Rural Life In Sweden – Farming In The Archipelago

Rural life in Sweden is beautiful, and living here has given us different opportunities.  We have made some lovely new friends since moving here, and one of those owns the sheep farm on our little island.  Being a small island, he welcomes people into his barn, especially children, to get up close to the animals.  The children’s daycare even takes walks round there for the little ones to see the sheep!  However, the animals are not there all year round, only from late October to early May.  The rest of the year they are out grazing, and they have a very interesting way of getting to and from their grazing land, which is not an uncommon method here.  You see, rural life in Sweden involves living around the archipelago, and incorporating that into your daily living.  In this post I want to share with you the incredible beauty, effort, and uniqueness that rural life in Sweden holds for some.

It may sound harsh to be bringing the animals back to the barn to be kept indoors all winter, but with temperatures soon set to plummet it will be the most comfortable place for them.  Farms with cows do the same thing, and when the cows are released from their barn in the spring time, this has become a big event. They come out jumping like spring lambs!  Our island’s sheep are very well cared for with lots of space in their barn, they even have their own twinkling fairy lights to brighten up the long dark winter 🙂

Rural life in Sweden requires some ingenuity with your thinking and operations to run life.  Farming the sheep is no different.  We are on a small island in our archipelago, with limited grazing areas, so for 6 months of the year they live on a nearby uninhabited island, happily roaming free, and grazing away the beautiful Swedish summer.  So, twice a year there is a military-style operation planned to transport them via…..boat!  I am really lucky in that I have now been able to tag along both taking them out in the spring, and bringing them home in the late autumn.  It is such a wonderful experience.  To be out on the water, on and off the boat all day. To be able to be on an island where there is nothing but nature, sheep, calm, and tranquillity. To be in the beautiful outdoors, and to see the wonderful hard work that man, lady, and dogs put into getting these sheep moved around the archipelago.  Yes, do not underestimate the work of the beautiful collies.  They have a vast area to herd the sheep around. They need to make sure no one is left behind, and they herd the sheep around areas of trees, rocky boulders, and all the other obstacles Swedish nature throws at them!  I hope from my story in pictures below, you can appreciate the effort it takes, as well as the beauty of rural life in Sweden.  Enjoy 🙂

The morning was so calm with no wind for a change

The boat is like a flat moving animal enclosure on the sea

As we approach, three Collies start trembling in anticipation of their job to do as they spy their targets

The boat awaits for the sheep to be herded up and loaded on. It takes many trips back and forth to complete the move of the flock.

Here come the sheep……

Well done doggies and people, job done!


Homeward bound

I hope you have enjoyed learning about this adventure and if you enjoy the images from Sweden don’t forget to head over to our Instagram for lots more from this beautiful country.Rural Life In Sweden - Farming In The Archipelago, Farming in Sweden, Swedish farming, living in Sweden,



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  1. what a wonderful experience – I laughed at the anticipation of the collies and that some of the sheep were waiting for them. It’s much the same on some of the islands off scotland. Knowing how cold it gets in the winter life in the barn is a much better option.

  2. Jon

    Wow! It looks like you had an amazing time. The photos really show off the beauty of Sweden!

  3. This looks so idyllic. We live in the countryside too in North Cornwall. Our neighbour is a farmer and also keeps his cows in the barns during the cold months. I do wonder sometimes whether it’s harsh, but then again if it means keeping them safe, why not indeed? 🙂

  4. Rural Sweden looks so peaceful. I can see how you fell in love with the country. The sheepdogs are lovely too. Do you miss the UK at all?

  5. How interesting, obviously back home in the UK it’s not cold enough but I like that when they come out of the barn there is an event

  6. Oh wow it looks absolutely stunning! I’ve always wanted to visit Sweden, as the landscape is so beautiful 🙂

  7. Wow what stunning scenery, it must be amazing to look at those views every day. I love the thought of the sheep travelling by boat, hope they bought their tickets for the crossing!

  8. Sounds like a labour of love, but absolutely worth it. Beautiful part of the world.

    • Indeed it is. My friend has actually been running this farm since he retired from his job, so it is because he loves it 🙂

  9. I’m a little jealous of your sheep, going off on their holidays in the summer, then coming back to a cosy home for the winter!

  10. Sweden sounds amazing. I would love to visit one day.

  11. How wonderful! Such a beautiful place too x

  12. What an experience transporting them by boat and so lovely you got to see it again. Rural life in Sweden sounds so wonderful and those sheep sound very well looked after. xx

  13. Wow! The light in your photos is absolutely stunning. Such a beautiful place. I am fascinated by the sheep travelling on the boat. This is thr best thing about living abroad. The experience of seeing different cultures and practises.

  14. What a beautiful part of the world to live in. I spent a couple of summers working on one of the islands in the Inner Hebrides, and it was such a difference to city life. So beautiful and tranquil.

  15. What a wonderful experience, fantastic pictures. I love exploring rural parts of different countries. A brave step going to foreign country but looks like you have made a great choice

  16. So lovely to see the journey of the day, the sheep would have had a lovely Summer on their island and now can snuggle up in the warm for the Winter. Sounds like a lovely life

  17. This sounds like a story from a cartoon or animation, sounds really interesting. Beautiful shots you have got here. My friends who are from Sweden have painted such a lovely picture of it xx

  18. Your photos are gorgeous especially the one with the sky reflecting in the water – just WOW! What an incredible story. Cannot believe all the sheep on the boat!

  19. Beautiful photos. Must be great to have these experiences on your doorstep!

  20. Wow, your photos are amazing, what a delightful place to live. I love hearing about other places people live that are so different from me. Thanks for sharing with us.

  21. The light looks incredible there, such a beautiful place and so many wonderful things to do.

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