THE HAY Farm Heavy Horse Centre in Northumberland has been recognised as a 2020 Travellers' Choice award-winning attraction by Tripadvisor.

The accolade – based on consistently positive reviewers on the online travel platform from visitors during 2019 – puts the specialist equestrian breeding centre on the Ford and Etal Estates in the top 10% of popular attractions worldwide.

The award comes a great boost to the North Northumberland centre, which was forced to raise money via a crowdfunding appeal earlier this year when the Covid-19 pandemic regulations meant it could not open to visitors.

Read more – Appeal to support Hay Farm Heavy Horses

Viv Cockburn and her daughter Amy, who together run the Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre, said the award had given everyone at the centre a 'fantastic boost': “After such an awful year for us, we were delighted to receive this award," said Viv Cockburn. "We want to send a huge ‘thank you’ to all the visitors who rated us so highly.

“After reopening in early July with the new Covid-19 restrictions in place, our minds have been focused on adapting the centre to keep visitors safe," she continued. "Then out pops this award, which is truly astounding, not just for us as the owners but also those that work alongside us.

“Tripadvisor is important to us and we act upon comments. Over the years, receiving its Certificates of Excellence has helped increase our footfall, which more importantly raises awareness of the heavies and other rare breeds.

Due to the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in the numbers of people choosing to holiday at home this year and the Centre has put in place changes to ensure guests can feel safe during their visit.

Ms Cockburn added: "The rain can belt down and the wind can howl, but visitors will still be able to interact with our 16 heavies and then relax with a hot drink and some of our home baking.”

Chief commercial officer at Tripadvisor, Kanika Soni, commented: “Winners of the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition. Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners' achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well-deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers as the world begins to venture out again.”

To see the Tripadvisor visitor reviews for the Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre, click HERE