At Ford & Etal we offer an excellent educational experience to students of all ages, giving them the opportunity to visit one or all of the sites around the estate and enabling them to cover all areas of the curriculum in a variety of unique locations, both in- and outdoors.

These include:

Heatherslaw Cornmill a fully operational restored 19th-century water mill still producing flour today for the commercial market

Lady Waterford Hall built as the village school in Victorian times and now a multi-functional venue (with gallery housing stunning 19th-century murals and watercolour paintings, open as a visitor attraction but also serving as the village hall and hosting a wide variety of activities)

Heatherslaw Light Railway a 15″ gauge steam railway travelling from Heatherslaw to Etal

Etal Castle (English Heritage site) destroyed at the time of the battle of Flodden, the castle has an award-winning exhibition room depicting the fascinating and bloody history of border warfare

Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre  home to 10 Clydesdale Horses, here education is central to the venue. Pre-booked school visits can be tailored to the age of the children/area of study – e.g. “First World War” or “food production”. The “Clyde Bus” and horses can also make a visit to schools – please contact us for information. 

Flodden Battlefield historic site where, in 1513, 14,000 men and a King died in battle; the last occasion on which a reigning monarch was killed in battle in Great Britain

Ford Moss Colliery and Nature Reserve a busy coal-mining settlement for several centuries and the archaeological remains of the former colliery. These are an iconic feature of the landscape. Several of the miners from the late 19th century are depicted in the famous murals in Lady Waterford Hall. Ford Moss is also a SSSI, being an area of bog and scrub known as a lowland raised mire. It is managed in conjunction with Natural England and Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

With such a wealth of places to choose from trips can last from a couple of hours to a whole day and, whether visiting a single site or several venues, focusing on one topic or covering subjects across the curriculum, we are happy to discuss your requirements and tailor your visit to meet your needs.

Opening Times
  • Outdoor sites are open and free to access all year round.
  • Mill, Hall, Castle and Railway open late March to end October; other times (for pre-booked school and group visits only) by arrangement.
Group Size & Admission Size
  • We can cater for groups from 11-60+ in number (in some venues groups may need to be split if there is a large number of children).
  • Generous discount for school groups at all venues; in some cases admission is free of charge.

Pre or post visit:

  • Teachers are welcome to make a free of charge pre-visit to find out how a trip to Ford & Etal can be a fun day out as well as educationally rewarding.
  • Downloadable resources from our website.

During visit:

  • Picnic areas at Heatherslaw, Ford and Etal. In inclement weather lunch may be eaten indoors at Heatherslaw Mill, Heatherslaw Visitor Centre, Lady Waterford Hall and Etal Village Hall (there is a small charge for the village hall).
  • Tearooms and shops are located in Ford village, Etal village and Heatherslaw.
  • Coach parking is free at all locations on the Estate.

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