Crag Lough, England, United Kingdom
Also known as: Roman Wall Loughs
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Crag Lough — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Crag Lough
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Crag Lough Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Crag Lough Gifts
Looking for Crag Lough cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Crag Lough
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
- Rock Climbing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- National Park
Fish Species Found at Crag Lough
- Brown Trout
Find Places to Stay at Crag Lough
If you’re considering a Crag Lough lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Recommended Sites to Book a Crag Lough Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Crag Lough lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
- Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
- TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
- Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
- KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
- RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
- CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Crag Lough Statistics & Helpful Links
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
We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.
Shop Crag Lough Gifts
Advertise Your Crag Lough Business or Vacation Rental
LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.
Looking for the Crag Lough Forum?
LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
Crag Lough Photo Gallery
New photos coming soon!
Spread the word! Share our Crag Lough article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!