Ice cream parlour
A1, Junction 58; 5 minutes
Closed from October-March
Free WiFi for visitors
Vegetarian or vegan options
Parking available onsite
It was nearly curtains for John and Susan Archer’s farm when the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001 wiped out their whole herd. But they replaced their stock with 320 productive Jersey cows and turned tragedy into triumph by the power of ice cream.
Today, the girls out in the field make Archers Jersey ice cream a much-loved fixture of the Darlington countryside. Drop into the farm (you may see the cows being herded into the milking parlour) to get the freshest ice cream imagineable in a range of 50 flavours: toffee, pistachio, chocolate, Christmas pudding (in season), tiramisu, crème brûlée, as well as exceptional sorbets. Visit in spring and you might meet a newborn calf.
The parlour has a conservatory to the front, maximising the bucolic, far-reaching views and outstretched trees. There’s a play area for kids to bowl about in, and balls can be borrowed from the café for a kickabout; don wellies for the two-mile walk round the farm in summer.