On a rare, sunny, April Saturday, we headed to Acton Scott Historic Working Farm near Church Stretton in South Shropshire for a trip out. I’d wanted to go ever since I was a kid as we passed the sign every time we visited my grandparents, so this year I was determined to go.
Acton Scott Working Farm can be found a short distance off the A49 at Marshbrook, tucked away up a narrow road in rural Shropshire. Parking is free and entry is via the gift shop.
It’s such a peaceful place, well apart from the garden birds singing, turkeys gobbling, sheep and goats baaing, cows mooing, pigs grunting, chickens clucking, cockerels crowing… the usual countryside sounds!
Acton Scott is a wonderful place for the whole family. Anyone can get hands-on with a variety of animals – bottle-feed lambs, handle chicks, groom horses, get the sheep in, collect eggs, work the field with the Shire horses, grind the grain and feed the chickens, and join in with general farm life. A variety of demonstrations, workshops and courses are also available onsite.
I loved watching Charlie and Joe, the Shire horses, working with Simon the waggoner to work the field. Visitors were encouraged to take the reins and have a go. It’s not as easy as you think to keep the horses in a straight line!
The lovely lady in the Bailiff’s Cottage had just made herself a drink of hot chocolate when we arrived and was preparing to make some homemade soup. She was very knowledgeable and gave us the history of the farm and of the people who had lived and worked there. A black cat was sat lapping up a bowl of buttermilk in the kitchen. I was tempted to give him a bit of fuss, but we were warned against it… He seems very friendly at first, encouraging visitors to fuss and stroke him, before taking offence and biting! Look out for the other farm cats too.
Older generations will find Acton Scott very nostalgic as some of the working practices at Acton Scott are within living memory, and, of course, some are still done today. A large selection of machinery and implements from a bygone age are dotted around the farm.
It was lovely to be able to just wander around the farm at our own pace. Despite it being a Saturday, the farm wasn’t overly busy with tourists, so it meant we could see everything at our leisure and without others in the way. It was great to see young children enthralled at being able to bottle-feed the lambs and hold the chicks. Of course, what you see when you visit will very much depend on the season.
The cafe can be found in the old School House (a beautiful, black and white building), with a range of sandwiches, cakes and hot food available. You can sit down inside or, if it’s nice, sit outside on the benches in the sun. The playground by the benches will provide some fun for the kids.
Fresh produce from the gardens is available to purchase from the gift shop, as well as eggs, jams and pickles, and the usual postcards, books, toys and other gifts.
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm has good disabled access as the ground is mostly level. Wheelchairs and a motorised scooter are available for loan (although booking is advised).
All in all, it was a lovely trip out and I’d definitely visit again.