“As seen on BBC Countryfile”
Runner up in Northumberland WOW Awards – Best Tourist Attraction
Hay Farm is situated on the B6354 between Ford & Etal and is home to the largest herd of rare breed Clydesdale Heavy Horses in the north-east. The farm is steeped in history and in years gone by was an integral part of the Estate, with 17 heavy horses working the surrounding land. The last horse to leave was in the 1950s.
Four years ago Clydesdales returned to tell their story past and present through a dedicated visitor centre, and a full breeding programme was established. There is a resident Stallion who enjoys greeting visitors with his unusual friend, and who loves to steal hats!
The chimney that stands at the entrance easily identifies the farm; visitors can park within the steading and then take a leisurely walk around the indoor centre. There is a large collection of horse drawn machinery along with a wealth of information on the history of the Clydesdale and other memorabilia which brings the past to life. Visitors are encouraged to meet and greet the horses - which can range from foals through to adult working animals - within the indoor stables. The centre facilitates fascinating talking points between the older and younger generations as it reignites memories of time gone by and what life was like working with these gentle giants.
The centre is run on a Not for Profit Basis and its development over the past 3 years has only been possible via the kind donations made by visitors, as there is no fixed admission charge. One of the biggest fundraisers is the centre's homemade jams and pickes which, along with other goodies and refreshments, can be bought from the gift shop.
Visitors are also welcome to make use of the two picnic areas at the centre, one of which is under cover and the other outside overlooking a stunning landscape. This is especially favourite with children as the horses join them for lunch.
Through the season the centre hosts a number of different events to help raise funds from demonstration days through to full shows including The Festival of the Heavy Horse, Looking Back and regular Farmers Markets
Please do not feed horses with sweets, biscuits etc – although they may have the odd carrot or handful of grass, however please be mindful that you do this at your own risk. With regard to horses stabled inside please do not feed at all.
Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times. The centre is wheelchair accessible.