Where the Flock is our new campaign, designed to create a guide to the best and brightest rural businesses across the UK.
Whether you are a loyal customer of a fantastic farm shop, know the perfect home-away-from-home for a luxurious weekend getaway, or think your cafe sells the best victoria sponge in the countryside, we want to hear from you!
There are so many incredible businesses tucked away in rural places across the UK, and we hope this guide will shine a light on some of these hidden gems, gradually creating an invaluable resource for anyone who likes to spend time in the Great British countryside.
If you want to take your business even further, and gain even more recognition, consider entering the Rural Business Awards. Entry is completely free, and you can find more information here.
Places to Take Your Family – #taketheherd
Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park
The Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park is a family attraction and conservation centre for Rare Breed Heavy Horses. This unique visitor attraction has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 7 years running, and offers an educational and hands-on countryside experience.
East Riding of Yorkshire
William’s Den is an exciting, rural and natural visitor attraction with a range of facilities tailored to families. It offers outdoor and indoor play, a family-friendly 120 seat restaurant, Snack Box, a gift shop and is open year-round. William’s Den aims to give children the chance to connect with nature and get active.
Places to Buy Amazing Gifts – #gothewholehog
Meg Hawkins is an independent watercolour artist who works in rural Shropshire. She creates images reflecting the countryside and wildlife around her and adds a modern twist on the traditional. Her art is reproduced in a range of stationery and gifts, designed to bring life and happiness to any home.
Meg’s beautiful new shop is located in Pride Hill Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury.
A Farmer's Daughter
A Farmer’s Daughter has created a unique collection of stationery and giftware products, designed in Staffordshire by founder Helen Thomstone, and made using British suppliers, printers, and manufacturers. Helen’s family farm is located in beautiful countryside, and the farming landscape, hedgerows, livestock and wildlife are all part of her inspiration.
Hurn & Hurn
Hurn & Hurn is a family-run online home and design store with a boutique feel that stocks unique and original home-ware, home accessories, lighting and gifts for the modern home and stylish individual. Their motto is “Discover the unusual”, and that’s what you’ll find if you visit their website.
Places to Have an Adventure – #hiveagoodtime
Griffin Narrowboat Holidays
Griffin Narrowboat Holidays give you the chance to relax and unwind amongst the peace and tranquility of the British Waterways. Their beautiful narrowboat sleeps two people and offers a wonderful chance to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. From their location on the Trent and Mersey Canal, you can use the narrowboat to explore some of the most scenic parts of the Midlands.
Waterloo Cottage Farm
Waterloo Cottage Farm, based near Market Harborough, produce chemical-free, high-welfare meat fed on 40 species of grasses and herbs grown on their own land. There’s a community garden where locals cultivate their own herbs and vegetables, plus a rapidly developing chemical-free market garden. There are three yurts where guests can ‘glamp’ the night away. And there’s now a café – Canvas Café – serving organic, chemical-free, locally sourced food.
Places to Learn Something – #olddognewtricks
Isle of Skye
Established in 1983, Skyeskyns is the sole remaining commercial sheepskin tannery in Scotland. Producing and stocking the highest quality, hand-crafted sheepskins, leather and luxury woollen goods, Skyeskyns has become an immensely popular 5-star visitor attraction, receiving thousands of visitors each year.
Beach Schools South West
Beach Schools South West is a community interest company dedicated to outdoor learning for children wherever they are, but particularly by the sea. They are passionate about getting children outside and work with schools and parents to take lessons out of the classroom and onto the shoreline.
Forest and Beach
Forest and Beach was established 2013 by experienced teachers Pete and Andrea Moore, both of whom grew up in the beautiful South Hams. It has a remit of connecting children and adults with nature and the outdoors. Located a mile away from the beach at Beesands, South Devon, the business specialises in forest and beach school experiences for children and adults.
Places to Eat Out – #takesthebiscuit
Leadenham Teahouse is uniquely located within Leadenham Village Post Office. Opened in October 2015 by two sisters who wanted to diversify the future of their Mother’s Post Office. The businesses work together to bring customers the finest quality local produce & fresh Lincolnshire ingredients. Last year, Leadenham Teahouse was recognised for this, by coming runner up in the Rural Business Awards Diversification Project.
Leadenham Teahouse has expanded into a homemade lunch menu and last year went onto win Lincolnshire Tearoom of the Year, Great Taste 2018 & Community Business of the Year.
Jolly Nice are farmers and producers running an innovative Farm Shop, Burger bar, Ice cream parlour and butchery. They are conveniently positioned on a busy A-road in Gloucestershire, opening from 8am-7pm, 7 days a week, 364 days a year.
They pride themselves on using the very best local and sustainable ingredients in all the food they make including traditional breed beef reared on their own farm for their famed Jolly Nice Burger.
Crwst is a new eatery based in Cardigan. They are open from morning to evening offering a relaxed and contemporary atmosphere for casual dining, drinking and socialising with an emphasis on local and seasonal produce. Throughout the day, customers can enjoy their brunch, a good cup of coffee and cake, or even just grab a loaf to take home! On weekends, a tasteful evening menu comes to light, inspired by the wonderful local producers they are lucky enough to have in West Wales.
They are proud to showcase that they make everything in-house, including their breads, pastries and cakes!
Places to be Creative – #whateverfloatsyourgoat
Countryside and Craft Courses
Countryside and Craft Courses at Brakehill Farm offers courses in a variety of disciplines, in the beautiful surroundings of rural Norfolk. From pottery to willow weaving, candle-making to bee-keeping, there are so many opportunities to relax, have fun, and be creative. As course costs cover all materials, an a delicious farmhouse lunch, it’s the recipe for a perfect day!
Places to be Inspired – #beeinspired
Rose Mills Makers
Rose Mills Makers is a trio of independent businesses based on the Rose Mills Industrial Estate in Ilminster, Somerset. The building is home to: Glassification, designer makers of glorious fused glass splash backs, art glass and much more, and Fruitbat Textiles, crafters of traditionally made, unique, luxury accessories for both men and women.
A visit to Rose Mils Makers means you can see both of these businesses in action, meet the makers, browse their stock and discuss bespoke designs. If you fancy giving either craft a go yourself, they also offer a great range of courses in both glass making and textiles. The icing on the cake is ‘Glow’ – A lovely little salon on the top floor offering a great range of beauty and holistic therapies for all ages!
Places to be romantic- #beCorny
A Corner of Eden
A Corner of Eden is a chic self catering retreat just outside Ravenstonedale village on the edge of the Eden Valley, Cumbria. There are 3 properties sitting together in 6 acres of land at the end of their own lane. The romantic Shepherd’s Cottage is their couple’s retreat with a unique outdoor rolltop bath in the walled garden (with piping hot water on tap!). Built in the 1500’s, now lovingly renovated to create the perfect escape for couples, the cottage is nestled between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Lake District.
Inside the Cottage is spacious yet homely with oak beamed ceilings, original stone mantle over the claret Aga and old spice cupboard. An ancient flag stone welcomes you into the handmade kitchen, which has been lovingly created by Richard. If cooking isn’t your thing, then you can simply wander across the footpath to The Fat Lamb Inn, just 3 fields away.
So Sweet Couture Chocolate
Chloe started So Sweet Couture 2 years ago producing dairy free, gluten free and vegan chocolate bars and gifts after discovering she had a severe wheat intolerance and there was a gap in the market for delicious chocolate that everyone could enjoy. Chloe started up in the home kitchen on the family farm before renovating one of the farm outbuildings into a chocolate factory, funding this through chocolate sales and undertaking much of the work herself. The chocolate is sold via her website, festivals and independent retail outlets and is growing fast.
Freedom flowers, the Ashbourne florist and farm is run by owner Sheila Haswell, supported by talented florist Cathy. It is a small business born out of a passion for growing cut flowers in the rather challenging environment of the Derbyshire Peak District.
After 8 years of growing in the Peak District, Sheila aims to bring Derbyshire, British and international flowers of distinction to the Derbyshire Dales. They always stock the best British flowers in season and can offer a “British only” flower service with local and national delivery.
Sheila and Cathy work alongside their children, and pet spaniels Pip, Nellie, and Dora, with the heehawing donkeys and clucking hens for background entertainment.
David Fowkes Jewellery
David Fowkes creates unique, handmade jewellery exhibiting the highest standard of craftsmanship. The brand is synonymous with gems of exceptional quality, cut to perfection and set in unique designs. Every piece of David Fowkes Jewellery has been individually created, using ancient stone cutting methods, and a combination of both traditional and innovative techniques. David’s work translates as a piece of art and a feast for the eyes: the ultimate pleasure to wear.
Places to stock your cupboards – #haveabutchers
St Buryan Farm Shop
St Buryan Farm shop opened in August 2018 near Lands End in Cornwall. The husband and wife owners Richard and Morwenna Bone produce and sell home reared beef, home grown vegetables, and a selection of home made pasties, cakes and bakes. The farm shop is a great platform for other local businesses including food, crafts, art, cosmetics, all from within 20 miles of the shop. There is a butchery onsite, where the delicious home reared and local meats are prepared. The cafe serves the home made treats, pasties and cream teas and there is a children’s play area outside.
The Lambing Shed
The Lambing Shed is a Farm Shop and Cafe, based on a working farm in Cheshire. This is accompanied by an in-house Butchery and Delicatessen. The farm rears cattle and sheep and the core of the business is to sell their own beef and lamb in the Butchery and on the Cafe menu. They also stock as much local produce as possible, with over 65 local suppliers in store.
Itteringham Community Shop
There has been a Shop in the heart of Itteringham Village since 1637. After 380 years of commerce it now trades successfully as a Community run business. It does so thanks to the help of staff, local volunteers, supporters and guidance from the Itteringham Community Association (formed in 1994).
The Philosophy of the Community Shop is quite simple: to serve the Community with a wide selection of tasty locally produced food and thereby helping small local rural businesses and providing local employment.