Winner of England's best tourism experience - Visit England Awards 2013
Home to northern Europe’s largest man-made lake and England's largest forest, Kielder Water & Forest Park is one of Northumberland's best attractions. It is perfect for individuals or families that love nature, water sports, exploring, walking, cycling and much more.
Kielder Water & Forest Park features mile upon mile of purpose-built trails including forest walks for all the family and dedicated mountain bike tracks. The Lakeside Way is a 26 mile multi-user trail, suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users, that encircles the shoreline of Kielder Water.
A haven for wildlife, Kielder Water & Forest Park is also home to around 50% of England’s native red squirrel population. In 2009 three chicks were born to a record breaking osprey couple - the first birds for at least 200 years to successfully raise chicks in Northumberland. So far they have returned to breed every year since. You can also spot see a range of rare wildlife including the Kielder Super Six: osprey, red squirrel, pipistrelle bat, roe deer, salmon and otter.
Waterskiing and sailing enthusiasts take to the water all year round and the lake offers a huge challenge to keen trout anglers between March and October.
You can discover all you need to know about Kielder Water & Forest Park including its history at Tower Knowe Visitor Centre or visit Kielder Castle, the former hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland, which now hosts a visitor centre, art gallery and exhibitions.
Leaplish Waterside Park boasts luxury self catering forest lodges, an indoor heated swimming pool and sauna, restaurant and bar and the Kielder Water Birds of Prey Centre.
Visitors to Kielder lodges at Leaplish Waterside Park have access to professional training and tuition for a range of mainstream sporting activities to suit everyone as part of a ‘go active’ break.
Activities include: archery and junior archery, fencing, crossbow, table tennis, snorkelling, FUNdamentals (gymnastics for young children), sea scooters (underwater propellers to power around the pool), disc golf (launch specially designed frisbees into targets across a large outdoor course), petanque (a form of boules), short mat bowls (indoor bowls for all the family), water walkerz (walk on water in the pool inside a floating inflatable ball) and skip-hop (skipping and hip-hop dance moves).
Famed for having the darkest night skies in England thanks to minimal light pollution, Kielder Water & Forest Park is a star gazers’ heaven and is home to the Kielder Observatory alongside Northumberland National Park who is seeking Dark Sky Reserve Status, KW&FP is currently in the process of bidding for Dark Sky Park Status. If successful, together they will create the world’s third largest area of protected starry skies. For more information click here.
There is also contemporary art and architecture including the futuristic shelter design of the Belvedere, the Minotaur maze and Silvas Capitalis, also known as the ‘giant forest head’.
Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to spending a day trip, weekend break or holiday in what the Campaign to Protect Rural England calls the most tranquil spot in the country.