Have a go at the farming of yesteryear

If you want to get out into the countryside and learn more about Britain’s farming history, head for Acton Scott Historic Working Farm in Shropshire to try your hand at traditional farm skills.

Ploughing at Acton Scott

IF YOU WANT to get out into the countryside and learn more about Britain’s farming of yesteryear, head for Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, tucked away in the Shropshire Hills Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty between Ludlow and Shrewsbury in Shropshire. There you can try your hand at traditional farm skills, such as learning brickwork, keeping chickens and bees, or making a cleft gate. Among the many courses on offer, Heavy Horse Days feature the world champion horseman Jim Elliott. Jim started ploughing at the age of 10 and won his first ploughing match two years later. He is now 31-times British ploughing champion and four times International Ploughing champion. Courses with Jim are scheduled for September, October and November.

Courses in the Victorian Kitchen and teaching animal husbandry are also complemented this year by such gate-to-plate offerings as “Slaughter, Pluck & Draw”.

Part museum, part visitor attraction, Acton Scott aims to keep traditional countryside skills alive, and stages various special events throughout the year. You can also watch blacksmiths, farriers, wheelwrights, dairy maids and farm staff at work. The farm is such a popular time capsule that it became the star of BBC’s two television series of Victorian Farm, and in a new series called Escape in Time, due to be aired in the UK later this year.

Wheel tyring at Acton Scott

You can also visit Acton Scott as part of a new film and television locations tour of Shropshire, which includes Stokesay Court where Atonement (which starred Keira Knightley and James McAvoy) was filmed. Helen Wilkinson and her daughter Maddy started off with a tour of Jane Austen film locations from the popular television version of Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, and these have become so popular with visitors from around the world that they’ve created the new locations tour.

For further information on Acton Scott, tel:(01694) 781307 or visit www.actonscott.com. P and P Tours are at www.pandptours.co.uk.