How to get here
Please note it is not necessary to purchase a car parking ticket at every visitor centre you visit. Just buy one £5.00 ticket at your first stop off and it is valid to use at the other visitor centres throughout the whole day. Alternatively, if you only park for one hour or less, the charge will be £1.50.
No matter where you’re arriving from there’s stunning scenery to accompany you every step of the way. It is also an ideal base for exploring Northumberland, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders.
Kielder Water & Forest Park is:
- 30 miles (50 minutes drive) by road from Hexham
- 52 miles (80 minutes drive) from Newcastle upon Tyne
- 40 miles (90 minutes drive) from Carlisle
- 30 miles (60 minutes drive) from Jedburgh
Please don’t speed and do drive carefully to help us protect our wildlife.
Visitors travelling to or from Kielder Water & Forest Park from the north west should plan their visit carefully taking into account journey times and fuel.
Using the Forest Drive and directions to the Park
The Forest Drive (which is very scenic) is a rough surfaced road suitable for 4x4 vehicles and passable by other cars with care. Visitors are advised to exercise caution as the surface is loose chip. It will close in inclement weather. If you are travelling to the Park via the Forest Drive you can join the road from the A68 at Byrness. The cost would be £3.00 to enter on the Forest Drive but you are able to purchase a combined ticket which includes parking at the cost of £6.00
Please note, the Forest Drive is closed every winter from Christmas through to the end of April. Reopens 1st May
Coming from Jedburgh/the south east of Scotland take the A68 heading south then the B6320 from Otterburn to Bellingham. Follow the brown signs to Kielder Water & Forest Park.
Those travelling from the south west of Scotland should follow the A7. Leave the road at Canonbie to join the B6357 to Newcastleton and Kielder Water & Forest Park is signposted from there.
From Newcastle or Carlisle, follow the A69 to Hexham then follow the B6320 to Bellingham (brown-signed Kielder Water & Forest) and then the C200 to Kielder Water & Forest Park.
Due to essential bridge repairs and ensuing forestry operations, the Forest Drive will be closed for access for the winter on Wednesday 1 November and will re-open to the public on 1 May 2018.
Getting around the Park
As the Park consists of the largest man-made lake in northern Europe and the largest forest in England, please take note how long it will take you to travel between the various attractions. There is no public transport so if you cycle or hike to a specific place it is advisable to take note of how long it will take you to get back to your car.
Using the Lakeside Way, you can cycle or walk around one of the circular trails we suggest or use the Osprey ferry to reach a destination and cycle or walk the return journey. The ferry must be pre-booked by contacting or visiting Kielder Waterside or Tower Knowe Visitor Centre where you can also check the ferry timetable before setting off on your journey.
Kielder Waterside, tel: 01434 251 000
Tower Knowe Visitor Centre, tel: 01434 240 436
Please note: The directions we have given are a guide and use more major roads to suit the majority of our visitors all year round.
The 694 service runs between Kielder and Hexham on Tuesdays and Fridays. See the timetable below.
Nearest petrol stations and distances from Leaplish Waterside Park (summer opening hours):
Kielder NE48 1EG (approx 4.9 miles)
This is an unmanned station (card payment only). Seven days - 7:00am - 7:00pm
Bellingham NE48 2BS (approx 14.5 miles)
01434 220 233
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 6:00pm
Saturday 8:30am - 1:00pm
Sunday - closed
Chollerford NE46 4EW (approx 25 miles)
01434 689 074
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Thropton 01669 620 343
Monday - Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm, Saturday 8:00am - 4:00pm, Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
Scots Gap 01670 774 200
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm, Saturday 8:00am - 3:00pm, Sunday closed
Please note some sat nav systems show forest roads that are not open to vehicular public access. Please don't speed and do drive carefully to help us protect our wildlife.