Views of Cragside walk
A hilly walk into the middle of the estate, encountering classic views across Cragside and the surrounding countryside. Follow the black waymark discs.
The upper level of the Main Car Park, grid ref: NU073023
From the Main Car Park, follow the road through the car park towards Cragside House.
The superb view towards the house shows many of the magnificent trees that have been planted on the estate. The trees in front of you are part of a collection of specimens of various species, particularly conifers, from different parts of the world. A watercolour painting by Margaret Godman Watson (wife of Lord Armstrong’s nephew, Johnnie) from 1864 shows the early planting around the house. The painting is now on display in the house.
Before the bottom of the slope, turn left up a wide gravel track and walk uphill to the first path on the left. Turn left on the path. Follow the path uphill to the first junction.
Tallest Scots pine in UK
A short distance up the path on the right stands a Scots pine, another of the specimen trees planted in the 19th century. In 2014, this tree was measured to be a height of 44yd (40m) and is now thought to be the tallest Scots pine in the United Kingdom.
Turn sharp right and follow the path along the hillside, until eventually reaching another junction, with a view to the right down to Cragside House. Turn left and go up the steps. Cross a wide track (Middle Drive) and continue uphill along the path until you reach a further wide track (Canada Drive).
Turn right and, after passing a spot with a magnificent view over Rothbury and the surrounding hills, reach a junction at Trim Trail 1, at which you bear right along the track.
View of Rothbury
Admire the views of the heart of the Coquet valley, Simonside hills and Cheviot hills.
Follow the track (Crozier Drive) downhill.
The track was named after Andrew Crozier, a long-standing servant at Cragside. He started his employment as a page boy to Lord Armstrong when 11 years old in 1881. He claimed that Armstrong chose him to be the first person to turn on the incandescent lamps, making Cragside the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, although the lights were in operation in 1880. Crozier died at Cragside at the age of 86, having progressed to be the butler and working for three generations of the Armstrong family.
Go down past the rocks to reach Slipper Lake.
The lake was created during Lord Amstrong’s time and is fed by a piped water supply from a nearby cave. It got its name from its slipper-shaped outline and has also been known as The Tarn.
Go straight on along the track until a junction with another track. Turn left down the track, passing the excellent viewpoint over Cragside House and back to the Main Car Park.
Cragside house evolved from an original 12-roomed building over about 15 years (1870-85) and developed the complex set of roofs that you can see from the track. It was designed by Norman Shaw in his ‘Old English’ style as Armstrong’s country escape and place to entertain important guests of the day.
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