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The Blackburn Boathouse, a small stone building with a thatched roof standing amongst trees with autumn leaves at Cragside, Northumberland
The Blackburn Boathouse at Cragside | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
North East

Wetland Walk, Cragside

Walk to Cragside's driest lake. Blackburn lake was once the largest expanse of water on the grounds before it burst its banks in 1927. This area is now a wetland making a great place for wildlife spotting. This walk has been listed as moderate but there is a short challenging section towards the end of the walk, around Cragend Quarry. A suggested diversion is suggested in step 7.

Follow the waymarkers

Orange waymarkers will show you the way on this walk.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Cragend car park, grid ref: NU0824601172

Step 1

Park up at Cragend Quarry car park which is accessed via the Carriage Drive.

Step 2

If you stand with the quarry wall in front of you, the starter waymarker is on your right. Follow this rocky, uneven path. There are some uneven rocks to navigate as you go uphill.

Step 3

At the first arrowed sign, go right for the 'Thatched Boathouse'. You will be on this path for a while. Eventually this path comes out on to the Carriage Drive, next to Blackburn Lake. You will see the thatched boathouse on your left.

Step 4

Follow the waymarkers to the right and walk along the Carriage Drive. Walk into Blackburn car park and bear left to follow the grass path.

Step 5

Walk straight ahead, where you see Blackburn Dam on the right. This path bears left on the a barked chipped path. From here you'll get a sense of just how big Blackburn Lake was until it burst its banks. You'll soon seen the boathouse ahead of once more. Walk down the grass bank, back to the Carriage Drive.

Step 6

You've completed the Blackburn loop, cross back across the Carriage Drive and walk on to the same path to take you back to Cragend Quarry.

Step 7

After a fairly long stretch between rhododendron, trees and bracken, you'll come back to the junction. From here, go right, following signs for 'Viewpoint' and 'Lakes'. (This next part of the walk is reasonably challenging with a steep incline and uneven path. If you would prefer not to do this section your can turn left which takes you back to Cragend Quarry.)

Step 8

Walk up the steep incline. This path soon levels out and bears left where you'll be greeted by the welcoming sight of a bench overlooking the Northumberland hills.

Step 9

When you're ready to start walking again, follow the rugged path downhill which takes you between some trees and passed a huge boulder. At the next arrowed sign, go left following the direction for the Shepherd's Hut.

Step 10

Follow the winding path downhill. The Shepherd's Hut will come into view on the right. Keep following the track. At the next post, bear left and following the winding path between the trees.

Step 11

And finally, at the next sign go left back towards Cragend car park.

End point

Cragend car park, grid ref: NU0824601172

Trail map

Walking map for the Wetland Walk at Cragside
Experience Cragside's driest lake | © Anonymous Design

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