Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

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.

A goat resting.
A goat resting.

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!

A calf at Acton Scott.
A calf at Acton Scott.
A cockerel at Acton Scott.
A cockerel at Acton Scott.
A shepherd's hut at Acton Scott.
A shepherd’s hut at Acton Scott.

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.

Simon with one of the Shire horses.
Simon with one of the Shire horses.
The Shire horses working the field at Acton Scott.
The Shire horses working the field at Acton Scott.

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 Bailiff's Cottage at Acton Scott.
The Bailiff’s Cottage at Acton Scott.
Inside the Bailiff's Cottage.
Inside the Bailiff’s Cottage.
In the kitchen at the Bailiff's Cottage.
In the kitchen at the Bailiff’s Cottage.

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.

Bobcat, one of Acton Scott's farm cats.
Bobcat, one of Acton Scott’s farm cats.

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.

Historic farm machinery at Acton Scott.
Historic farm machinery at Acton Scott.
A cart wheel.
A cart wheel.

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 School House at Acton Scott.
The School House at Acton Scott.

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.

Daffodils in the Bailiff's Cottage garden.
Daffodils in the Bailiff’s Cottage garden.

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.

Other places nearby include Ludlow Castle, Stanton Lacy, Acton Burnell Castle, Buildwas Abbey, Wenlock Priory and Stokesay Castle. There’s plenty to see and do in South Shropshire!

19 comments

  1. Kelly says:

    So it lived up to your childhood expectations? It looks like a fun and interesting place, as well as a beautiful day for being there!

    What did you take home from the gift shop – anything tasty? 🙂

  2. Carol says:

    Oh, my that is a lovely place to visit. Your photography is beautiful and I am in love with the older breeds of working horses. That horse on the farm is gorgeous!

  3. Jo says:

    What a fabulous day out, it’s a shame I live so far away otherwise it would definitely be somewhere I’d visit. How lovely to be able to get involved, I bet bottle feeding the lambs is very popular with the children. I had to laugh at the chickens following the horses, no doubt looking for any tasty morsels which are being churned up in the ploughing.

  4. tomthebackroadstraveller says:

    …what a wonderful place, we have a local living history museum here that I like to visit. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  5. Ageeth Mooij says:

    I think it’s good to keep our past alive. In the Netherlands we also have museums like this one and I like to visit them. I remember the way my grandparents lived, but my children have no idea. The great self-sufficiency appeals to me! Beautiful pictures!

  6. jeanie says:

    Oh, this is fascinating. I’ve been doing my family history and discovered that I have a long line of farmers from the 1800s in my line so seeing how things worked really intrigues me. Now I have to look to see how this fits in with our upcoming trip to England/Wales in the fall. OR even (and maybe more important) where Shropshire is! I fall into things and I never get out!

    Thanks so much for coming by Marmelade Gypsy today. It brought me to your beautiful blog and I just signed up on bloglovin.

    • Nikki says:

      I have a long line of agricultural labourers in my family tree too! Shropshire is on the English side of the Welsh border, so idea if you’re visiting both England and Wales.

  7. Anca says:

    I would love to have a go at plowing with the shire horses! I’m sure I would be terrible at it, but still I would love to try it. What an amazing way to spend a day out. Love it.

  8. Pam Jackson says:

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I was out playing in the sun, sand and water at the time but I AM BACK now! Loving the farm! I love to visit places like this but pretty much have seen all around me years ago. I would so enjoy at visit to this place. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Angie says:

    This is just the sort of place I like to visit – history and ways to get involved … even for the adults!!! You (and the sunshine) made it look spectacular – it is probably too far for us to visit the next time we are in the UK, but I will keep it in mind anyway.

    Thanks for your recent visit to my blog!!!

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