Pre Tour

We have linked with Field Farm Tours to provide the Pre & Post Congress tours and these can be booked by clicking the following link:

Click to BOOK PRE 2017 IFMA Congress Tours >>

21st IFMA Congress Pre Tour MapSunday 25th June until Sunday 2nd July 2017

Hotels in Windsor, Bath, Birmingham, York and Edinburgh

The pre tour costs £1,210.00 for a shared room and a single supplement of £353.00

The pre tour starts in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead which is situated on the River Thames.

We are very lucky to have two tour guides for the pre tour, John Alliston and Malcolm Stansfield (IFMA Past Presidents), who will be well known to many attendees and very knowledgeable on UK Agriculture.

Windsor has been chosen as the start of the tour as it is very handy for Heathrow Airport with arrangements in place to meet and transfer those who arrive on international flights. The tour will give attendees a unique opportunity to travel from Windsor to Edinburgh and gain an understanding of the British way of life, history and English agriculture whilst visiting farming businesses that are not normally open to the public.

The route will take the group from Windsor across the countryside of Berkshire and Wiltshire to the Roman city of Bath. On from here into Somerset, the city of Bristol via Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds to Warwickshire and the outskirts of Stratford on Avon, then on to Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and to the Roman city of York.  From York, the tour will make its way via Durham, Northumberland into the Borders and on to Edinburgh. 

Day One:

Morning arrivals into London Heathrow Airport will be met and transferred to the Castle Hotel Windsor which will be our hotel for Sunday night.

The group will meet up in the afternoon for introductions and update on information on the tour then set off for a visit to Windsor Great Park and the estate farm.

The farm is a commercial venture with arable crops, vineyard, pig unit, poultry, and cattle within The Great Park, a robotic milking unit and Jersey Herd.

Day Two: 

Following breakfast, we will check out of the hotel and our first visit will be to the Centre for Dairy Research which is based at Reading University when we will be updated on current research and take a tour of the unit. 

The second visit will be to the nearby picturesque village of Yattendon and the quintessential English Estate which owns much of the property including the Tithe Barn, village pub and shop. The estate and farm comprises of 124 Ha of Christmas trees, 2,400 Ha of arable cropping and a well-respected shoot.

We will then make our way across the rolling countryside of Berkshire into Wiltshire and our hotel at the Bail Brook House Hotel, Bath.

After dinner, those who wish can join a tour of the Roman City of Bath which is famous for its architecture and warm springs which give the city its name.

Day Three:

After breakfast, we check out from the hotel and make our way a short distance to Alvis Bros farm in North Somerset. This is a traditional Somerset family integrated dairy farm with a significant cheese production facility producing Cheddar Cheese which is exported all over the world.

Following lunch, which will be a garden party, we will make our way again a short distance to visit the Bristol Port Company which is located on the River Severn. This is the longest river in the UK and has the second highest rise and fall (48ft/15m) of tide in the world.

Bristol Port Company has made significant investments since it was privatised and is now  a major import and export facility for feed materials and export of grain, handling well over a million tonnes per year.

Following this visit, we will make our way across Gloucestershire and Warwickshire to the St John Hotel near Solihull for dinner and overnight accommodation at the St John Hotel.

Day Four:

Today we have the opportunity to look at leading edge technology, production and research. Our first visit is to the Land Rover factory at Solihull which produced the iconic ‘series’ range of 4 by 4 vehicles loved by farmers all over the world and is now part of the Jaguar group. The company has undergone a major investment and produces a range of 4 wheel drive vehicles including the Range Rover.

We then make our way to Harper Adams University and a visit to the robotics research unit which was opened recently and is a state of the art research facility working on the next generation of robotics that will be used in agriculture.

Following the visit, we will make our way across Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and to the Roman city of York where we will have dinner & stay for two nights at the York Hilton Hotel.

Day Five:

Following breakfast, we will be visiting the St Helens Farm which is located in the Vale of York and is known for its rich farmland. This farm and business has been goat farming in East Yorkshire for 30 years and produces a range of goats’ milk products that are packed fresh every day and are available at supermarkets across the UK.

We then return to the City of York for an open top bus tour of this historic city. Dinner & Overnight stay will be at our hotel, the York Hilton.

Day Six:

Following breakfast, we check out of our hotel and make our way via Heriots country (books and film based on a Yorkshire vet) to the small village of Masham (pronounced Mass’em) to visit two businesses who are world class.

I’Anson Brothers was established over 100 years ago as a supplier of animal feeds to local farmers. Today, it is a major business, run by the fourth generation of the I’Anson family, supplying specialist farm feeds to over 25 countries and employing more than 70 people. The company’s use of cutting edge technology has been recognised by Microsoft ahead of the likes of BMW and Toyota;  it has also been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation, for its products.

After this, we visit the Black Sheep Brewery (and discover why it is so called) which began brewing traditional ales in 1992 and in a short period of time has become a very popular Independent Brewery.

We then make our way from Yorkshire via Northumberland to Blagdon Estate which has been in the White/Ridley family ownership since 1698.

The Estate is a business that includes farms, woodland, residential and commercial properties; its tenants provide around 240 full and part-time jobs. The Milkhope Centre has become a popular destination for visitors with a number of small privately owned retail businesses; including the Blagdon Farm Shop of which Trevor Atkinson the IFMA Chairman is a director. This shop sells local produce from Blagdon and the surrounding area and has become a must go to shopping destination in the locality.

Dinner and overnight will be at the Newcastle Holiday Inn.

Day Seven:

Following breakfast and checking out of the hotel, travel to Alnwick Castle & Northumberland Estates for a private visit and tour of the farm and castle.

Northumberland Estates has several strings to its bow. Farming and forestry have always played a central role on the Estate and this remains the case today. Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden are two of the most popular and best known tourist attractions in the North East. More recently, the Estate has developed a reputation as a popular film location, featuring in blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter and TV dramas including Downton Abbey. These additional enterprises make the Estate one of the larger employers in the area.

We then make our way from Northumberland into the Boarders, on to Edinburgh and our overnight hotel the Edinburgh Capital Hotel.

Day 8

After breakfast we check out from the hotel and make our way to the Congress venue and delegates hotels

Included in the Tour:

  • Bed & Breakfast Sunday 25th June to Saturday 1st July 2017
  • Lunches
  • Mid-morning and afternoon refreshments when taken
  • Dinners (dinner not included on Saturday 1st July)
  • Entrance to all visits listed on the tour
  • Travel from Windsor to Edinburgh by coach

Whats not included:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Entrance to any optional visits that may come up where a charge is made
  • Accommodation during the congress
  • Dinner on Saturday 1st July 2017

Our Tour Company:

We have chosen as our partners to provide the tours Field Farm Tours Ltd who are a specialist tour company covering agricultural tours and further details about them can be found at-  http://www.fieldfarmtours.co.uk