Ford & Etal Christmas Market is returning in 2023 bigger and better than ever. It is spread over two days; Saturday 25h November and Sunday 26th November, from 10:00-16:00. The new-style market has stalls in Ford, Etal and Heatherslaw, with entertainment, activities and decorations in all four hubs so you can make a merry day of it. This year, for the first time ever, stalls will also be found in Ford Castle, a venue normally closed to the public. Everything is spread out to avoid a crush with lots of lovely things to do everywhere you go.
Visitors can enjoy browsing over 70 stalls selling delicious food and drink, cakes and sweet treats, local crafts, gifts, pottery, presents for your pets, confectionary and much, much more. Outside stalls will tempt you with delicious things to eat and drink. You can buy tickets to ride on Heatherslaw Light Railway between Heatherslaw and Etal, or enjoy a journey on a vintage double-decker bus running between Etal, Heatherslaw and Ford.
All the local shops, cafes and the pub will be open. In addition, there will be all kinds of festive entertainment including free seasonal storytelling sessions and free face-painting for children.
There is plenty of parking in Etal showground and very little elsewhere so please park here. There is a small charge of £2 for parking. Free disabled parking is available at Etal Village Hall car park, in the car park to the rear of the Visitor Centre in Heatherslaw, and in Ford village opposite the village shop. Please do not park in these sites if you are not a blue badge holder.
You can buy tickets to travel on a vintage double-decker bus from the information points at all hubs. We have two buses running back and forth throughout the market from Etal to Heatherslaw and Ford and back. Bus tickets cost £3 for a single or £5 to travel all day as much as you like. Children travel free.
You can also travel via steam train, Heatherslaw Light Railway will be running a service between Heatherslaw and Etal on both market days. Trains run from Heatherslaw at 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 and 14:00. There is a special return price this weekend of £5 for adults and £3 for children. Trains return from Etal at 11:30, 12:30, 13:30 and 14:30.
If the weather is lovely you can enjoy a beautiful walk between the three hubs. It is just one mile between Etal and Heatherslaw and a mile-and-a-half between Heatherslaw and Ford.
There will be free Christmas Tree Trail Sheets available to pick up from The Lavender Tearooms in Etal, The Ford & Etal Visitor Centre in Heatherslaw and Ford Village Shop in Ford. If you are able please leave a donation in the collection box for Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust, a small local charity that needs support. Follow the Trail Sheet and write your answers in the space provided. Drop off your completed Trail Sheet at one of the same venues. Trail sheets with the correct answers will be entered into a prize raffle, one for adults and one for children. You can see the fabulous raffle prizes on display in Heatherslaw Corn Mill Gift Shop. The raffle will be drawn on Tuesday 28th November and the prize winners will be notified. If you want to download a Tree Trail map in advance you will find the link below, but to enter the raffle you need to complete a paper copy.
Dogs on leads are welcome at the Christmas Market and will enjoy stretching their legs on a walk in the beautiful countryside. Dogs can also travel on the railway and the vintage buses.
For more detailed information on the stallholders, the entertainments, the Christmas Tree Trail, where to eat and drink and transport links, clink on the link below: