Well, somehow we’ve managed to creep through the winter and even the most cynical of us must surely be thinking that Spring might just be somewhere on the horizon. That can only mean one thing. Yes, in just a few short weeks, Kate Humble and Adam Henson will be back on TV, showing us dramatic scenes in the barns of a working sheep farm somewhere remote.
Yes, Lambing Live starts again on March 24th. No doubt the nation will again be riveted to the TV, watching much the same thing happen as we’ve been enthralled by for the previous three seasons of Lambing Live. It’s hard to work out why we love this program, or at least why we want to watch it week after week, series after series. Heck, even Kate Humble thought it was ‘a crap idea’ at one time.
But love it we do. And that got me thinking about how it would be much better to do than to watch! So, I’ve done a bit of research and come up with a batch of campsites on working farms, where you can watch the lambing or get involved to some degree with feeding! Camping and cute fully lambs – how could you resist?
OK, here’s our round-up of campsites with lambs:
1. Cotswold Farm Park
I couldn’t really write up this post without mentioning the Cotswold Farm Park, Adam Henson’s very own farm. Yep, it has a campsite, open this year from March 10th. Lambing season starts here from the first week of February and runs through to April 21st (no idea how they can be that specific!). It’s a pretty organized set-up and they have a demo barn where you can help with bottle-feeding the lambs – just don’t be shy if you’re an adult and want to feed a lamb – it’s not just for kids you know!
Given Adam’s TV fame, and the fact that his farm and campsite are pretty popular, I’d definitely advise booking as soon as possible if you want to stay during the lambing season.
2. Stubcroft Farm, West Sussex
Lambing time at Stubcroft Farm in March and April and the farm says that guests are welcome to watch the lambs and to help with bottle feeding! if the lambs don’t keep you fully occupied during your stay, the site is a great base for exploring the South Downs as well as Brighton, Chichester, and Arundel.
Again, it’s recommended to book for a stay at this farm, as they have only limited hook-ups.
3. West Middlewick Farm, Devon
Camp on Exmoor, with gorgeous views over the rolling Exmoor countryside. When you’ve done with the views, hop over to the barns for fluffy cuteness, and the chance to help bottle feed a lamb. As West Middlewick Farm is a dairy farm, you can watch, or help if you’re up for it, the cow milking too! Not enough hands-on for you? Then help John and Joanna collect the eggs from their free-range hens, and then buy the eggs you’ve collected!
p.s. this is quite possibly the best value full-featured campsite I’ve ever seen, at just £10 a night including hook-up!
4. Steamer Quay Caravan Club Site, Devon
Yes, we know that the Steamer Quay Caravan Club site isn’t on a working sheep farm, anything but! But bear with us on this. If you want a less “immersive” lamb experience, without the mud and the pongs of staying on a farm, then Steamer Quay in Totnes may be perfect for you. It’s slap-bang in the heart of Totnes, the quirky, hippy-trippy gateway to the South Hams area of Devon. But just 10 minutes walk away is the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, where you can help bottle-feed lambs, stroke the tame owls, cuddle a guinea pig, and feed the voraciously hungry goats. This is a commercial enterprise and as such it’s not quite as ad-hoc and spontaneous as you’d get if you were staying on a farm, but it’s fabulous fun nonetheless. We fed lambs here last Spring, and it was a little moment of joy, I can tell you.
UPDATE! More suggestions below…
5. Snettisham Park, Norfolk
This is a great-looking place! Not only can you meet and bottle-feed the lambs, but you can also go on a deer safari…it just gets better and better, doesn’t it? Lambs and deer in one camping weekend! Snettisham Park seems to be the most precise with their lambing plans – they seem to be able to say with absolute certainty that lambing for 2014 will start on February 27th and that they are expecting 47 single lambs, 148 twins, 34 triples, and one set of quads…precisely! That’s a lot of lambs…
Have you camped on a farm campsite during the lambing season? We’d love to hear about it!