s been such a change in the popularity of rural escapes in certain areas, we do know that post-pandemic, couples and families are still wanting to escape the crowds and find perhaps less traditionally popular destinations.
“Situated in rural locations, often far from the nearest towns or even villages, farm stays ideally lend themselves to the sustainable, get back to nature, grassroots experience that post pandemic, people are increasingly yearning for,” continues Kay.
“Testament to this lifestyle leisure trend, searches for ‘remote holiday cottages’ are up by 150%, the biggest rise in Farm Stay UK’s 38-year history,” she says.
Whilst ‘rural’ and ‘remote’ seem to be the zeitgeist when it comes to farm stay holidays next year, there is one notable exception to the trend.
B&B accommodation searches in York are up 150%.
“Yorkshire’s capital city is ideally placed for visitors to experience not just the charms of York itself, like the Minster or a wander along the historic honeypot attraction, The Shambles, but as a base from which to explore the surrounding area, coast and countryside,” offers Kay.
Farm Stay UK has enjoyed its most popular year since it was founded as a platform for promoting agri-tourism in 1983.
Earlier this year, and following the launch of a new website, www.farmstay.co.uk , which has its headquarters at the National Agricultural Centre, Warwickshire, found that
Farm Stays and countryside escapes are most popular amongst the 25 - 34 years age bracket, millennial couples, groups as well as young families.
Glamping has soared in popularity, with almost as many people searching for it as B & B accommodation, up over 3,000 searches from 58,891 in 2018-19 to 62,023 in 2020-21. However, this may be due to Covid restrictions on B&B accommodation over the past year.
There has been a 58% increase in those looking for ‘large group’ i.e., sleeping 12 and above accommodation.
Indoor pools and hot tubs are a new ‘must have’, with searches up 45% and 35% respectively in the last three years.
Today, Farm Stay offers over 420 farm stays and rural boltholes, from working farm holidays to self-catering, B&B's to glamping across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Rural and remote: The top ‘on-trend’ farm stays for Autumn
Scaife Hall Farm, Yorkshire Dales
If you’re loving the second series of Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small, or perhaps fans of ‘Our Yorkshire Farm’ or ‘The Yorkshire Vet’ (there’s a theme!) then Scaife Hall Farm and it’s stylish, 19th century 3-bedroom annexe cottage is the perfect spot for exploring the North Yorkshire Dales and beyond. You’ll be staying on a working hill farm, surrounded by sheep and Belted Galloway cattle, and, when you’ve finished exploring Nidderdale AONB or nearby Harrogate, you can return to a roaring fire.
Hunting Hall Farm, Northumberland
“Step from your door into the magic of this award-winning, wildlife-friendly farm,’ is the hard-to-resist invite from the resident Burn family. With several accommodation options from a traditional Georgian farmhouse, a picture-postcard self-catering cottage or a shepherd’s hut, you’ll be spoilt for choice of what to do, whether you stay in the tranquil surrounds or explore the Northumbrian coast or countryside. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is just 5 miles away.
Hoe Grange Holidays, Peak District
An eco and accessible multi-award-winning site with self-catering facilities to suit all group sizes and preferences - from accessible cabins to a cosy, traditional ‘gypsy-style’ caravan for two. Situated just inside the Peak District National Park, it's the perfect place to stay to explore one of the UK's most stunning landscapes.
Shirley Hall Farm, Derbyshire
Staying in a traditional farmhouse is for many one of the best things about rural stays, giving you a taste of ‘proper’ farming life. This beautiful, timbered Tudor farmhouse, partly moated, is the ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside, walking the doorstep woodland walks, the Derbyshire Dales, Peak District or Staffordshire Moorlands. The hearty breakfasts will set you up for the day!
Luccumbe Holidays, Dorset
You’ll be spoilt for choice at this outstanding farm stay near Blandford, Dorset, not only because of the wide range of self-catering accommodation options on offer (nine, 4-star barn conversions sleeping up to 38 guests) but of what there is to see and do whilst here. Heated indoor pool, gym, sauna, tennis court, games room, on-site riding school and children’s play area are all within the 650-acre countryside setting. Children are encouraged to visit the animals whilst there, including donkeys, ducks, sheep, chickens and goats. The Jurassic Coast, Weymouth and Corfe Castle and more are all within a short drive.
And…wild card York!
Greenwick Farm, York
Maybe it’s the choice of 4 difference accommodation options (self-catering luxury or even an eco-pod), all 5-star rated, that make this farm stay such a hit? Or, perhaps, it’s that although located in the Yorkshire Wolds (a.k.a. ‘Hockney Country’) the delights of York itself, from The Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre or The Shambles, are just a 17-mile drive away? Of course, given it’s a farm stay, the fact it’s a working farm, rearing sheep and pigs as well as growing potatoes, corn and oilseed rape is a big draw, too. Most likely, it’s a mixture of all three!
Notes to Editors
If you would like any further information, hi res imagery or case studies of farm stays elsewhere in the UK, please e-mail Rebecca Scrase, Rural Roots Account Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan Allen, Rural Roots Account Director, email@example.com
About Farm Stay
Farm Stay is one of a handful of the original listing sites created in the 1980s. It is an ethical not-for-profit farmer-owned consortium dedicated to market holidays on working farms and countryside accommodation, helping members increase occupancy rates and boost their revenue streams. Farmers benefit from commission-free listings while holiday makers book direct, enabling a better deal for the farms and a great deal for guests.
Accommodation was, as the name suggests, originally farm-based, either self-catering or bed and breakfasts. Old-fashioned campsites were also included. Today, Farm Stay has over 420 accommodation listings, from traditional cottage to converted barns or lakeside wooden retreats to secluded shepherd’s huts, bell tents and glamping pods
As well as a go-to information site for beautiful rural properties, Farm Stay provides a wealth of information about each county and the new website provides suggested places to stay for visitor attractions, national parks and places of special interest.
Farm Stay farms are in some of the most attractive rural spots in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Each one ideal for a quiet countryside break with all the benefits of fresh air, invigorating views, and opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities, whether on the farm itself, or close by. Families love the opportunity to learn about farming life and, in some cases, interact with livestock.
Farm Stay UK is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act. When it was founded in 1983, it was known as The Farm Holiday Bureau and consisted of 23 local groups. Leadership and support were provided by agricultural advisory body ADAS which was financed by the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now DEFRA), the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the National Tourist Boards including the British Travel Association and the Farmers Weekly publication.
Farm Stay charges its owners an annual subscription starting from £299 for one property, bed and breakfast room, or glamping site — there is no hidden commission to Farm Stay members and guests are encouraged to book online direct with the owner. Membership fees are ploughed back into promoting members, agritourism and agricultural education, which is at the heart of everything the organisation does. New members are added to the site every year.