We recommend staying in Northumberland for at least three nights to fit everything in this itinerary into your trip.
Kielder Lodges are ideally located on the shores of Kielder reservoir and are based in amongst the trees of Kielder forest. The lodges bring a touch of luxury to their rustic setting, and each lodge offers a plush, sophisticated décor that retains elements of the surrounding nature, with cosy log burners and wooden furnishings. All lodges have a private kitchen, dining and living area and are excellent for families, groups or couples looking for a romantic retreat. Some lodges even have their own hot tub that looks out over the reservoir, so you can admire the shimmering water during the day and the sparkling stars in the (hopefully) clear sky at night. From the lodges, you can easily access many activities, attractions, walking routes and cycling trails.
- Wake up in your self-catering lodge and enjoy a hearty breakfast and a coffee before the active day that is about to commence.
- Kielder Water and Forest Park is one huge playground of activities, walking trails, cycling routes and an abundance of wildlife. You are in the heart of some of Northumberland’s most beautiful nature, and so red squirrel sightings, osprey sightings and other wildlife are commonplace. We suggest that you spend the morning wandering the area near your lodge, pop into one of the nature hides along the water edge and take in the glorious, panoramic views.
- If you are visiting during the school summer holidays, we suggest that you board ‘The Osprey Ferry’ and get closer to the nature from the comfort of a 60 seat motor cruiser. Please be sure to check the ferry timetable before you head out on your journey. The ferry stops at Tower Knowe Visitor Centre, where many guests go for information regarding their upcoming trip. Hop off here and explore their interactive exhibition, which acts as an excellent introduction to the area, and ask the knowledgeable staff here any questions you have about the next couple of days.
- While you are here, you can have a spot of lunch in the centre’s Café on the Water. Perfect for a light bite or snack, you can fill your (walking) boots with savoury light bites, sweet treats and even homemade ice cream. Sip on a steaming coffee, a refreshing cup of tea or a creamy hot chocolate to warm you up after your morning in the great outdoors.
- After lunch, it’s time to hop back on the ferry and sail towards the Belvedere Sculpture, the park’s first architectural commission. The fascinating structure was carefully constructed from stainless steel so that it reflects the natural environment, and so its appearance changes depending on the weather, the time of day and other external factors. Kielder Water & Forest Park is actually the largest open-air space to offer an arts an architecture programme in the UK, and a number of walking routes take you past the many striking artistic creations that are scattered throughout the forest.
- Next, re-join the Osprey Ferry for your final journey back to your accommodation, and enjoy the facilities that are on your lodge’s doorstep. The Birds of Prey Centre, which is just around the corner, is home to over 60 birds and hosts daily flying demonstrations. Unleash your inner Katniss Everdeen in an archery lesson, dive into the water with a sea scooter, or walk on water by stepping inside a large inflatable ball in a Water Walkerz activity. The activities on offer can keep you occupied for hours.
- Head to The Boat Inn Restaurant for a delicious evening meal, where you can continue to admire panoramic views of the reservoir from your dinner table. A range of hearty, hot and cold meal options are served here, as well as an array of alcoholic, soft and hot beverages.
- Fill up on a substantial breakfast in your private kitchen this morning, as your itinerary involves getting active and exploring your surroundings either on foot or on wheels…
- Option 1) Walking
Kielder Water & Forest Park is home to over 600 square kilometres of forest and 27 miles of shoreline, all of which are begging to be explored. Kielder Lakeside Way offers some of Kielder’s most staggering viewpoints, as well as the opportunity to experience some of the fascinating wildlife here. As mentioned earlier, more than 20 pieces of outdoor public art can be discovered on your way along the shore. The beauty of this route is that you can do as much or as little of it as you wish, and take the walk at your own pace.
- Option 2) Cycling
If you didn’t bring your own bikes with you, Kielder Cycle Centre (located opposite Kielder Castle) offers a range of bikes that are available to hire. They will also be able to give you information regarding various cycling routes, as there are many different trail options here. One of the most popular is the Cross Border Route, which follows the Lakeside Way, forest roads and open moorland, until you eventually cycle into Scotland on the historical drovers route. This stunning journey takes you to some of the most beautiful and remote parts of Northumberland’s countryside.
For a shorter ride, Kielder Waterside is not only a great option for walking but also makes for a relatively easy, wide cycling route that’s great for families with children or anyone looking for a more gentle cycle.
*Please note that you should check walking or cycling routes before completing them, ensuring that you are equipped with the correct clothing, footwear and apparatus for the route you choose.
- Depending on which route you choose and which option you take, your adventures may mean that you are out all day. In this case, why not prepare a picnic in your lodge and take it with you for the day. Of course, if you are in the vicinity of any of the previously mentioned cafés and restaurants, you can stop at any of them for a bite to eat. Or, try Kielder Castle Café where a crackling open fire creates a cosy ambiance, and many walkers and cyclists stop for refreshments.
- If you find yourself with spare time this afternoon, treat yourself after an active morning by heading to Kielder Waterside’s pool, sauna and steam room. Here, you can unwind and relax your muscles by basking in the spa facilities, and you can even book a spa treatment here (available on Wednesdays and Sundays).
- Enjoy a final dinner in The Boat Inn Restaurant or cook dinner in your beautiful, fully equipped accommodation tonight.
- Sadly, it’s time to depart, but before you do, don’t miss out on breakfast at The Hide. This beautiful, snug café is adorned with rustic, wooden furnishings and industrial copper lighting that gives a cosy and contemporary setting to your breakfast. Open from 9am – 11.30am and based just next to The Boat Inn this is the perfect brunch spot to prepare you for your journey home.
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