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Things to do outdoors at Cragside

A family walking between the trees at Cragside on a sunny day.
Discover a new corner of Cragside on a waymarked walk. | © National Trust Images / Annapurna Mellor

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a challenging hike, there is a waymarked walk for everyone at Cragside. A network of 40-miles of footpaths takes you under the canopy of towering trees, across timber bridges, between rugged rocks, along the banks of sparkling lakes and under arches of rhododendron.

Follow a waymarked walk

Gun Walk, 3 miles, follow the red waymarkers
Follow the path of the Armstrongs’ Gamekeepers. Walk between impressive rock formations, along craggy paths, and through tunnels of rhododendrons on this challenging walk. Click here to view a map and directions.

Wetland Walk, 1.5 miles, follow the orange waymarkers
Walk to Cragside’s driest lake. Blackburn was once the largest expanse of water on the estate until it burst its banks in 1927. This area is now a wetland making it a great place for wildlife spotting. Click here to view the map and directions.

Armstrong Trail, 2 miles, following the green waymarkers
This Armstrong trail is a tour of the lower estate that takes you past some of Cragside’s historic landmarks including the House and the Iron Bridge. Click here to view a map and directions.

Inspiration Walk, 2 miles, follow the pink waymarkers
Delve inside the mind of William Armstrong. Find scientific and inspirational quotes by this pioneering industrialist carved into the rocks on this short but demanding circular hike. Click here to view a map and directions.

Nelly's Moss, 1.5 miles, follow the blue waymarkers
A family-friendly, flat walk around two engineered lakes which formed part of Cragside's hydroelectricity system. Look out for frogs, toads and even herons dipping their feet in the water. Click here to view a map and directions.

Building Cragside Walk, 2.5 miles, follow the yellow waymarkers
A challenging climb through the heart of Cragside. Clamber stone steps and discover Cragend Quarry, where rock was removed to build the House. Look out for blast marks on the sheer rock faces. Click here to view the map and directions.

Rocky Ramble, 1.5 miles, follow the brown waymarkers
Duck under boulders and wind between gaps in the rock on this adventurous hike through Cragside. Discover engineered crags and man-made rock formations as you climb the hillside. Click here to view the map and directions.

This image is of the Gorge at Cragside. In the centre of the picture is a waterfall tumbling over the rocks. The sides of the ravine are rugged and rocky. To the left of the photo are two people and a dog walking down stone steps.
A gorge-ous walk between the Pinetum and the Powerhouse | © House of Hues

The Gorge

Nestled between the giant conifer trees of the Pinetum and the Powerhouse - the hub for William Armstrong’s hydroelectricity generation – is this spectacular craggy ravine with tumbling waterfalls.

Sturdy footwear and an adventurous spirit are essential as you ascend steps cut into the rock, cross timber bridges and squeeze by the cliffy rockfaces.

Water from the Debdon Burn has always flowed into the Coquet River using this route, but with spectacular vision on a big scale, the Armstrongs blasted this route to increase the waterflow and make the valley more dramatic. Not only that, the rocks and boulders were carefully re-arranged to engineer an impressive cascade to add further drama to an already extraordinary landscape.

What to bring with you when walking at Cragside

As the name suggests, Cragside is built on to the side of a crag. The terrain is rocky, uneven and there are lots of hills to climb. There are steep drops in places and the paths can be muddy and slippery underfoot. Please wear sturdy footwear if you’re planning a walking adventure. Walking poles are also advisable if you need them.

Being located in Northumberland, the weather can change quickly. Check the weather forecast before travel to make sure you have the right clothing for the day. If it’s sunny, it’s good to bring a hat and some sunscreen as well.

Don't forget to stay hydrated. At some parts of the grounds, you can be 3-4 miles away from an eatery or kiosk so pack plenty of water and snacks for your visit.

Three children are running on a muddy track around Nelly's Moss lakes. The sun is shining so the kids are in t-shirts.
Go on a walking adventure at Cragside. | © National Trust Images / Annapurna Mellor

Where can I find a walking map?

We’re reducing the amount of paper we produce at Cragside so if you would like to start a waymarked walk we recommend downloading the map on the dedicated walking pages to your mobile device before arrival. There are printer-friendly options if you would like to print the map and directions at home before your visit.

Alternatively, you can pop to the map room at the visitor centre where all of the maps are displayed on the wall. Draw your chosen route on to your Explore Cragside welcome leaflet (that you’ll receive on arrival) using a pencil provided. The Armstrong Trail, Gun Walk, Nelly’s Moss and Wetland Walk are already shown on the map inside the leaflet.

Share your walk with us

With views over the hills of Northumberland, paths through nooks and crannies and wildlife to discover, we’re sure you’ll take lots of photos while out exploring. You can share your discoveries with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using @NTcragside.

A sculpture of a face with decorative leaves carved into a fallen tree at Cragside, Northumberland

Things to do on the estate at Cragside 

Stretching your legs in the cool winter air is a great way to blow away the cobwebs and recharge your batteries. You could re-discover some of your favourites hidden gems, or perhaps find a couple of new ones on a walk at Cragside.

A child doing cartwheels on the stone banks of Nelly's Moss Lakes at Cragside.

Family fun at Cragside 

Enjoy a jam-packed day with the kids on your visit to Cragside. There is lots to see, do and explore, for a fun-filled day out.

Sunshine breaks through the trees beside a woodland path in the Heddon Valley

Information on ticks and Lyme disease 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks – find out how we manage the risks at our places and find helpful links to the NHS here.