Learn about animal husbandry and care or sort your tea out at a bountiful produce shop with these Leeds farms.
From meeting and feeding animals to enjoying local food, a trip to a local farm is never a day wasted. In Leeds, there are loads of different farms to enjoy, including an urban farm, an equine sanctuary and a garden nursery. Whether you’re looking for a day out with the kids or a wholesome way to spend a Sunday, you’ll find everything you need right here.
Meanwood Valley Urban Farm
Meanwood Valley Urban Farm is one of the best farms in Leeds for kids and adults alike. It’s a 24-acre working farm and charity with a community feel. Expect a lovely walk around woodlands, meadows and ponds, spotting livestock as you go. From alpacas, goats and pigs to rabbits, guinea pigs and turtles, there are lots of different animals to get to know.
There’s a farm shop and an independently run cafe on site, so if you get peckish, you can pick up something delicious to nibble on as you walk around, including loaded wedges and yummy cakes. They have bags of feed for the animals too. Entrance to the farm is just £2.50 for adults and 50p for children, plus it’s easily accessible by car, bus or on foot, so it’s a no-brainer.
Meanwood Urban Valley Farm, Sugar Well Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2QG.
Crag House Farm
Set in beautiful countryside, Crag House Farm has a restaurant, a farm shop and plant nursery. It’s also the base for Leeds-based charity Caring for Life, and the farm helps support the cause. At the Granary Restaurant, you can tuck into eggs, lamb and beef sourced directly from the farm, so it’s incredibly sustainable. They also make their own cakes, jams and chutneys too.
Pop into the farm shop and head to the deli counter for fresh meat, a selection of mouth-watering cheeses and an array of home bakes. They prize themselves on supporting small and local suppliers, so chances are you’ll pick up something new and delicious. Don’t forget to browse the garden nurseries too – a glass greenhouse bursting with life.
Crag House Farm, Otley Old Road, Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 7NH.
Temple Newsam Home Farm
Say hello to your favourite farmyard animals at Temple Newsam. With animals freely wandering around the cobbled courtyards, it’s a bit like going back in time. You can see lambs, piglets and geese, as well as discovering what it was like to work on the farm in days gone by. There’s an adventure playground too, with an old tractor so the kids can pretend they’re farmers.
Home farm has another string to its bow, in that it’s one of the largest rare breed centres in Europe. It houses creatures you’re unlikely to see anywhere else, as most of their animals are rare, at risk or vulnerable, like the distinctive Vaynol cow and the spectacularly horned Bagot goat. Entrance to the farm is £4.20 for adults and £2.90 for children.
Temple Newsam, Temple Newsam Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS15 0AE.
A little different to the other farms in Leeds, Hope Pastures is a haven for equine lovers. It’s a horse, pony and donkey sanctuary that takes in animals, rehabilitates them and finds them new homes (or, sometimes, makes them a permanent fixture). You can meet lots of different characters as you wander through the farm, learning about the best ways to look after them.
They run lots of events and activities throughout the year, from a Spring Fayre to a dog show and pony pampering days. You can even hold birthday parties here. The visitor centre is open at weekends, so you can grab a cup of coffee, a tasty treat and a gift or two. It’s completely free to visit, but they will gratefully accept donations to help with their important work.
Hope Pastures, Westwood Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5PH.
None Go Bye Farm
Based in Horsforth, None Go Bye is a lovely place to spend a few hours. The kids will love meeting and feeding the animals, including llamas, ponies and chickens. Try the Walking with Goats experience and take your new furry friend through the woods as they feed and explore. It’s £1 per person to visit and children will get a bag of animal feed free with entry.
Adults will love the farm shop, full of fresh cut meats, burgers and local, seasonal produce. Hungry? There’s a cafe, where you can buy tasty treats to takeaway, and a picnic area to enjoy them in. If you fancy yourself a bit of a fisherman, you can head to the farm any day of the week to take advantage of the well-stocked carp ponds.
None Go Bye Farm, Otley Old Road, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5HZ.
Swithens is one of the best farms in Leeds. It’s family run and has expanded from pig farming to what it is today – a great day out for everyone. You can meet the animals, feed them and learn about animal husbandry, all for just £7 per person. They’ve got the usual farmyard animals, like pigs, sheep and cows, as well as some more unusual beasts like alpacas, emus and meerkats.
If you’ve got kids under 10, they can take full advantage of the Play Barn while you watch from the sidelines. Expect ball pools, slides and brightly coloured apparatus to have adventures on. Time for a cuppa and a bite to eat? The cafe offers delicious food fresh from the farm, and you can even pop into the on-site butchers to take some of their locally-reared meat home.
Swithens Farm, Swithen’s Lane, Rothwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS26 0BT.