Home to remarkable Victorian engineering

This man-made reservoir was constructed at the end of the 19th century. It provides drinking water for Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Gateshead and is surrounded by native and conifer woodlands and moorland.

Visit the last remaining dwelling on the site restored to its original condition and contains many artefacts of the period, and also visit the church and school which were paramount to the lives of the workers of the Newcastle & Gateshead Water Company and their families. Then, take a short, pleasant stroll through the woodland past the spillway to the Dam to view the reservoir passing some remarkable Victorian engineering on the way.

Here you be lucky enough to see golden plover and dunlin, buzzards, ospreys and there is the occasional record of a golden eagle. Mammals that live here include otters, red squirrels, badgers, roe deer and bats.

St Francis’ Church

You can also visit St. Francis Church; a small 18th century church which was partly rebuilt in 1884.

The south window commemorates those who died during the construction of the Catcleugh Reservoir nearby.

Getting there

By car

From the A1, follow the A696 to where it meets with the A68 and you will have arrived at Catcleugh Reservoir. Follow the signs for the nature reserve.