Readyfields - a Feather Down farm, Nottinghamshire
Readyfields Farm, Caunton, Nottingham
Open from Friday 29th March - Easter Weekend.
Nicola Shepheard and her family visited:
I had heard many good things about Feather Down's farms so was excited to say the least! But even my high expectations were exceeded.
I arrived with my four year old son Sebastian on a gloriously sunny June afternoon. As soon as we stepped onto the farm I immediately began to relax! This really is a beautiful spot. We were given a warm welcome by David who showed us to what we would be our home for the next three days.
The tent was huge! It immediately reminded me of something from ‘A Little House on the Prairie'. It was utterly charming! The living space consisted of a huge rustic dining table, fab kitchen area with a sink and running cold water, lots of storage space and utensils, a flushing loo, even a ‘fridge' (well it's actually a wooden trunk which is kept cold by frozen hot water bottles but it works!).
At the heart of the kitchen is a wood-burning stove. I had never cooked on anything like this before but David showed us how to light it, and this would prove to be a ritual throughout the stay. You are provided with logs, matches and paper but I would recommend bringing fire lighters as well, as you really do rely on the stove for everything from cooking and washing up to making a cuppa.
There is no electricity in the tent. Instead you are provided with oil lamps and candles, along with some torches (very useful for that dash to the loo in the dark!) These add a real charm to the place and are quite safe, but do watch young children. The bedrooms are amazing - a good sized double, bunk bed room, and best of all a bed in a cupboard! This small double is bound to be a hit with kids and I have to confess this is where I slept with Sebby - all warm and snug under plump duvets and crisp cotton sheets. Not a sleeping bag in sight!
The Farm Animals
As this is a working farm not surprisingly there
are plenty of animals to see. David and his family are always happy to get the
children involved in some of the chores. We were given a farm tour by Lottie,
David and Lesley’s niece who was so helpful during our stay. The children fed
the calves, collected the eggs, and had great fun ‘speaking’ to the turkeys!
They even got to sit in the tractor. Best of all though are the pack of
bloodhound dogs which are bred on the farm. These gorgeous and friendly dogs
are a real feature of Readyfields. We were lucky enough to visit when some
puppies had been born and we all loved giving them a cuddle.
Readyfields also has well-stocked honesty shop (which I have to say is very reasonably priced), clean shower block with hot water, along with barbecues, games, toys etc. There is plenty to keep the kids amused (whilst you relax in the deck chairs).
David also arranges bike rides with the pack, so you can pretend you are hunting with the dogs, but on bikes rather than horse back!
Things to do in Nottinghamshire
There is plenty to do in the area - Sherwood Forest is not too far away, the beautiful cathedral city of Lincoln is half an hour's drive away with plenty of shops and restaurants. Plus there are lots of great walks on the doorstep. We took a small radio and plenty of books and magazines as well. Oh - and just in case you really can't do without it I managed to get onto the internet on my mobile as well (sad but true - I only looked once!).
What struck me most about this holiday was just how easy it was to acclimatise to this ultra chilled out lifestyle! You just have to take things easy, and children love the freedom of being outdoors, and participating in simple tasks like looking for fire wood or collecting the eggs.
Top tips would be bring wellies, plenty of sun cream, waterproofs, matches and if you are in a rush to drink your morning cuppa maybe a small gas camping stove as the stove can take up to 30 minutes to heat up.
Would I recommend Readyfields? Most definitely! It provides the perfect environment for a great family holiday with a difference. Plus Caunton has two great pubs so if you are in need of a bit of civilisation it's on the doorstep. For me though nothing beats sitting outside with a glass of red, with the last of the day's sun on your face, listening to the birdsong! Bliss!