European Farm Stays | T+L Family
Published: May 2009
By Jennifer Conlin
Cross "The Farmer in the Dell" with <em>Masterpiece Theatre</em>, and what do you get?The ultimate in European agrarian vacations
There are farms, and then there are Feather Down Farms—small-scale rural enterprises throughout Holland and the U.K. that let families play Old MacDonald in the most fairy-tale way. So far, 21 preservation-minded properties (including one just an hour outside London, and another in Scotland with its own beach) have been set up to welcome overnight guests. Participants camp out in old-fashioned three-room canvas tents, each equipped with eiderdown-covered beds, a sleeping cupboard (perfect for games of peekaboo), wooden floors, oil lamps, and, thankfully, a flushing loo.
Rise with the roosters and spend your days visiting the flocks, gathering eggs, climbing trees, and setting off to local villages by bike. Using the farm's produce, you cook meals on your own cast-iron stove and bake bread in an outdoor wood-fired oven. The Dutch entrepreneur behind Feather Down Farms is hoping to plant his idea in the United States soon. But for now, hitch up your overalls and jump the pond.