Visitors at Nelly’s Moss lake © National Trust

Visitors at Nelly’s Moss lake

 © Steve Wrightson

Very old pine trees are known as 'granny pines' © NTPL/Joe Cornish

Very old pine trees are known as 'granny pines'

Route overview

A lovely flat walk around two of Cragside’s historic lakes.

Follow the blue waymark discs.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Nellys Moss Lake map
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Crozier car park.

  1. Head to the Estate Drive from Crozier Car Park and turn right. Cross over the stone bridge and follow the drive across the dam with the Nelly’s Moss South Lake on your left.

    Show/HideNelly's Moss South Lake

    From the dam, you have a fine view of Nelly’s Moss South Lake. Look out for water fowl such as coots and grebes. After the stone bridge you will see a small tower in the water. This contains a pipe and valve which would have originally carried the water to power the hydro-electric turbine at the powerhouse. The water from the South Lake also feeds the cascade at the front of the House.

    Visitors at Nelly’s Moss lake © NTPL/National Trust
  2. Take the path to the left, sign-posted Nelly’s Moss South Lake/North Lake. Follow the path along through the trees and alongside the edge of the South Lake.


    As you continue along the lake you can see large areas of exposed bedrock. The path opens along the narrow dam wall where you can see the square stone blocks used to build the dam.

  3. At the end of the South Lake path turn right, keeping what is now the Nelly’s Moss North Lake on your left. Continue right around the lake until you reach the boathouse.


    Herons can sometimes be seen standing in the shallow water of the South Lake, particularly when the water level is low. They will stand very still, sometimes using their wings to cast shade and so enabling them to see the fish more clearly.

     © NTPL/Steve Wrightson
  4. At the boathouse there are 2 options to complete the walk. Option 1 is a level path suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs and takes you back the way you came. Option 2 has a number of small rock steps and gullies but is still passable for the adventurous buggy pusher returns alongside the right hand bank of the South Lake to Crozier Car Park.

    Show/HideScots Pine

    Scots Pines, (Pinus Sylvestris), native conifers that once dominated the ancient forests of the north, are here in abundance. The Scots Pine is distinguished from other pines by the reddish-orange cast to its bark, particularly noticeable higher up the tree, and the way in which mature trees grow to resemble clouds of foliage perched on candelabra branches.

    Very old pine trees are known as 'granny pines' © NTPL/Joe Cornish
  5. Option 1. Turn left at the boathouse and across a short stretch of boardwalk. Turn right to retrace your previous route and hence back along the South Lake, Estate drive and Crozier Car Park.

  6. Continue straight ahead past the boathouse, and follow the stone path along the lake side to rejoin the estate drive. Turn right to return to Crozier Car Park.

In partnership with

Cotswold Outdoor logo © NTPL/Cotswold Outdoor
  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Terrain:

    Walk along established footpaths. Quite easy and level, with some steps (alternate route option available for buggies and wheelchairs).

  • How to get here:

    By road: 13 miles south-west of Alnwick (B6341) and 15 miles north-west of Morpeth on Wooler road (A697), turn left on to B6341 at Moorhouse Crossroads, entrance 1 mile north of Rothbury.

    By bus: To nearby Rothbury, Arriva X14 bus from Newcastle Haymarket, Monday to Saturday. Arriva 508 special summer Sunday service. View timetables here:

    By cycle: View local cycle route on the National Cycle Network website.


  • Facilities:

    Parking: The walk begins at Crozier Car Park, accessed by car by taking the estate drive from the Main Car Park, through the House arches and around the Estate Drive for approx 3 miles. Crozier Car Park can also be accessed by foot from the Main Car Park by following footpath sign to the play area.

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