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Grindon Lough is a beautiful country lake found among the hills and dales of North East England. Set within the southern boundary of Northumberland National Park, Grindon Lough is managed as a National Nature Reserve by Northumberland Wildlife Trust. There is no public access to the lake, but birdwatchers often gather along the roadside to observe huge flocks of wildfowl that grace Grindon's shores.
Grindon Lough is a natural glacially carved lake covering approximately 22 acres. Water volume fluctuates dramatically depending on the inflow from local precipitation and an unnamed stream. Outflow is believed to drain through the lake's limestone basin. With less than a six-foot maximum depth and one-mile shoreline, Grindon Lough is the smallest and shallowest of four natural lakes found at the south end of Northumberland National Park in Cumbria County.
Known as the Roman Wall Loughs, the natural lakes Crag Lough, Greenlee Lough and Broomlee Lough all fall within six miles north and west of Grindon Lough. 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), the 73-mile east-west wall was built across England. 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. Today, ruins of walls, forts, towers and old gateways that dot Hadrian's Wall have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Grindon Lough is best viewed from the old Roman road now named Stanegate (or stone road). The road runs near the south shore of Grindon Lough at an elevation sufficient to view birds and wildfowl that frequent the reserve. The water is too shallow to attract diving ducks, but wading species can be observed around the marsh vegetation which includes bottle sedge, water horsetail, mare's-tail, marsh cinquefoil, meadow sweet and water forget-me-nots. Among the wildfowl gracing Grindon Lough are graylag geese, pink footed geese, bean geese, whooper swan snipe, golden plover, black-tailed godwit, teal, shoveler, redshank and wigeon. Of special importance are the Greenland white-fronted geese. These geese breed in west Greenland and migrate via Iceland to Ireland and Britain where they winter in the grass pasture fields surrounding Grindon Lough.
While visiting Grindon Lough follow the urge to explore the surrounding countryside. Northumberland National Park has over 600 miles (900 kilometers) of trails running from just south of Crag Lough north to the Scottish border. In the Cheviot Hills marking the border with Scotland you will encounter hill forts dating from 300 BC. The park's colorful heather moorlands are found in the north and east, hay meadows toward the park's central region, with peat bogs and remains of ancient woodlands to be explored in the southern half of the park. Whether you walk, horseback ride or cycle, you will find opportunities to enjoy the scenery and observe the Northumberland wildlife.
Trek south of Grindon Lough and 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."
In the midst of unspoiled wonders and fascinating history, it is not surprising that visitors will find an excellent selection of holiday vacation rentals, bed & breakfasts (B&Bs), self-catering holiday cottages, inns and real estate properties near Grindon Lough. The charming villages of Hexham, located on the River Tyne, and Haydon Bridge, Bardon Mill and Haltwhistle, on River South Tyne, all sit within minutes of Grindon Lough. Offering services, shops and accommodations, these market villages make delightful day trips or holiday destinations. Select from camping barns or castles and enjoy your time at lovingly preserved and unforgettably beautiful Grindon Lough.
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