Visit a hidden gem in the Northumberland National Park

The walk to Greenlee Lough takes you through a mosaic of habitats, which can look very different depending on the time of year. The birdlife and insects these habitats support also change with the season so regular visits are recommended.

Greenlee Lough is a hidden gem in the Northumberland National Park; a place of interest and adventure for all. From families wanting to explore further, to geologists, bird-watchers and botanists. Step onto the boardwalk and discover something special. Try visiting at dawn or dusk, a good time to see shy deer or foxes returning from a night’s hunting.

Download the PDF guide to Greenlee Lough Circular Walk

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Walk overview

Walk difficulty
Moderate
Walk distance
4 miles / 6.4km
Walk duration
2 hours
Location
Hadrian's Wall
Recommended OS Map
OL43 Hadrian's Wall
Accessible
No
Dog friendly
No

Step by step route

A - Leave the Permissive Car Park

Leave the Permissive Car Park and turn right along the minor road. Cross the Caw Burn over the hump back bridge and head uphill.

B - Finger post signed 'Greenlee Nature Reserve'

When you get to the finger post of the left signed 'Greenlee Nature Reserve', go through the wicket gate and walk over the 'fell ground' following the line of the electricity poles. Go through three wicket gates, carry on along the side of the wood to the start of the boardwalk.

C - Walk along the boardwalk

Walk along the boardwalk. This was installed by the Northumberland National Park Authority to protect fragile wetland habitat on the edge of the Lough. It was funded by Natural England through a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. Please keep to the board walk at all time, and take care when the boardwalk is wet, or in times of flood.

D - At the junction keep to the boardwalk

At the junction keep to the boardwalk that heads around the Lough. As you continue on you will notice that you are walking through reed beds.

E - At the end of the boardwalk...

At the end of the boardwalk follow the waymarked path with the fence on your left over rough ground. Go through the wicket gate at the corner of the wood. Continue along the edge of woodland, with the fence on your right, passing over a small sleeper bridge and through the hay meadow which is at its best in late June - early July.

F - Climb over the stile on your right

Climb over the stile on your right and go through the woodland to the Bird Hide. This is an ideal place to stop and look at the wildlife on the Lough. Retrace your steps back to the stile and turn right continuing through the meadow.

G - At the finger post turn left

At the finger post turn left following the grass track and walk uphill towards Greenlee Farm House. Follow the footpath around the farm and track back to the Permissive Car Park.

Walk route

Getting there

The walk to Greenlee Lough starts and ends at the permissive car park and uses permissive routes and footpaths. The route is 3.8 miles long. To explore further, please use Ordnance Survey map OL43 Hadrian’s Wall.

OS Grid Reference: NY 74789 69011

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From the West:

Follow the B6318 (Military Road) from Greenhead to the cross roads with The Sill: National Park Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed. Turn left signposted ‘Steel Rigg’.

From the East:

Follow the B6318 (Military Road) from Greenhead to the cross roads with The Sill: National Park Landscape Discovery Centre at Once Brewed. Turn right signposted ‘Steel Rigg’.

Parking

Limited parking at the Permissive Car Park north of Steel Rigg. If this is full please use Steel Rigg Car Park.

Public transport

The Hadrian’s Wall Bus AD122 stops at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre on the B6318 (Military Road) . Walk up the narrow road signed ‘Steel Rigg’ to start the walk.