Suggested Number Of Nights
We recommend staying in Kielder for at least two nights to fit everything into this itinerary.
Where to Stay
Kielder Waterside Lodges are ideally located on the shores of Kielder reservoir and amongst the pine trees of Kielder forest. Offering nature with a touch of luxury, each lodge has a plush, sophisticated décor that reflects its woodland setting, with cosy log burners and rustic 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 even have their own hot tub, so you can stargaze from the relaxing warmth of your bubbling, private Jacuzzi.
Day 1 – Explorers By Day And Astronomers By Night
- Roll out of bed wake yourself up with a home-cooked breakfast and a warming cup of coffee in your lodge kitchen. Kielder Water and Forest Park is one huge playground of activities, walking trails, cycling routes and an abundance of wildlife, so wrap up warm and get ready to explore.
- You are in the heart of some of Northumberland’s most beautiful nature, where badgers dig their burrows and bats come out once the sun sets. Visit the hide at Kielder Waterside and see if you can spot red native squirrels making their winter stock piles and shy roe deer hiding in the woodland. You can also take in the glorious, panoramic views of the reservoir, the vibrant shades of orange and red that cover the woodland floor in the autumn or the shimmering frost that spreads across the bare branches in winter. Or, traverse one of Kielder’s family nature trails around Kielder Castle and nearby Bakethin Nature Reserve, where a new hide has recently been created with views of the lake and the forest.
- 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 if you don’t mind the chill! Sip on a comforting cuppa or a creamy hot chocolate to warm you up after your morning in the great outdoors.
- After lunch, get artsy and stroll past some of the astounding sculptures that make up Kielder’s open-air art experience. 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. The Belvedere Sculpture 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. The most recent piece, The Nick, is a pentagonal structure that looks like an ever-changing tunnel from which different aspects of the landscape can be viewed. See how many you can spot and, of course, take some fantastic photographs of the intricate creations.
- If you’re more active than artistic, Landal Kielder Waterside has a range of sporting activities from beginners to keen amateurs and from high adrenaline adventures to relaxation therapies, making it perfect for families, couples and groups of friends. Try Calvert Kielder’s ZipCoaster, which mimics the feeling of being on a roller coaster as it dips, ducks and dives in an exhilarating ride. It is accessible to all, as visitors with a disability can enjoy it too.
- 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.
- Spend some time at the telescope and soak up the stars at Kielder Observatory this evening. Many evening events run throughout the year, ranging from topics as diverse as the dazzling Aurora Borealis (more commonly known as the Northern Lights), through to planet nights such as Jupiter and Saturn evenings. You will come away with a greater understanding of our vast Universe you’ll be over the moon with how much you learn.
Day 2 – Cycling, Spas And Stars
- Option 1) Walking
Kielder Water & Forest Park is home to over 600 square kilometres of forest and 27 miles of shoreline, so step into your walking boots and get ready to ramble. 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. Please also be aware of pending weather conditions before you set off.
- 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.
- Now that you’re an astronomical expert, pack up a deck chair and a flask to do some independent star searching in Kielder tonight. Just find a spot that’s away from any light pollution, offers a clear view of the sky and, if the weather is clear, you can enjoy a star-studded show.
Day 3 – Breakfast And Departure
- 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.