Ford & Etal is a place to discover. A large rural agricultural estate with attractions, activities and accommodation all centred on the villages of Ford and Etal, lying in the Till Valley between the Scottish Border and Cheviot Hills and just a few miles inland from Lindisfarne, Bamburgh and Seahouses. The epitome of Northumberland's independent spirit, Ford & Etal is a single destination where you can set out your own journey, exploring the 'main highlights' or delving into the more hidden corners, whatever your age, interest or mood - and whatever the weather.
One of the main attractions is Heatherslaw Light Railway - the most northerly steam railway in England. The 15" gauge railway pulled by steam locomotive "Bunty" travels along the banks of the River Till between Heatherslaw Station and Etal Castle, a return journey of 6.4km. A choice of fully enclosed or partly glazed coaches ensures you'll remain dry, even on the wettest days! Browse in the Ticket Office gift shop or wander up the steps to the model railway room where you can push the button to make the trains work ("G" gauge model layout). In the railway yard view the work of local craftsmen displayed in the antique Fowler traction engine caravan.
From the train visit Etal with its white painted buildings and thatched roofs, calling at the Lavender Tearooms where you can enjoy a scrumptious lunch. Don't forget 14th Century Etal Castle - learn about the bloody history of Borders warfare, including the famous Battle of Flodden - then visit the Battlefield itself.
Returning to Heatherslaw, cross the bridge to Heatherslaw Cornmill, a restored 19th century working watermill still making quality flours using traditional methods.. View the whole milling process, buy the delicious products from the Gift Shop or taste in the Tearoom. There's plenty for children to do, with a Victorian cottage and dressing up clothes, junior miller quiz and baking days (during school holidays).
Hire a bike from the Visitor Centre to explore the estate, or take a short drive to Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre. Meet the magnificent Clydesdales and other rare breeds, learn about farming through the ages and watch traditional skills on special 'demo days'.
Last but not least visit peaceful Ford village, home to Lady Waterford Gallery. This hidden gem served as the school for nearly 100 years and houses unique murals, paintings and sketches by Louisa Waterford, an acclaimed 19th century artist. With Victorian artefacts, children's activities and quizzes there's plenty to discover. Explore with 'Footsteps round Ford' - don't miss Horseshoe Forge or St Michael's Church - then stop by one of the village tearooms.
Around 32 miles of footpaths and bridleways criss-cross the estates. With stunning views, amazing wildlife and two SSSIs there's a route for you, whether a gentle stroll or an all-day cycle ride. Horse riding, fishing and canoeing are also available.
Access and parking to the Estates is free and unlimited all year round, with admission-charging attractions open seasonally.
See Access Statement on the Ford & Etal website
A697 southbound - follow brown signs for Ford & Etal after Cornhill-on-Tweed
A697 northbound - follow brown signs for Ford & Etal after Milfield
A1 southbound - follow brown signs from Berwick-upon-Tweed
A1 nor4thbound - follow brown signs at Fenwick (after Belford)
Bus Service 267 from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Wooler (no service on Sundays or Bank Holidays)
Nearest train station: Berwick-upon-Tweed
|Ford & Etal Estates with Heatherslaw Light Railway is a venue for ...|
|Pop Up Market, Cornhill-on-Tweed(Food Event)|
|Etal Horticultural Show, Cornhill-on-Tweed(Shows & Displays)|
|"Looking Back", Cornhill-on-Tweed(Farmers Markets)|
|Ford Christmas Market, Cornhill-on-Tweed(Fairs and Fetes)|
|Ford & Etal Estates, Cornhill-on-Tweed(Group Attraction)|
|Halloween Week, Cornhill-on-Tweed(Family event)|
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
|Entry to Estate is free. Individual attractions, ie Heatherslaw Railway, Heatherslaw Cornmill, Lady Waterford Hall and Etal Castle all charge admission - please see website for details.|
|* Estates open and accessible all year round. Individual businesses have varying opening times and many are seasonal (March-October). Please see website for details.|
indoor and outdoor venues across the estates
Car parking available
free car parking throughout the estates
Credit / debit cards accepted
accepted in most but not all venues - check website for details
Public toilets open late Mar-early Nov
picnic areas in villages & at Heatherslaw
Gift shop on site
gift shop at Heatherslaw Cornmill; shops in Etal and Ford
Open all year
admission charging attractions are open seasonally; grounds and some other venues open all year
Reduced rates for children
not all areas of the estate are accessible - see access statement for details