Crag Lough, England, United Kingdom

Lake Locations:

United Kingdom - England - North East England -

Also known as:  Roman Wall Loughs

Set within the southern end of England’s Northumberland National Park, Crag Lough is one of three lakes known as the Roman Wall Loughs. The cliffs that rise above Crag Lough’s southern shore support remains of historic Hadrian’s Wall, attracting hikers and sightseers from around the world. Combining one of England’s historic treasures with the beauty of green rolling hillsides, Crag Lough sets visitors on the path to exploring England’s natural beauty, unique geologic features and ancient history.

From approximately AD 43 to 410 the Roman Empire occupied portions of Great Britain, naming the land Britannia. During the reign of Emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus (AD 117 to 138), a 73-mile east-west wall was built across England. Exactly whether the wall was built to mark Rome’s northern boundary, create a defense against northern invasion, or occupy the time of Rome’s isolated soldiers is still under discussion. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the remains of the wall dotted with the ruins of forts, towers and old gateways form one of England’s most treasured sites. The three Roman Wall Loughs running near Hadrian’s Wall sit within Northumberland National Park; however, ownership and oversight of the lakes differ. Crag Lough and Broomlee Lough fall under the supervision of England’s National Trust, while Greenlee Lough is managed jointly by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumberland National Park Authority and Natural England.

Once a land of many lakes, the three Roman Wall Loughs are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a European Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The lakes are all that remain of ancient glacially-created water bodies. Older lakes have been drained or filled with sediment over time, leaving Crag Lough as one of northeastern England’s few natural lakes. Plans have been made to preserve this shallow 18-acre lake by creating spawning areas and restoring streams that once filled and drained Crag Lough.

Today the fishery at Crag Lough operates on a three-year fishing lease with the National Trust. Terms of the lease reflect efforts to preserve the natural features and restore the native fishery of Crag Lough. The fishing lease encourages the stocking of local and native brown trout or sterile triploid trout while the self-sustaining brown trout fishery is being established. Open for brown trout fishing from May 1st to October 31st, anglers are required to have a permit from the owner of Crag Lough’s fishing rights as well as an Environment Agency National Rod License. A catch and release policy is in effect with a limit of 15 rods in the water’s seven-foot depths at any one time. With Crag Lough measuring just over a half mile in length and tenth of a mile in width, a maximum of five boats may be on the lake at any time.

A rock cliff named High Shield Crag rises above the southern shore of Crag Lough. Created 295 million years ago the crag is part of Whin Sill, an impressive volcanic intrusion running through much of south and east Northumberland. Taking advantage of the feature’s added height, Hadrian’s Wall was built along Whin Sill, now providing visitors dramatic views of hills, meadows and lakes. While taking in the expansive scene at Crag Lough, bird watchers will enjoy observing curlew, kestrel and skylarks grace the water with whooper swans, goldeneye, graylag geese, white fronted geese, lapwings, tufted ducks, teal and widgeons appearing in the winter.

Set along the heights of Whin Sill, the ruins of Housesteads Roman Fort remain one of the more popular attractions along Hadrian’s Wall. Found immediately east of Crag Lough, Housesteads is the most complete Roman fort in Britain and includes the remains of a granary, barracks, hospital, kitchen and hypocaust (underground heating system). A museum on the grounds interprets over 2,000 years of English history. Housesteads also provides one of two car parks available to Crag Lough visitors. The second car park is near a park visitor center and site named Steel Rigg, located west of Crag Lough.

While visiting Crag Lough, take the time to tour the breathtaking countryside. Northumberland National Park has over 600 miles (900 kilometers) of trails running from just south of Crag Lough north to the Scottish border. Along the way walkers, horse riders and cyclists will find opportunities to enjoy the scenery and observe the wildlife. Take in rock climbing, bird watching tours, or fell running races and you will discover the beauty of moors, hills, forests and rivers. Anglers will enjoy the River Tyne and River Coquet, two of England’s premier fisheries and home to salmon, sea trout and brown trout.

Trek south of Northumberland National Park and you will enter a range of hills called the North Pennines. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a UNESCO Global Geopark, the North Pennines include a unique mix of moors, meadows, rivers, rare flora and fauna. According to the North Pennines AONB Partnership, the region covers almost 770 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) including “40% of the UK’s upland hay meadows; 30% of England’s upland heathland and 27% of its blanket bog; 80% of England’s black grouse; red squirrels, otters and rare arctic alpine plants.”

Surrounded by so much natural beauty and fascinating history, it is not surprising that visitors will find an excellent selection of holiday vacation rentals, bed & breakfasts (B&Bs), self-catering cottages, and real estate properties near Crag Lough. The charming villages of Cawburn, Whiteside, Barden Mill and Haltwhistle all sit within five miles of Crag Lough. From camping barns to castles, select from among the offerings of country retreats and drink in the hospitality, explore the natural diversity and walk in the footsteps of Roman Legions.

Things to do at Crag Lough

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • Museum
  • Ruins

Fish species found at Crag Lough

  • Brown Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Crag Lough Photo Gallery

Crag Lough Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 18 acres

Shoreline Length: 1 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 5,200 feet

Maximum Depth: 7 feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

Spread the word! Share our Crag Lough article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.