Met up with friends on Wednesday and after a splendid light lunch at the Lavender Tearooms, Etal, we went to Hay Farm Heavies, located between Etal and Ford. Apart from the horses, the views are spectacular and we could see for miles and miles and miles in every direction. Hay Farm is a wonderful place for all ages to visit. Entrance is free but they do ask you to consider giving a donation and we couldn’t imagine anyone visiting and not wanting to make a contribution.
There is a wonderful collection of old implements on display in one of the huge farm buildings. All these implements were once pulled by horses on the farms. Everything is clearly labelled, with the occasional misspelling to test you! There is another display of harness and a collection of horse brasses that were/are used to decorate the harness.
Then there were the horses – beautiful, gentle giants. Each one has its own spacious stable area and you can wander around at your leisure. Outside there was Teddy, the Stallion, and what a splendid animal he is. He came galloping across the field, as soon as visitors appeared, accompanied by his very fat and woolly friend. Teddy towered above husband, who is 6 foot, and his coat shone in the sunlight. Such a kindly face and obviously loves the interaction with the human race and the bag of carrots they inevitably bring to feed him and the others. Carrots can be purchased at the farm!
In another field there were four youngsters, who were equally as friendly. There are picnic tables set up next to that field and on a good day it would be the ideal spot to sit and enjoy your picnic, take in the panoramic views and enjoy the horses at the same time.
You could combine your visit with a trip on the Heatherslaw to Etal Light Railway, a look around Etal Castle, watch the miller at work in Heatherslaw Mill, Lady Waterford’s paintings in Ford Village Hall and lots more.