Farm stay review: Green Farm Kent near London, UK
“Who wants to feed the lambs?” asks Martin Richmond-Coggan, the owner of Green Farm. My husband and I are among the guests who enthusiastically volunteer. It’s one of the most delightful moments of our stay at Green Farm Kent as we watch the babies come running to us. They take precisely three seconds to greedily finish off their bottles. One decides to adopt my husband Dinesh, rubbing its woolly head against his legs – probably mistaking him for a tree, given how absurdly tall he is!
It’s hard to believe we are in these lush surroundings making new four-legged friends so close to London. The capital has gorgeous green spaces but the pace can be frenetic, and I am fortunate enough to live near the border of Kent. Kent is known as the Garden of England, and it’s no wonder that a gorgeous farm stay like Green Farm offers an inviting weekend trip from London when the hustle and bustle gets too much.
The location couldn’t be better – it’s a mere 37 minutes travel on the train from London St Pancras to Ashford International Station. An easy green escape for those who live in the capital or even if you’re just visiting London.
Green Farm is located in the heart of the the Kent countryside in the idyllic Shadoxhurst conservation area, where we are surrounded by 12,500 acres of ancient woodland and traditional pastures. We get a welcome tour from the owner Maryann who tells us that guests have have full access to Green Farm and its 50 acres of meadows, wooded pasture and ancient woodland, almost all within a Local Wildlife Site. Perfect for a bicycle ride or a walk in woods (four-legged friends welcome at this pet-friendly farm!). We can already feel the stress draining away in these verdant surroundings.
We stay in the gorgeously kitted out Grade II listed building, a Kentish Hall House dating back to the mid 15th century. There’s also a lovingly refurbed 19th Century listed barn that accommodates 12 people. Martin and Maryann’s estate offers an idyllic setting – playful lambs, clucking chickens, dogs lounging around, heifers soaking in the sun – this is the quintissential English countryside experience that travel lovers to the UK must experience!
Yoga on the farm
The next morning after our arrival, Emma teaches a well attended yoga class that includes beginners as well as seasoned yoga enthusiasts by the pond. The weather is fine, there’s vegan cake on offer and it’s a wonderful way to connect with nature. Emma and the owners go back and long way and she even got married on the farm!
That’s what we loved about the farm – the story, eating freshly prepared meals with produce from the farm together, the connections, and the personal, friendly touch. We got along with the other guests staying on the farm and soon we know each other’s life stories – it’s a truly immersive experience.
Let me say it upfront – the deep tissue massage was divine and you can’t go to Green Farm and not try it! It is one of the most wonderful memories of our stay – Helen had some serious moves and I thought I’d need a removal truck to drag me out of there. She has the knack for finding the knots and working on them till you felt like you were floating.
There’s also a hot tub under the stars and a sauna on the premises of the farm stay – there’s no way you’re going to return without feeling completely pampered!
Green Farm – living up to its name
In conversation with Maryann, we discover that they are working with The Kent Wildlife Trust to enrich the habitats and improve species diversity. This means that the owners work hard to keep the woodland as natural as possible. They are engaged strongly with the local community with creating jobs and use local suppliers.
There’s a lovely Community Wildlife Garden where workshops are held on subjects like sustainable gardening and ‘Beginners guide to wildlife vegetable gardening’. There are solar panels to complete this happy list. It was obvious that they were working hard to constantly up their game in the green living area, and the efforts were there to show.
Whether you just want to spend time on the farm relaxing, have an active weekend in nature, do a spot of yoga or just get pampered silly at the spa, we would highly recommend you try it. Relax and unwind – this is the idyllic setting for a gorgeous getaway!