Cragside was the first house to be lit by hydroelectricity. There are over 40 miles of trails to be explored which is fantastic if you are an outdoor family and/or have dog(s). The estate drive is also lovely and gives you more places to explore at the far end of the park. You can park up in several areas and go to the play area or one of the lakes.
Cragside in Northumberland
Visiting Cragside in Northumberland
Upon arrival, we headed to the admissions hut where you can purchase your entry tickets for the day. After Ian had explained everything that was going on that day in the estate, we headed off to park the car. We quickly (if you can go quickly with two kids!) changed our shoes into our boots, we then headed off to the visitors centre for our picnic. At the visitors centre, you will also find the tearoom, toilets and a gift shop.
After lunch we headed off for a walk with the dogs to towards the pump house. Following the paths, we eventually arrived at the stunning iron bridge. I took advantage of this opportunity to take some pictures and videos. There are many photo opportunities and the house appeared imposing behind the iron bridge.
Our walk didn’t take too long, it would probably be okay for children 3+ as there are a number of steps that you have to climb. However, there are plenty of other trails which may be more suitable for younger children. We headed back to the car where, after a drink, we left the dogs (the windows and boot were open, with their fans on too) and we headed off to see the house.
Exploring the House
The house is well kept and the features in the house are stunning. There are information leaflets in each room explaining what each room was, which is always good to have (you can purchase kids guides at the start which may help keep little ones entertained going around). The gallery and state room (i think it was called this) are visually stunning. The stateroom has a huge marble fireplace which is very impressive!
Little K was starting to get tired so we started to make our way back to the car so we could drive around the estate drive. If you have time then you must do the estate drive. Nelly’s Moss South Lake is lovely and would be a relaxing place to watch the world go by.
We never had time to visit the play area or the labyrinth, but I would definitely go back again to explore more. Personally, I found Cragside only to be dog friendly if you were planning to go on one of the many trails. I never really feel comfortable leaving the dogs in the car, so exploring the house can be difficult knowing they are locked up.
Lord William Armstrong was a pretty ingenious man coming up with the idea to use water to power the house. It was a very informative visit and we all had lots of fun during our time at Cragside.
- You are not allowed backpacks, prams or back carriers into the house. There are front/hip carriers available to borrow in case you need one.
- There are lots of picnic benches outside the visitors centre for having a rest or a bite to eat.
- Head to the top section of the main car park as I found it was a lot quieter to park. Which is great if you need the extra space to get the kids in and out of the cars. Although this may differ in the summer months when the place is busier!
Disclaimer: I received admission into Cragside in return for a review on my blog. My opinions are 100% my own and completely truthful.