Cragside House, Gardens and Estate

NE65 7PX

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Described in 1880 as 'a palace of the modern magician', Cragside House, Gardens and Woodland is a truly unique visitor attraction in the heart of Northumberland. Situated near Rothbury, it was the family home of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and industrialist. Cragside was the first building in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity and a walk around the National Trust property reveals a wealth of ingenious gadgetry including fire alarm buttons, telephones, a passenger lift and a Turkish bath suite.

As if that wasn't enough, the grounds of the Cragside Estate offer up a host of activities that will keep you and your family busy and fit. There's a play area, a rhododendron maze, a waterfall and the Trim Trail, where the whole family can test their agility. The estate has more than 30 miles of footpaths and lakeside walks. If it is raining, head inside to the Power House which has interactive models which children can use to generate their own electricity. There is also a children's trail in the house. Cragside is home to one of Europe's largest rock gardens sloping down the valley to the Debdon Burn. The Iron Bridge, one of the oldest of its type in the UK, crosses the burn.

Armstrong was a landscape genius and constructed five lakes and planted over seven million trees and shrubs. The estate can be explored either on foot or by car and look out for the increasingly rare red squirrel that has made the gardens of Cragside its home. The revolutionary home of Lord Armstrong, Victorian inventor and landscape genius, was a wonder of its age. Built on a rocky crag high above Debdon Burn, the house was the first in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. Cragside is a garden of breathtaking drama, whatever the season. Armstrong constructed 5 lakes, one of Europe's largest rock gardens, and planted over 7 million trees and shrubs.

Today this magnificent estate can be explored on foot or by car and provides one of the last shelters for the endangered red squirrel. Children will love the tall trees, tumbling streams, adventure play area and labyrinth. Visit the National Trust webiste for up to date opening times and admission prices as well as infomration on events and activities.

Cragside House, Gardens and Estate features in the itinerary...
A right royal day out

Ticketing and entry prices for Cragside House, Gardens and Estate

Type Entry for Guide price
(House, gardens and woodland)
day ticket
(House, gardens and woodland)
day ticket
(House, gardens and woodland)
day ticket
Indoors at Cragside House, Gardens and Estate Historic sites Attraction Indoors
Car parking available at Cragside House, Gardens and Estate Historic sites Attraction Car parking available
Dogs / pets allowed at Cragside House, Gardens and Estate Historic sites Attraction Pet friendly
Toilet Facilities at Cragside House, Gardens and Estate Historic sites Attraction Toilet facilities
Certificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of Excellence

Great day out

R8011905, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Had a really nice day here. lots to do and see. Plenty of walking if you want. Lovely house with lots of modern inventions inside.

Cragside is spectacular. It’s a really very special place, truly a world to its own radiating serenity and warmth.

I saw a picture of Cragside and it was love at first sight. It is a unique looking property but its location makes it magnificent, complimented by its formal garden and wider park. One of the most memorable jaw dropping moments I had on this road trip was in this house. I arrived first thing in the morning and there was already quite a cue of cars however when gates opened they had a very efficient team getting people in quickly. First surprise of the day was that there is a 6-mile circular estate carriage drive you can take in your car to see the wider estate which I thought was a fanatic concept and the first thing I went off to explore. At the start you drive though the house’s archways which is a pretty cool way to start the adventure. The estate is enchanting with woodland galore, quarry and lakes. Being able to do the loop by car makes is so much more accessible and that you can really gain an appreciation for it all. I then parked up and headed to explore the area around the house starting by crossing the iron bridge and taking in the breathtaking views of the house, rock garden and valley. There is this magical feel in the air as you go. The formal gardens are quite the contrast topped by the charming clock tower. In spring the carpet bedding was not particularly evident but there is a wonderful variety of different areas to see. I walked back and through the valley and then channel my inner goat and scampered up through the rock garden. I made my entrance to the house where I was given a hearty welcome by a group of brilliant staff who were obviously passionate about the property. Little did I realize what a pandoras box it is and it just keeps giving. It very much feels like a home as oppose to a museum and is filled to the seams with intriguing objects and gadgets. The homely, cosy feel really resonated with me and makes you feel so welcome and invested. The Butlers pantry reflects the joie de vivre of the family. I loved the dining room in particular its inglenook fireplace. Seeing the lights in the Library is obviously seminal but again you can see how the rooms were built to be lived in and enjoyed. The lavish Turkish baths would not be out of place in premier spa. The more formal show rooms are on the first floor including the Gallery and the smaller Watercolor Gallery both of which are incredible. The Owl suite tucked away I could happily move into at the drop of a hat. Then came the most jaw dropping moment- the Drawing Room! My goodness I literally felt self conscious as I gasped in awe, sheer opulence and beauty. The chimneypiece is something else and again with another cosy alcove, heavenly. Lastly the Billiard Room provides yet another homely room, chimney and alcove. The Electricity room equates to a very mini Science museum and must prove a lot of fun for young and old. On a side note the Guidebook is fantastic, definitely one the National Trust’s better ones and well worth it. As you can tell I really really love this extraordinary property, nothing springs to mind I can fault it for. The staff were fabulous and it was a throughly pleasurable and inspiring experience. Don’t hesitate to visit and be cast under its spell.

Full day exploring

Nigel68, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Took the opportunity to visit one of the National Trusts gems. Location, house and setting simply stunning. Loads of interest within the house, and glad of the more interactive policy the National Trust have these days rather than herding sheep round an old house. Even managed a few shots on the snooker table. Gardens are extensive be prepared to walk and staff are very informative on the history of the house and founder.

Beautiful walks

gill75ian, London, United Kingdom
We visited the National Trust grounds at Cragside twice during a recent stay in the area, the first time walking through the Labrinth and having a picnic as well as enjoying the carriage drive. The second time we walked round the lakes. We also enjoyed tea and scones at the tea shop. Cragside is very dog friendly and special mention to the young man who was running the drinks/snacks shop situated at Nellys Den on the Sunday for providing fresh water for the dogs. It was much appreciated. Our children were older but still enjoyed the Labrinth and for those with younger children this would be a great day out as they had den building and a bare foot walk as well as children’s play area. The weather that week was particularly nice and we had our 2 dogs with us so didn’t visit the inside of the house on this occasion. This is such a lovely peaceful place and we felt like we would love to return and explore it further.

Fantastic day out!

G5599JQkarenb, Redcar, United Kingdom
Have wanted to visit this place for a long time and we were certainly not disappointed. We had National Trust Membership so the entry charge was covered, regular adult price is £19. There is so much to see and do and my family spent a full day here, just remember to wear sturdy shoes for exploring the forest paths. The house itself is wonderful to explore and Lord Armstrong really was a genius of his time. Outside the gardens and trees are impressive also, make sure you allow plenty of time to explore those. We did the self drive carriage drive which takes in points of interest around the estate all well pointed out on your guide map, the Rhododendron labyrinth was interesting but disappointingly we had just missed out on the flowering season. Definitely go and visit if you are in the area.

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