More than just a farm…
A working honey farm based in South Molton. Offering a full day out for the whole family to enjoy.
Wander around the Nectar Gardens, see millions of bees up close, visit the Honey Factory and take a look behind the scenes at the honey production areas.
The friendly Education Team are ready to guide you through your day and even open up a hive for you at one of the daily Beekeeping Demonstrations.
The unique hexagonal themed Nectar Gardens display thousands of bee friendly plants. Go off-piste on our meadow trails and let the kids buzz around the large indoor and outdoor play area.
Pop in for some lunch or a browse in the shop, there is a large restaurant offering delicious home cooked meals and light bites, sit back with a wine or a cuppa and relax with views of the gardens and bees.
Discover your Quince Honey farm.
A little history…
Now one of Britain’s leading honey farms Quince Honey Farm is family run and first established in 1949 by George Wallace with 2 hives of bees, an inexorable work ethic and a wild dream. A fiery Scotsman, George served in the paratroop regiment during WW2 and after the war served in Palestine until 1949. Near the end of his service George read a book about beekeeping and became obsessed with the craft. He was one of only a few men in the entire British Army to be demobbed into beekeeping. He gained practical beekeeping experience at Yorkshire apiaries where he was told he worked too hard. George moved South to North Devon to live with his father in Quince Cottage. George had two hives of bees and ambitiously called his operation Quince Honey Farm.
When eldest son Paddy was old enough to ride a bike he was sent on the post round where possible (and as surreptitiously as possible because this was a sackable offence) allowing George more time to tend the bees. Swarms of bees were often found in post boxes and George was always on hand to re-home them and boost his stocks of hives. In 1959 the business moved to South Molton in the Old School.
By the early 70s sons Paddy and Jon were involved in the business and hive numbers rose quickly from 750 to 1500. George had realised his dream of creating the largest honey farm in Britain.
In 1978 the business relocated again to larger premises in South Molton, the Old Work House, where it remained for the next 40 years.
Pursuing a dream…
This site allowed the family to pursue a new dream; creating an exhibition of honeybees. George and wife Kate, Paddy and wife Jean and Jon all worked tirelessly and in the 80s the exhibition became the most extensive honeybee exhibition in the world.
Paddy’s mechanically operated observation hives are renowned, and acknowledged by beekeepers across the globe to be the most innovative in the world.
In the 90s Paddy and Jean developed new products such as a range of skin care products, honey marmalade, honey mustard, honey chutney and furniture polishes to name a few. These were sold in the shop on the farm in South Molton and also mail order.
In 2004 Paddy and Jean’s son Ian joined the business full time. Ian was always keen on beekeeping, loving the outdoor life of the commercial beekeeper and charmed by his Grandfather’s beekeeping stories. After a few years learning the ways of commercial beekeeping, Ian was keen to build on the family’s hard work and develop the tourist attraction, refine beekeeping techniques and try to increase honey production.
A new site and vision…
Fast forward to 2013 onwards, it was clear to Ian that the business needed more space to grow and it was time to seek pastures new. The opportunity to move to land just half a mile down the road at Aller Cross was the perfect solution and sees the attraction go from just 3 acres to an impressive 54 acres. Quince Honey Farm opened at the new site in April 2019.
A major element of the new farm is the creation of the beautiful, landscaped Nectar Gardens. Each plot is shaped as a hexagon and joins together to form one enormous hexagon when viewed from above. With each one designed in a different theme with unique features and seasonal planting, they can be explored and enjoyed all year round.
All the planting on site is bee and pollinator friendly, meaning that the new Quince Honey Farm has an exciting place in the natural world, as it is the first known gardens and woodland in the UK planted specifically for bees.
The future sees even more exciting opportunities for the new site… We hope you enjoy discovering your Quince Honey Farm!
Recent awards and recognitions:
- Recognised by the Devon Association of Tourist Attractions as one of ‘Devon’s Top Attractions’
- Tourism Innovation Award (Gold) – South West Tourism Awards 2020/2021
- Tourism Innovation Award (Gold) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2020
- Large Visitor Attraction of the Year (Bronze) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2020
- Best Attraction – North Devon Business, Leisure & Tourism Awards 2019
- Outstanding Business of the Year – North Devon Business, Leisure & Tourism Awards 2019
- Best Small Attraction (Silver) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2018
- Learning Experience of the Year (Silver) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2018
- Best Small Attraction (Silver) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2017
- Artistic, Cultural & Learning Experience of the Year (Silver) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2017
- Guided Tour of the Year (Silver) – Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2017