Research highlights key trends in farm-based holidays

People in their mid-20s to mid-30s are driving growth in the farm tourism market with bookings for farm holidays and rural stays 45% higher than in 2018, according to research by Farm Stay.

The organisation, which promotes the agri-tourism industry in the UK and has more than 420 listings on its website, has published new research which demonstrates the rising popularity of rural staycations.

While Covid-19 has prompted more people to book a holiday in the UK this year, Farm Stay says feedback from customers and members also suggests that, post-pandemic, more holiday makers will be seeking a more responsible sustainable holiday.

See also: 12 tips for improving your farm tourism business

The research shows that countryside escapes are most popular with 25-34 years olds, which includes couples, groups and young families.

Glamping has soared in popularity, with almost as many people searching for it on the Farm Stay website as the number searching for bed and breakfast accommodation.

Search data also gives an interesting insight into what expectations holiday makers have in terms of the facilities provided.

Indoor pools and hot tubs are a new must-have, with searches up 45% and 35%, respectively, over the past three years.

 Top 10 searches and locations for rural staycations 

  Most popular searches  Most popular locations
1 Indoor pool Yorkshire
2 Glamping with hot tub Cornwall
3 Working farm    Norfolk
4 Self-catering sleeping 12+ Devon
5 Self-catering      Suffolk
6 Hot tubs Derbyshire
7 Feed the animals Wales
8 Cottages with swimming pool in Cornwall Wiltshire
9 Horse riding Kent
10 Take your horse on holiday Scotland

A growing sector

A US firm specialising in farm-based and countryside accommodation has expanded into the UK, hoping to tap into increasing interest in rural holidays.

Yonder only features rural accommodation that will provide visitors with access to nature, such as cottages, lodges, treehouses, glamping sites and guesthouses. 

“The interest in this type of holiday has skyrocketed in both the US and UK, especially during the pandemic,” said Bill Lee, Yonder chief executive. “Today, people are travelling with a greater intention and want to know both the story behind where they are staying and the impact their trips will have on both the environment and local communities.”