Our attractions, activity providers, accommodation and hospitality venues are all open and welcoming visitors, and we would like to thank everyone who has visited so far and has been respectful of all the Covid-19 safety measures that we have in place. A quick reminder of the key points:
As the Government's Covid-19 guidelines are relaxed we are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Ford & Etal Estates. From early July, guesthouses and self-catering accommodation will be open and most are taking bookings now. Our pubs, tearooms and coffee shops are also working towards being able to open, and visitor activities and attractions will mostly be open from the first weekend in July. Public toilets at Heatherslaw and Etal will re-open on 6th July.
As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased and more people are coming out to enjoy the beautiful weather and our lovely estate we have been very disappointed by the disrespectful behaviour of a few of our visitors. This weekend there has been a huge problem with litter being left lying around and beside an already overflowing bin; cars parking irresponsibly at Etal river so that emergency vehicles, if needed, would not be able to access the area; disposable barbecues and fires buring the already scorched grass.
Please also note that at present ALL FACILITIES including public toilets remain closed.
We DO welcome visitors but ask that you PLEASE observe the countryside code and show respect for our lovely area and all the people who live, work and visit here. Please:
Observe social distancing at all times
Pick up your litter and take it home with you
Do not leave inflatables in the river - take them home
keep dogs on leads and pick up their poo
DO NOT have barbecues and fires - there is a huge risk of wildfires starting because everything is so dry
Park with consideration - where possible use the designated car parks (e.g. beside Etal Castle or Etal Village Hall)
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.