Northumberland – Cragside, Walking In History
In the 1800s the inventor, industrialist and landscaper Lord Armstrong built himself a most gorgeous place here, but that was not all. To see what he accomplished both in and around the house is a day out of adventure for the whole family. It is not JUST the first house powered by hydroelectricity. He has left the area one of the most beautiful little corners in the country and to explore it is a must.
Even as you enter the grounds you get a sense of wonder. I was lucky enough to be there when all the trees had their autumn colours on show.
The inside of the house is kept ‘as was’ and the signs of a big inventor are everywhere. Geektastic for history lovers, or history for gadget lovers alike. However, right outside the house is even more for the eyes. For here he made one of the largest rock gardens in Europe! Within it is the sign of industrialism with a splendid iron bridge (one of the oldest in UK) that crosses over to a large, still producing orchard.
The garden doesn’t stop there at the rocks, for the whole estate itself is full of wonder. In fact nearly 40 miles of paths with wonder. Lord Armstrong planted over 7 million trees and shrubs. All the way up the crag side behind and beyond the house there is adventure. Paths leading in all enticing directions. Or, on the way round you can seek the labyrinth, trim trail, some wildlife or a spot that allows you to look out over the gorgeous Northumberland countryside.
At the top above the treeline comes more of Lord armstrong’s genius. For there for you to see and enjoy are the lakes he built. Not just for pleasure but to enable the house to be the first in the world to be powered by hydroelectricity.
I was lucky to be strolling back down on one of the paths and stood within the trees mesmerised by the sunset over Simonside across the valley.
Then it wasn’t far back at all to the roasting fire and comfort of Linhope House. Perfect!