Cragside Country Park has been named as one of the ten best National Trust sites for observing butterflies, with a huge diversity of species, especially in the summer months.
The estate was originally centred on Cragside House, conceived by Lord Armstrong, a Victorian industrialist and inventor. The interior of the house is a fascinating record of his achievements, being the first property in the world to be lit entirely by hydroelectric power. On-site, there is an Archimedes Screw and Armstrong’s original hydraulic and hydro-electrical machinery available for public viewing.
In the 900 acre grounds, there is much to keep visitors occupied with a children’s play area, a rhododendron maze, a waterfall, a Trim Trail and more than 48 km (30 mi) of trails, footpaths and lakeside walks to explore. Along with five lakes, seven million trees and shrubs and one of Europe’s largest rock gardens, the wooded areas have red squirrels and there is a wildlife hide to view these and other creatures.