Nelly's Moss Lakes A 1.5 Mile Easy Pushchair Friendly Walk at Cragside

This post was published in April 2021. Please check details with venue direct before setting off as facilities, opening hours and information can change. Please follow Government guidelines. 

Nelly's Moss Lakes A 1.5 Mile Easy Pushchair Friendly Walk at Cragside


At time of writing, visits to Cragside must be pre-booked for members and non-members. We pre-booked our visit online. Tickets are released in the early hours of Friday morning (just after midnight) for the following week. If you are unable to book a slot, I recommend giving Cragside a call on the day you would like to visit. They usually have a number of no-shows and cancellations and can often squeeze you in. 

I booked a trip for us to visit Cragside as somewhere for us to visit for a first trip out as lockdown #3 eased. I personally like that there are limited numbers and there is so much space that I knew we wouldn't be amongst crowds of people. I also know from previous visits that National Trust take the safety of their visitors and staff seriously and trust we are in safe hands with them. 

Over the years, we have explored a fair bit of the Cragside estate with the house, tearoom, rock garden, riverside walks, playground and labyrinth all being favourites. We decided to try something new and looked for a short walk to try on this visit. A quick google and I decided Nelly's Moss lakes walk would be the one we would try today. 

Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk - Car Park, Coffee Kiosk & Loos


This walk is an easy 1.5 mile circular route which is flat and accessible for pushchairs. I am not very experienced with wheelchairs so can't give any exact advice but a lot of the path is surfaced and the routes through the woodland are fairly flat so I think most of it should be ok (sorry I can't be more precise than this). 

The Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk takes you around two ancient lakes on the upper Cragside estate. The best place to park is Crozier's Car Park which is well signposted - from the main Cragside entrance, follow the signs for the main estate drive (you need to drive through the main house to access the estate drive which can seem weird to first time visitors) and drive along the one-way route for a couple of miles until you pass the lake and see the sign for Crozier Car Park. It is pretty difficult to get lost. 

Crozier Car Park is right next to the main playground in Cragside (currently closed for refurbishment) and has its own toilets and coffee kiosk which were both open on the day of our visit. This car park is ideal for visiting the Labyrinth, barefoot walk and lakes. 



Coffee Kiosk at Crozier Car Park Cragside

We ordered 5 hot drinks and 6 snacks from the kiosk after our walk and there were plenty of picnic tables for us to enjoy our refreshments before leaving. We paid contactless and if they're available, I highly recommend the cherry bakewell flapjacks. So good!  

Menu for the coffee kiosk at crozier car park cragside





Once the park re-opens, this place will be a fab spot to base yourself for the full day and enjoy the park, labyrinth and walks. 

Cragside playground and seating


Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk

From Crozier Car Park, follow the sign for the lakes (you will have driven past them). You can find comprehensive walking directions here. I took screenshots before our walk but it was well signposted so probably not needed. 

Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk Map

For the Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk you need to follow the blue National Trust signs below. 

Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk Signs


The first part of the walk is on surfaced road so watch out for cars (it's not busy) and you walk around the South Lake keeping the water on your left hand side. 


As you reach the woodland area, turn left into the woods and continue around the lake keeping the water to your left. You can see from the ground, it is perfectly suitable for pushchairs. Dogs are welcome on leads too. 





You can spot wildlife around the lakes including frogs, toads and herons. We weren't so lucky but did spot plenty of geese. 





Once you have passed the first lake, you will come to an opening and face the North Lake. Turn right here and walk all the way around the lake until you get the the boathouse. 


Along the route there are a couple of places to stop for a quiet picnic. 


Halfway around the North Lake there is a nice little stream leading into the water which is worth making a little diversion for to explore. It's pretty. 





Continue to follow the blue plaques and cross over the stream, keeping the water to your left. 



Once you reach the boathouse (pictured above), take the path to the left for the pushchair friendly route. This doubles back on yourself up past the South Lake but this time it will be on your right. 

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can try the non-pushchair friendly route which is straight forward and keeps the South Lake to your left. 


The non-pushchair friendly route isn't challenging, it's just a non-flat surface and fairly rocky. It should be ok for toddlers walking though. 





If your kids like climbing, there is a rockier terrain to explore although this isn't compulsory and obviously, take care. 


Once you reach the end of the lake, turn right and follow the signs for Crozier Car Park. 

We thoroughly enjoyed this walk. It took us around 40 minutes including a short stop at one of the picnic tables for a quick drink and a little detour to follow a stream for a little. You could probably power walk it in under 30 minutes. 

The walk was nice and flat, scenic and it was lovely and relaxing listening to the water, birds and being amongst the ancient trees. It's not a tiring or challenging walk but lovely for a family stroll. 

Most of the paths are fairly wide, we passed a couple of families in passing spots and I would say we were able to keep 2m between us the whole time. It wasn't busy but we did visit on a fairly overcast day. 

Nelly's Moss Lakes Walk 
  • 1.5 mile in length (circular route) 
  • Well signposted route 
  • The walk takes you around two ancient lakes 
  • Park in Crozier Car Park
  • Surfaced / flat woodland paths 
  • A pushchair friendly route is available 
  • Various picnic tables and seating around the route
  • Change things up with an alternative non-pushchair friendly end to the walk
  • Dogs on leads welcome 
  • Various wildlife to spot including geese and frogs 
  • Free parking 
  • Play park, coffee kiosk, toilets and plenty of seating near the car park 
  • Close to the Labyrinth and Woodland Walks 
  • At the moment, visits should be pre-booked online via the National Trust website 
  • Entrance is free for members / chargeable for non-members (see NT website for pricing). 
  • Cragside is well signposted and easy to find by car, it is not really accessible by public transport (involves a bus to Rothbury and a 15 minute walk along a busy road). 
Read more: 
If you are looking for somewhere to eat nearby, The Running Fox Longframlington is not far, The Anglers Arms Weldon Bridge is supposed to be nice (although I've not visited myself), there are some nice pubs and restaurants in nearby Rothbury and if you are heading back to the A1, you will pass Linden Hall / the Shoulder of Mutton Pub / Dobbies Heighley Gate which are all lovely. Cragside itself has a larger tearoom near the main entrance and the food is gorgeous. It is possible to drive back down to the tearoom after your walk. 





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