Happy Campers!

Well, that’s it, our Easter EFL camp is over for another year!

This time round, our visitors came from France and Germany to stay in the castle for 2 weeks of fun and frolics. They learned English with our lovely teacher Liz, and challenged their minds and bodies with adventure activities and city excursions.

We can’t wait for everyone to come back over the summer – the sun might even come out!

Below are just a few pictures of the students meeting snakes, insects and birds of prey in the long gallery.




How do you plan the perfect residential?

As a teacher you’ll already know about the benefits of learning outside the classroom, but how do you get the most out of a residential stay away?


You’ll need a comfortable and spacious place to stay, with lots to keep you busy on site and an itinerary packed with all the lesson plans, excursions, activities and learning packages you’re going to need.

Sometimes, you’ll need a break (it’s your trip too, isn’t it?), so a permanent staff of friendly and qualified group leaders on site is a must. Choose the right residential, and evening entertainment, meal times and breaks become spectator sports as your students take part in team games, discos and talent shows.

At Ford Castle, you’ll find an excellent balance of education, fun and togetherness within any holiday package you choose. We’re a real medieval castle in the Northumberland countryside, and we’re LOTC accredited, so you can be assured that your trip will be unique and enriching. Explore the castle and its grounds, try adrenalin-pumping adventure activities, and study a range of modules of History, Geography, and Science for all ages.

We’re different to anything you’ve tried before, and we want to show you that different is good! If you’d like to find out more about our module-specific packages, visit our website at
www.ford-castle.co.uk or call 0844 800 4278. We’re also on Facebook as Ford Castle Adventure. Become our friend to find out about our regular teacher preview events.

Traditions and Time Travel

As you are aware we have a vested interested in history and feel that it’s important to keep traditions alive -we do enjoy the odd falconry session in our courtyard, therefore we have a few fascinating facts about Northumberland which we want to share with you.

You may even learn something new to amaze your friends.

Kern Baby

The phrase ‘kern baby’ derives from the meaning, the corruption of corn. In the past a good harvest was essential, therefore a ‘Harvest Queen’ or’ Kern Baby’ was dressed in flowers with corn under her arms and carried through the village on the morning of the reaping before being placed on a pike. She was then removed and returned home after the harvest.

Kern Baby from 1905

Kern Baby from 1905


The word blackmail originates from the borders. It comes from the tradition of the local villagers paying a fee for protection from pillaging.


Northumberland tartan is black and white as the hill shepherds only had access to black and white wool. It is now used as the basis of Scottish tartan.

Northumberland Flag

Northumberland has its own flag which is designed from the regal banner of red and gold which was draped over the tomb of St Oswald, the 7th Century king of Northumbria.

Flag of Northumberland

Flag of Northumberland

All Saints Eve

Young men from the surrounding villages stole cabbages on October 31st and according to an old Gothic custom, threw them down people’s chimneys with dangerous consequences…

We hope you enjoyed your trip through time and traditions, please return again for more fascinating facts.


The back to school blues

You’ve returned to school and now can’t wait until the Autumn half term – Sound familiar?

Well on the plus side, back to school also means fabulous new school trips and where better to experience high adrenaline action and thrills then at Ford Castle?

Take a look at what you can get up to ( yes, teachers we mean you too).

Zip Wire

Could you tackle the 80ft wide zip wire?

A truly British past time

Try out a truly British past time in our Long Gallery


Take on the volcanic lava in Initiative


A leisurely canoe down the River Till

                             But perhaps best of all, you get the opportunity to sleep in an authentic English Castle and how often does that happen? – We bet you’re back to school blues have gone now and if not chin up!


EFL 2013 Highlights

IMG_9274 Pete and our EFL students

IMG_8557  Falconry Fun

 SAM_0373  We love canoeing!

 Pikeman Elodie Flodden Discovery Weekend – Dress up time

For more pictures of our Summer Camp please visit our Facebook page (Ford Castle Adventure)


Did you see us on The One Show?

Did you see us on BBC’s The One Show last Thursday?

Historian Dan Snow visited Ford Castle to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. He toured the nearby Battlefield, talked about the weapons and tactics used by both armies, and visited the spot where King James IV was killed by the enemy.


Dan Snow tours the grounds at Ford

Dan Snow tours the grounds at Ford

Clive Hallam Baker explains how the infamous battle came to take place at Ford

Clive Hallam Baker explains how the infamous battle came to take place at Ford









During the show Dan also spoke to local historian Clive Hallam-Baker;  who has written a book about the Battle of Flodden and he even visited the grand bedroom used by James IV while he stayed in the Castle.
Dan seemed to find our castle and gardens fascinating, but he couldn’t leave without a quick zoom down the zip wire…

Don’t worry if you missed it – you can still watch Thursday’s episode online until the end of the week.