Offering an insight into rural life in the Lake District and a chance to learn more about local farming methods, this bespoke tour to a traditional fell farm is a wonderful experience.
The Lake District is prized for its magnificent mountain and lakeland scenery, which has inspired legions of writers and artists over the years, but it is traditional sheep farming that gives the region its distinctive character.
On this farm experience meet a family passionate about fell farming, which is specific to England’s mountainous areas, and spend some time on their farm in the heart of the national park.
Your bespoke farm visit begins when you meet your hosts for a fun and informative private tour of the farm, which lasts one and a half to two hours. The surrounding scenery of the lush fields and mountains makes this a glorious palace to visit, but as you'll find out on your tour, a challenging place to farm.
During your time on the farm, you’re introduced to fell farming and the Lake District region, learning how agriculture has shaped the land here. Traditional sheepherding culture has been an important part of the social fabric of the region for centuries.
One of the most conspicuous features on the landscape here is the patchwork of fields that creep up the hillsides bordered by dry stone walls. You can choose to learn about the traditional methods of building these walls and why they’re so important. If you’d like a more practical introduction, you can try your hand at fitting stones into shape and then visit one of the fields where you get to meet the local Herdwick sheep.
This native breed of hardy mountain sheep are ideally suited to this environment and prized by breeders all over the country. Learn how Lake District farms have very little productive land and how the sheep graze on common ground at higher elevations for most of the year, the ewes teaching their lambs which patch of fell is theirs so they can be safely left in unfenced areas without straying from their own 'heaf'.
Your time on the farm is completely tailored to your interests. If you have a specific interest in a particular aspect of farming the family will be able to tailor your experience to include this in addition to learning about the local lifestyle and general practices of farming in the Lake District.
You need to bring warm layers and a waterproof coat with you as well as sturdy shoes or boots as it is likely to be extremely muddy.