Crag Lough

Perhaps the most photographed lake in the Northumberland National Park. Crag Lough sits at the foot of the steep igneous cliffs of the Whin Sill along which runs Hadrian’s Wall.

The lake (lough is the regional name for a ‘lake’ and pronounced like the Scottish loch) is only a maximum of two metres deep and since the last ice age has been slowly silting up. Its surrounding peat bogs about are part of a SSSI managed by the National Trust and local farmers although it has been stocked with Rainbow trout. Brown trout, perch and eels are also found in the lake which unusually is alkaline, most upland lakes are acidic. The chap in the small inflatable boat is fly fishing. In the strong westerly wind his technique is to motor up to the west end of the lake and then drift with the wind while casting. He actually beat me to the other end.

So a slightly smaller lake perhaps but a scene which would have been familiar to the Roman foot soldiers patrolling the wall over 1,600 years ago. On a windy wet December day I hope they had more on than togas and sandals although hobnailed sandals would have given a better grip on the greasy hard rock than modern rubber.

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