Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published August 20th 2013
Don't forget to pack your gumboots
Farm stays are a perfect choice for a weekend break with the family. For me they offer a great respite for a short break from home, often with a plenitude of activities thrown in for the whole family to enjoy. I was recently looking for a long weekend break for my small family and chanced upon Lavendale Farm, which happily isn't based too far from Perth, so easily accessible for a short break. Lavedale Farm exceeded all of our expectations by coupling a 'hands on' life on the farm experience whilst also providing excellent accommodation and facilities.
Lavendale Farm is nestled in the beautiful Avon Valley, just ten minutes outside of York. The farm is ideally situated to visit the historic town of York in addition to local beauty spots, national parks, walks and cycle routes. The farm itself is a great base for country walks around the 58ha site, with an abundance of bushland to explore, in addition to some amazing vantages to the breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Lavendale Farm offers seven self contained one, two and three bedroom cottages in addition to bed and breakfast facilities in the farm house itself. We stayed in the two bedroom Bali Hai bungalow which as well as being well equipped for a self catering break, was ideally placed adjacent to the kids play area (complete with trampoline) which particularly appealed to my toddler. The bungalow is tastefully decorated with some real thought taken in ensuring that a family has all that they need for their stay. For us, it was great to have a portacot provided, a booster seat and our toddler was provided with his own dinner set and plastic cutlery. Little considerations like this are in abundance, and add to a carefree and comfortable stay.
Lavendale Farm was made for families and for their enjoyment. Your hosts are Farmer Katherine and Farmer Merv, and they truly are the hosts with the most! Upon arrival you are personally greeted and escorted to your accommodation, and gifted a freshly baked loaf of bread and some freshly laid eggs. Small touches like this make you feel so very welcome. You are given a tour of your accommodation and this allows you to ask any questions that might come to mind. Nothing is too much trouble for your farm stay hosts, and whatever you need Katherine and Merv happily point you in the right direction, or help you out with their local knowledge.
This farm plays home to an assortment of friendly animals including horses, ponies, donkeys, alpacas, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and an ostrich you can feed (if you are brave enough. All visitors to the farm are invited to come along to feeding time and this is a highlight for any little (or big) kids in your party. Our toddler was absolutely delighted to be included in feeding time and got to help out with feeding alpacas, horses, pigs, chickens and the cows. All very hands on and all with the patient and friendly assistance of Katherine and Merv. My toddler was particularly thrilled to collect his own eggs and to feed the friendly alpacas. During our stay, we were also invited to help clean and brush the ponies, which we didn't have time to do but an activity that I'm sure any horse loving kid would adore.
Another activity that was organised during our stay, was an evening campfire complete with marshmallows. This was a first for my toddler and for many of the other kids at the farm, and a real treat. Hosted by Katherine and Merv, visitors assembled round the roaring fire to roast marshmallows, swap stories, enjoy a cold beverage and just savour the fresh air and country life. Such a memorable highlight of the stay.
In addition to enjoying the splendours of farming life, there are plenty of opportunities for your children to be able to play whilst onsite. There is a playground area that includes sand pile (complete with diggers), large trampoline and swings, and indoors there is a large activity room where you can play table tennis, foosball or let free the inner artist on the huge drawing board.
Lots of space for kids to play
If you're looking for a farm stay in the beautiful countryside surrounding Perth, this is a great choice for family fun and relaxation. You're made to feel right at home on the farm and you'll definitely not want to leave.