Enjoy a fabulous family day out at this privately owned country estate, just a short drive from the historic town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Situated in the Till Valley and centred around the villages of Ford and Etal, there are both outdoor and indoor activities and attractions, and regular events, providing plenty to do for all ages and interests, whatever the weather.
For outdoor adventurers, canoeing on the River Till, horse-riding in the surrounding countryside and cycle hire (from Ford Village Shop) can all be booked. Or simply explore on foot, following one of the walks routes described in leaflets available at Heatherslaw Visitor Centre. Heatherslaw Light Railway, the most northerly steam engine in England, links Heatherslaw and Etal village with trains running daily from late March to the beginning of November, chugging along the banks of the River Till. The railway carriages are covered so don’t let bad weather put you off.
Other attractions include the restored and working 19th century Heatherslaw Cornmill still making flour using traditional methods. The mill offers a fascinating experience for all, with children’s baking sessions held in most of the school holidays. Mill produce is sold in the shop and can be sampled in the Tearoom’s fresh-baked scones. In Etal visit the remains of the castle and learn of the bloody history of Borders warfare. Here you can enjoy a picnic by the river, a pint of locally brewed ale at the Black Bull or a cream tea at Lavender Tearooms, soaking up the peaceful atmosphere of this pretty village. Don’t miss Hay Farm Heavy Horse and Rare Breeds Centre, meet the animals and have a horse-drawn carriage ride.
In Ford, take a walk around this historic village and make sure to visit the Lady Waterford Hall, once the village school and now a museum and gallery which tells the story of Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, one-time owner of Ford Estate and a gifted amateur artist whose legacy is the amazing murals inside the hall.
There’s so much to see and do you may even want to book into one of the quality guesthouses or self-catering cottages to stay a while longer.