Extraordinary Cragside House, an almost fairytale melding of Elizabethan and Gothic styles, was the brainchild of Lord Armstrong, a Victorian inventor who was way ahead of his time. Extended from a weekend shooting lodge to an imposing mansion, it was the first house in the world to be lit by hydro-electricity. It had hot and cold running water, central heating, telephones and a service lift from the kitchen. You can see the innovative machinery that Armstrong used to power his house, including the hydraulic pump, turbines, dynamos, a gas engine and switchboard that provided electricity. 'Hands-on' experiments demonstrate some of the principles involved. The grounds were the preserve of Lady Margaret Armstrong. She designed the rock gardens and nurtured exotic plants from around the world in glasshouses and planted the hillside with 7 million trees and bushes imported from America, Japan and Africa. The stable block restaurant serves home-made Victorian and regional delicacies.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Virtual tour, Braille guide, wheelchair path, lift
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Opening dates & times vary, please contact or see website for details
Also in the area
About the area
If it’s history you’re after, there’s heaps of it in Northumberland. On Hadrian’s Wall you can imagine scarlet-cloaked Roman legionaries keeping watch for painted Pictish warriors while cursing the English weather and dreaming of home. Desolate battlefield sites and hulking fortresses such as Alnwick, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Warkworth are reminders that this, until not so very long ago, was a contested border region. The ruins of Lindisfarne bear witness to the region’s early Christian history.
Northumberland also has some of Britain’s best beaches. On summer days, and even in winter, you’ll see surfers and other brave souls making the most of the coast. Inland, there are some great walks and bike rides in the dales of the Cheviot Hills and the Simonsides – just hilly enough to be interesting, without being brutally steep. There's dramatic scenery in the High Pennines, where waterfalls plunge into deep valleys, and there are swathes of heather-scented moorland. Northumberland National Park covers over 400 square miles of moorland and valleys with clear streams and pretty, stone-built villages. It’s just the place for wildlife watching too. You’ll find flocks of puffins, guillemots and other seabirds around the Farne Islands, and seals and dolphins offshore.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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