Following our news bulletin on Wednesday 13th May we are now pleased to let you know that restrictions at Ford & Etal are being very gradually relaxed, as detailed below.
Anglers are welcome, subject to observing social distancing.
Visitors are welcome to access our open spaces, again ensuring that social distancing is observed. This is essential – whilst you may be fit and well you could, unknowingly, be carrying the virus and thus inadvertently infect others.
The village shops in Etal and Ford are open (9am-1pm at Etal; 8am-12.30pm in Ford) for general provisions and take away food and beverages.
All tourism venues and facilities including public toilets remain closed for the time being.
We would also respectfully remind you that our public rights of way cross farmland and areas of conservation. There are nesting birds, cattle and sheep in fields, hedgerows and woodland. Whilst you may not always see them it is important that they are not disturbed, therefore please keep your dog on a lead at all times, pick up dog poo and dispose of it in the bins provided and make sure that you close and fasten all gates.
Since our news bulletin on 24th March the information for tenants, suppliers and contractors remains unchanged with the exception of the sawmill which is open for collection of pre-placed orders. The Estate Office continues to be manned on a part time basis to maximise business continuity, however it is not possible to meet Estate staff there. If you have a specific enquiry, the following staff are working remotely and can be contacted using the details below:
Following our news bulletin in March our visitor facilities have remained closed and we are very appreciative that people have not made unnecessary journeys to Ford & Etal Estates, so helping to protect our employees, members of our community and the wider population.
Along with all visitor-facing businesses across Northumberland Heatherslaw Corn Mill, usually busy with visitors enjoying a day out exploring this fascinating working museum, is eerily quiet. But whilst it may be lacking visitors the mill is far from silent, with the mill machinery turning as much - if not more – than ever, as flour sales have literally gone through the roof.
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Ford and Etal Estate Office and Sawmill are currently closed to all visitors. The Estate Office will be manned on a part time basis to maximise business continuity, however it will not be possible to meet Estate staff there. If you have a specific enquiry, the following staff are working remotely and can be contacted using the details below:
Following our news bulletin yesterday we would reiterate that sadly visitor attractions at Ford & Etal are not opening as planned and are likely to remain closed for several weeks. Tearooms and pubs are also closed. This decision has been taken in the interest of the health and well-being of our visitors, employees and the wider community, and is in line with government guidelines.
We are sad to announce that visitor attractions at Ford & Etal will not be open to the public as planned, and are likely to remain closed for several weeks. This decision has been taken in the interest of the health and well-being of our visitors, employees and the wider community, and is in line with government guidelines.
Last summer the horse-drawn carriage rides offered at Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre were more popular than ever. Visitors loved being close to the horses and seeing the countryside around the farm from a different perspective. But Anna Cockburn, who drives the carriage and is co-owner of the Heavy Horse Centre, spotted a problem. Whilst the Centre itself is fully accessible and welcomes many visitors of all ages, who have mobility issues, unfortunately these visitors can’t enjoy the carriage rides because it is not possible for them to climb the steps.
Although many places around Ford & Etal are closed for winter there are still things to do! There are numerous beautiful walks to enjoy in and around the Estates and Flodden Battlefield is nearby. Make time to relax over a drink and treat yourself to some delicious local food: The Black Bull and The Lavender Tearooms in Etal, The Old Dairy and Ford Village Shop in Ford, The Red Lion and Café Maelmin in Milfield, and The Blue Bell at Crookham are all open. Please check our website for individual opening times. If you want to do some shopping why not pop into Handmade at Heatherslaw to see John Speight's Papercut Art and Spirit of Colour Jewellery, or visit The Old Dairy to explore an eclectic selection of antiques and vintage items. Heatherslaw Mill is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm, wrap up warm if you plan to visit.
Etal Castle and Lady Waterford Hall are closed until Spring 2020.