Leisure and Tourism
Around 62% of UK farmers are having to diversify alongside running a traditional farm, according to government figures. As farms are trying to diversify their sources of income through various entrepreneurial activities, many are looking to agri-tourism as an alternative. This form of tourism has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. For city-dwellers, farm tourism offers an opportunity to experience rural life, even just for a few days. Some of these ventures are becoming so successful that they’ve overtaken traditional farming as the primary source of income.
How then does a farm begin investing in agri-tourism? What steps should farm owners take to become successful in this project? Below, we’ll explore key investments farm owners should consider to make their farms attractive for tourism.
Earlier this month a group of like-minded, local farmers, friends and colleagues turned out to Chubbs Farm, near Axminster to celebrate Phil Short winning the Devon Bronze Otter award in 2018 for the remarkable and innovative conservation work he is undertaking on his farm. Devon’s Bronze Otter Award showcases the long-term commitment to wildlife conservation and sustainable farming shown by many farmers across the county.
It was a beautiful day and Phil certainly deserved the turn out and praise for all his efforts. One guest said “It was a wonderful walk, and sad as ever that there is never time to walk more. I have never been to farm like it, where a proper working farm feels so well balanced with nature, above and below ground. I always enjoy walking there. It is a great credit to Philip and Bill”
We were at the beginning of this Glamping phenomenon and are the largest pod manufacturer in the UK. Our pod designs have been copied many times, but the true iconic design camping pod still remains with us.
Pod companies will come and go, but we will continue to grow year on year. We have pod agents all over the globe, we are the only company to do this, we remain sharp and adventurous and intent on all rising markets for this product, always marching forwards to gain any foot hold to secure new business for us, the future is positive and we are upbeat on current and forth coming orders.
Slades Farm Leisure build hand crafted Pods for a variety of outdoor situations . We retain the flavour of camping, the comfort of caravanning and the appeal of outdoor accommodation by a build that reflects the current appetite for unique structures and living spaces for holidays and breaks in the UK.
Building the same models that we use on our own site we know the appeal and demand for Glamping currently growing in the UK continues to grow
Don't miss out on this holiday trend of Glamping by adding our Pods to your existing accommodation. Built to order and delivered ready to site they can be up and running within a few hours as they hook up on pitches similar to a caravan.
Why not create an area dedicated to Glamping with a next to nature experience and you will see the impact they have on reservations immediately?
As the glamping trend took off around 10 years ago, farmers and landowners up and down the country installed pods, washroom and camping facilities to attract this new, younger and hipper crowd of campers. But, as the team at Quality Unearthed tell our editor Victoria Galligan, it’s not as easy to attract guests now the competition has grown – unless you can provide a wow factor. Here, they advise on how to create an Insta-worthy glampsite which will get visitors return year on year.
Glampsite Q&A with Quality Unearthed's Tim Rees…
Lune Valley Timber Buildings are manufacturers of bespoke camping pods, shepherds huts, garden rooms, amenity blocks and stables based in north Lancashire. The many different buildings thathave been made are used in a wide variety of applications, from letting applications to extra space for school classrooms.
The most popular buildings supplied are the pods – these have been delivered from the south of Cornwall to the north of Scotland and many places between. Withluxury internal finishes and superb return oninvestment rates for site owners, it’s easy to see why the Lune Valley pods are so popular up and down the country.
Catgill farm has been our family home for the past 60 years, originally run as a dairy farm by Grandad Ken. In 2013 Ken’s grandson Oliver returned to Catgill to the cottage where he was born and had the idea of opening a campsite. It was not easy to sell his idea to his Grandad but he agreed and the campsite opened in 2014.
“We hoped people would love it here as much as we do” said Oliver, it turns out they do and the campsite has grown enormously in popularity over the past 5 years. It’s an amazing place for families there is so much to do; Bolton Abbey is only 1Km away and Hesketh Farm Park is literally over the road.
The site is also close to the Dalesway footpath and there are numerous cycle routes including the famous Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire routes. Each year we have added new features to the site, we started with a high quality amenity block and a field. Ken would welcome guests into his living room to check in.
Farm Diversity magazine editor Victoria Galligan caught up with Anji Morrall, the director of The Tipi Hire Company and The Bell Tent Shop. Here, she advises those setting up glampsites on choosing the perfect tents…
How did you get into making tipi tents?
We started hiring North American tipis 12 years ago. I bought one tipi to live in on a plot of land we were going to buy in Spain. The sale fell through – and I was left with a tipi. I then made a website and it took off overnight.
Five years down the line, I asked our customers what they wanted and bell tents were becoming popular. We started hiring our bell tents for extra accommodation at weddings, festivals, corporate events etc. and we now have over 500 that we hire our throughout the summer months across the UK and beyond.
Huts and Stuff make Shepherds Huts to suit many uses: Their Field and Farm Shepherd's Huts make great entry Glamping solutions ideal for ramblers, walkers and cyclists accommodation. While the “Severn”, their 16ft River Range hut, can be customised to suit luxury long weekend lets ideal for wedding venues and honeymoon getaways.
Dave and John are the father and son team behind Huts and Stuff. They have over 12 years experience meeting the uniquely different needs of each of their customers. With little more than a vague idea, or a sketch on a back of an envelope, they will design a layout that suits your needs and will let you know if they think your ideas need a little more tweaking. They want the project to work for you! And Give a return on your investment.
A world full of Luxury safari tents, furnished lodges and the fastest service. That is what you will get from Outstanding. The leading safari tent supplier can take care of everything. From the moment you ask them for advice to the moment the installation is complete. They lift camping to a higher level and will make sure your guests get a well-deserved vacation.
In a period of just four years Outstanding has taken up a leading position in the relatively new world of glamping. They’re designing and producing all safari tents, glamping lodges and furniture themselves. And the results have been exceptional. Their safari tents and lodges can already be found in nearly 45 countries.
With a beach nearby, some of Scotland’s Great Trails within easy reach and group bookings welcome, Wigwam® Holidays Cove Farm is perfect for a beautiful glamping break at Cockburnspath, situated in East Lothian, Scotland.
Just a short drive from the A1 and close to the railway’s East Coast mainline at Dunbar, this brand new site boasts six en-suite luxury Running Water Deluxe Wigwam® Cabins which include a kitchenette, dining facilities and comfy mattresses for up to a family of four. Each cabin is heated and insulated offering superb holiday accommodation for glamping guests.
The site is a family affair, run by the Hoods and the Lows and is just half an hour from historic Edinburgh. The site is also secluded enough for a memorable glamping break away from the hustle and bustle for families and couples.
Co-owner of the site, Rosie Low, said: “We are delighted to be offering these fabulous luxury glamping cabins to guests who want to enjoy our fabulous location.
Andy Sutton, founder of Sutton Hospitality Consultants lives and breathes hospitality and leisure – it has been his passion for 25 years. His proven track record for achieving great results spanning the holiday park, leisure and theme park industry commands him enviable respect amongst his industry peers and competitors.
Andy’s projects are built from the ground up; firm foundations and careful planning, land development with specialisms in Greenfield Site and Unique Accommodation. Taking a piece of land, planning, developing, building, sales, marketing and then selling an established park with an increase of 130% - all in only 3 years is one of Andy’s proudest achievements.
When it comes to alternative and unique accommodation - the quirkier the better! Sutton Hospitality Consultants have a great eye for recognising the potential in unusual and obscure projects. They share with you knowledge and expertise to help you to realise your unconventional and alternative accommodation potential. They’ve even converted metal freight containers into castles!
Tithe Barn started building beautiful, bespoke shepherd’s huts in 2011 and this was the main focus of our business for several years. However, we diversified into the selling of parts having invested in patterns for our own British cast iron wheels. Building a shepherd’s hut is not rocket science and we very quickly realised two markets were emerging – customers who wanted a hut built for them and those who wanted the satisfaction of building their own. Working closely with a few carefully selected suppliers, we gradually developed our range of products, all specifically designed for shepherd’s huts, to create the unique “one stop shop” that we offer today!
Four Oaks Farm was first established in 1967 as an intensive pig farm on 10 acres of land in Mid Sussex that had previously formed part of an older adjacent farm. First to be built were extensive pig sheds and 2 Dutch Barns followed a year so later by the first farmhouse in the form a small bungalow.
With only mixed success as a pig farm, Four Oaks changed ownership on a number of occasions in the following years and in the early 1980s was taken on by a farming family, who moved more towards a mixed farming business. A smallholding of 10 acres would in days gone by have supported a family but as intensive large scale farming became popular, the business became increasingly unviable. What they did establish though was the large lakes which today have become the hallmark of the beautiful location we enjoy today. Towards the end of their tenure, a few of the outbuildings were let out unofficially to local businesses as workshops to provide a useful additional income but the authorities became aware of this and an Enforcement Notice of Closure was served upon those few workshops. It was at that point that they decided to move on.
A family business passionate about design, craftsmanship and quality.
Cedar Tree Pods is a family-run business based near Wrexham in North Wales. We make beautiful pods, shepherds huts, yurts and garden rooms. Each one of our pod designs can be tailored to your exact requirements, fitting perfectly with the needs of your business, family or lifestyle. From initial design to full realisation our team will work closely with you to create the unique space you’ve always wanted.
With farm diversification high on peoples agenda and Brexit looming large, now is the perfect time to think about what glamping could do for your business. Whether it is a side-line in an unused field or a complete change, there is great potential in the glamping market and with more and more people taking “staycations” now is a perfect time to get involved.