The 'Walled Garden' and Home Farm served Archerfield House from the 18th century and grew all manner of exotic fruits and vegetables as well as 110 varieties of apple and 57 of pear. In addition there was a mushroom house and ice house (both still standing and under restoration) and a gas works. The well in the centre of the 'Walled Garden' is centuries old but was only recently discovered when work began. It now supplies the water which irrigates the developing garden.
Members of the Douglas-Hamilton family have lived, farmed and nurtured the land here since the 1960s and with the creation of Archerfield Walled Garden; the Garden Cafe, Gift Shop, Food Market, Microbrewery, Fairy Trail, running routes and outdoor trails, their legacy is breathing new life into this historic Estate.
The actual walled garden is immaculate and much of Head Chef’s ingredients are grown on site. His Garden Café menu not only incorporates Archerfield produce but locally sourced chicken from Gosford Farm and Belhaven smoked salmon. The Food Market offers the very best of local produce, with freshly prepared sandwiches, pies, cakes and coffees with your choice to sit in or take away. There is also a Gift Shop with a fabulous range of products covering homewares, kids, beauty, fashion, cards and much more; and a relaxing bar where you can try their famous Archerfield Craft Ales and a microbrewery making beer on site to savour at the bar or take home.
This winter the team have been concentrating on the wildlife garden, laying down the main structures. This includes a willow tunnel and bark chip path that cut through the main beds. They are creating bug houses, log piles and plantings to provide varying habitats for different beetles, bees and butterflies. The insect hotels will be made from reclaimed pallets and metal cages (gabions) that will be filled with old crocks, bricks, slates, straw, pine cones, bamboo canes and logs.
The aim is to create a fun area where people can engage with nature and hopefully learn about the natural world too. Eventually there will be an area planted up to encourage birds into the garden, along with topiary and willow animals. Finally, they will create a seating area so that visitors can sit and enjoy the space.
You can explore the amazing trails, there are some wonderful running routes, a Willow Walk and a magical new Fairy Trail for the little ones to explore. All this has been developed in three short years by a dedicated team who have a vision and have created the most charming destination visitor attraction. In addition to that they have invested in diversification, employment, conservation, tourism, education, activity, horticulture and just want to share the fruits of their labours with us all.