13 Cow Cuddling Experiences in the UK
POV: I’m looking for a different animal encounter. As much as I love animal experiences such as a good zoo or farm visit, this time I’m after something more hands on, a type of immersive experience, rather than a ‘quick-look and onto the next one’ deal. There are, as you may know, many types of animal encounters. However, as much as I would like to live a day in the life of Crocodile Dundee or the Tiger King, I’m thinking less ‘nerves of steel’, and more ‘relax and recharge’. Plus, ‘Big Cats’ tend to go hand-in-hand with ‘Big Costs’, and I’m still feeling the January Blues!
I LOVE cows, and apparently, I’m not the only one. These gentle giants love to give you an affectionate nudge and maybe (if you’re lucky) a bit of a lick… Let’s face it- they’re basically oversized dogs. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that whether brown and shaggy, black or white, recent years have shown a huge growth in demand for cow cuddling and other cow caring experiences.
Many venues that offer the experience let you get up close and personal with either the ever popular ‘cute and fluffy’ highland cows, or relaxed and retired dairy cows. This is a feel-good moment, when you can cuddle retired cows rather than see them sent up the cowpats to heaven. Some even list the experience as therapeutic, with psychologists backing the evidence of oxytocin boosts as a result of relaxing in nature surrounded by the fold (or herd).
Who knew? Seems like a win-win… count me in! So, where would I start? How do I find the experience that ticks all the boxes and suits my needs as a customer?
With no insider information of locations, costs or even IF anyone will offer what I’m looking for, I began my journey with the tried and trusted fountain of knowledge- the good ol’ Google search. Use Bing or Yahoo! if you must, we don’t judge here. Whatever tickles your fancy.
Whilst I did get a few hits, it transpires that searching ‘Highland Cow Experience’ is perhaps too niche, so my findings are primarily based on a very simple search term: ‘Cow Experience’.
As a consumer, there are certain features or characteristics of an experience that I would naturally rank above others in terms of importance. This will vary from person to person, depending on their individual needs. For me, location and logistics are key. Living in the West Midlands (or the Midlands in general), I find that when I have an experience in mind, my options can be somewhat limited. I don’t mind some travel, and I don’t expect everything to be on my doorstep. However, it’s no secret that generally the majority of experience days will find you on your way down to the South East.
On this occasion, many of said Cow experiences would have me hiking up north to Scotland or Yorkshire. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it could make for a part of a lovely break away. It’s just too far to go on its own merit.
In fact, a whopping 61.5% of results were based in Scotland and Yorkshire. Finally, something for the Northerners! Not excluding our Welsh dragons, you can also opt for a meditative cow-based retreat in Mid-Wales (Yoga optional!). Of course, it goes without saying that your cow-cuddling needs can also be serviced in the south. But what about the Midlands?
Well, you will be pleased to learn that the final 23% of our Cow-caring frivolities are slightly closer to home. Disappointingly, none of which are in the West Midlands. If any of my local friends were looking for a transcendental sign and a gap in the market- you’re welcome. Just pop some land and cows onto your weekend shopping list.
If you’re thinking “Why not just search ‘Cow Experience Shropshire’?, or ‘Cow Experience West Midlands’?”, fret not my cow cuddling companion. I can save you the time. Rooted deep in the heart of the rolling Shropshire hills is a long history of agriculture, and as such, searching for cow experiences in Shropshire will, rather sadly, bring you a surplus of cattle market dates and beef bargain boxes. Veggies- ye be warned.
Surprisingly, each cow experience I found did have a mutual factor (the obvious cows aside)- none of them showed on any experience company websites. Each one was offered independently. I did find this strange, as despite a mix of booking availability; (some seasonal, some daily, some selected dates), booking was often available online, and offering your experience through a national, well-known experience company, would seem a simple means to increase awareness of your experience, and correlatively increase your traffic and customer base.
So, without further ado, here it is. Whether your search criteria relies on location, price, availability or experience duration; I have compiled my findings and picked out the important bits to save you scouring the net. See my breakdown of 13 Cow Cuddling Experiences in the UK below.
Hope you've enjoyed my round up of cow cuddling experiences. Let us know on our socials if I have missed any, or if you have first hand experience in this awesome activity!