Hello Everyone,

We are settled back in beautiful Church Farm and are now offering part weeks for holidays as before but simplified; there will be three different lengths of stay at the same price throughout the year
Accommodation:
3 nights £250
5 nights £300
7 nights £350
Horses:
£15 per horse per night. If shavings required then an extra £35 per horse per stay
Dogs:
£12 per dog per stay.

The upstairs apartment will be permanently set up with a double bed and the downstairs permanently set up with single beds.

We hope this new arrangement will suit you and that will you visit us this year. For availability please ring us on 01594 541211

With best wishes from John, Lucy, Alice, Rabbit, Storm, Hal, Leo, Ben and Buddha and our new horse Oscar.  May 2017

 

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There are plenty of activities in the Forest and surrounding area.

But whatever the month, every Friday evening in the village we have an auction where you can pick up a bargain and have a bit of fun listening to our lively auctioneer, with fish and chips from the local chippy.

Or just mooch around the farm. We have two Kune Kune pigs in the wood who are very friendly and roll over on their backs and ask for their tummies to be tickled.

Come and meet Storm our Whippet puppy, full with a capital F of life! It seems an age since we lost dear Snowy and so having dear little Storm around is a very good tonic. Aren’t puppies the most fanatastic waste of time, one can’t help but stop and play! Alice is still alive and well but getting old so won’t chase sticks anymore. Rabbit and Buddha the cat will follow you around and turn up in the most unexpected places. A colony of little people who make Church Farm the place it is.

Lucy has a new horse Oscar who she is preparing for dressage competitions. Hal, Ben, & Leo are retired and getting fat mooching about the fields.
Hacking remains good in the Forest with great opportunities for discovering new places. We are keeping the paths clear and most of  our 10 rides are available. We will escort you or show you by car the various routes.  This time of year is a great time for Forest riding. The Greenways scheme showing a network of interconnected riding trails in the Forest that are also suitable for walkers and cyclists has just been published. Look at www.fodgreenways.co.uk or ask us to send you a copy.

 

 

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A video showing Church Farm

Our video is on show here

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The delightful Forest of Dean

Written by Ben Scott 29 June, 2011

The problem with   being male and riding horses is due to clash in anatomical shape.This is why   I’m currently not only walking like John Wayne, but also fearing for the future   dynasty of little Scotts I had vague aspirations of producing sometime in the   future. When I heard the words ‘free hacking holiday’, all I focused on was the word   ‘free’. I had forgotten that I had not sat on a horse for about six months. An   office chair and a commuter train doesn’t keep your seat used to the peculiar   comfort (and I use that term loosely) of a saddle. The reason for my current discomfort is a two-day hacking holiday in the   labyrinth known as the Forest of Dean. Church Farm Holidays had been kind enough   to offer this impoverished reporter a horse to borrow — they do not normally   offer this service — for two days.

‘He looks about 12’!

Once I had met my  host Lucy Verity, who reportedly exclaimed to her friends “he looks about  12!” (which in fairness I do), she admitted difficulties in terms of a  mount. The horses she owns had been losing shoes at a rate Cinderella would  have been proud of, however her friend Carole Broad, vice-chairman of the BHS,  was kind enough to lend me her impeccably-schooled dressage horse.

Horse Riding in the Forest of DeanMr. Deuce (pictured  top right) was truly a lifesaver. I am used to unruly horses so being able to  use a half-halt and get a response was a god-send. Especially as there were  plenty of low branches to negotiate. On a 17.3hh horse. Whilst out hacking I  saw many paths that had been cleared of low branches perfectly designed for a  partnership of our size. However a giggling Lucy insisted that they did not go  in the correct direction — I remain unconvinced by this claim!

Our first day’s 4hr  hack was a real surprise to me. I am used to hacking being a chore, pounding  the roads for fitness work, rather than a pleasure. Within 20min we were into  the forest heading upwards on a trail that was as rambling as our conversations  that filled the day. Lucy was constantly entertaining, though I think our  combined laughter ruined any hope we might have had of seeing wild boar.

Once the mild  surprise at my age (not to mention the shininess of my boots which had had  their first clean in four years) had subsided, she entertained me with snippets  of history about the working forest before agreeing with me that 11.30am was  not too soon for a quick stop at a pub. The few locals that we met on our  travels were all full of character.

Peace  and tranquility

What I found most  surprising though was the constant feeling of peacefulness that pervades every  aspect of the riding. Moments of pure tranquillity, only once interrupted by my  phone blaring out The Strangler’s ‘Peaches’, were commonplace. Lucy told me  that those who come on sharp horses are often surprised by the calming effect  the forest has on them. I find that easy to believe.

She also took me up  to Welshbury Hill Fort, thought to date back to 1600 BC, which is reputed to be  the place where the Celtic Dobunni tribe staged its last resistance against the  Romans. Now, I am a two pints of larger and a packet of crisps kind of bloke,  but even I found it atmospheric.

When we arrived home,

I was introduced  to my upstairs apartment in a converted granary. Exposed timbers, Sky TV and a  bath made me a very happy man. The apartment also has an impressively detailed  information pack full of rides and things to do in the local area. A nice touch  was being able to see your horses in their stable, or indeed when they are  turned out, from your room. The 50-acre farm also boasts an all-weather gallop,  another gallop, arena and some cross-country fences.

Good  food and great company

Lucy and John  sometimes invite guests to join them for an evening meal and Lucy’s cooking is  one of the many reasons that their diary is booked full of repeat visitors. In  keeping with the holiday as a whole, we spent a relaxed and fun evening  swapping stories and getting to know each other. Indeed their other guests, who  are also family friends, Althaea Berthon and Hope Gosse, two ladies of later  years, had a wealth of experience and storytelling to impart. Never before had  I met someone who had escaped from finishing school by taking a coach across  war-torn Germany.

The second day’s  riding was equally entertaining, although I spent as much time out of the  saddle as I could to protect my posterior. Although there is no space for long  gallops in the forest, cantering uphill is always an option and the proximity  of the trees gives an exhilarating feeling.

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Welcome

 

WiFi is now fully operational in both apartments, so if you want to keep in touch bring your lap top and log in to the internet.

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