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PLAP Route 10 - Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland

Distance: approximately 10 miles.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer Map Number 42 (Map 1:25000)
Important notes: This is a working forest so logging lorries are about. However, you will only spend five minutes on the road, with a good line of sight. The second half of the drive involves a steady climb and descent.

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This route offers a 10-mile carriage drive in a unique setting. Kielder is officially the remotest village in England. The Forestry Commission recently were honoured with the ‘Best tourist experience in England’ award by the Tourist Board – so there is plenty to do for the whole family.

The route commences in a large car park in the heart of the village below the castle and behind the Anglers Arms Public House. The route takes you initially on a quiet road then on to the Lakeside Way. This sandy track follows the Kielder reservoir around its perimeter (57 kilometres). Half of the route is on the Lakeside Way then turns into the Forest uphill, where you begin your return route. 

Route kindly researched by Endurance GB Northumberland and Tyneside and submitted by Janet Lennard.  

Route Description

1. At The Anglers Arms, drive back through the pub car park.
2. Turn right over the bridge.
3. Turn left.
4. Go through the small estate of houses.
5. Stay on the road over bridge.
6. Take the second left turn marked ‘Access to disabled parking’.
7. Shortly after, turn right onto Lakeside Way, where you will find a barrier.
8. Follow lakeside way to tarmac intersection.
9. Turn left then immediate right (barrier) to stay on lakeside way, past the turn for the jetty and mirage.
10. The track then goes down and has sharp corners.
11. The track then leads you under the road.
12. 100 metres on look for cairn on your left.
13. Just before this, turn right off Lakeside Way between the two rocks.
14. Turn left uphill away from the road.
15. After two kilometres, go past a grassy track on the right to where the track you are on bends clearly left.
16. Here go straight on along a much grassier track. This then joins with the main track again.
17. Stay on the main track past three turnings on the left and continue downhill to the T-junction.
18. Turn left on to the straight track.
19. Take the next turn right.
20. Shortly after this, turn left.
21. Take the next right down to the road.
22. Turn left on the road and take the next right turn.
23. Stay on the road over the bridge and retrace your previous steps through houses.
24. Go over the bridge, then right and you will be back to the Anglers Arms.    

General Information

A warm welcome is extended by the Anglers Arms. They also have key to the forestry barriers to rent for the drive. There is also a café at Kielder Castle, and a shop in the village.   

Insurance: The BHS recommends that before undertaking any part of this route, both horse and rider should be adequately insured against public liability. The British Horse Society can provide public liability and personal accident insurance cover as well as many benefits if you join as a member (terms and conditions and territorial limits apply). For more information or to join, visit our Membership section

Feedback: These routes are kept to the standard that the local authority can afford. They were all accessible at the lime of launch and are on definitive public rights of way. If you experience any problems with the routes or wish to raise any concerns, please contact the local authority, your local BHS Access Officer or the Access Team at BHS HQ via

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