Getting to Kielder Water & Forest Park


How to get here

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

We do ask that you 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.

Car parking charges - for full details see

Car Parking at Kielder Water & Forest Park costs £5.00 for the day (up until 3am to allow visitors to stargaze under the darkest skies in Europe). Car parking tickets are available (mostly coins) at any visitor centre car parks and are transferable so can be used at any of the car parks within the Park throughout the day. You can also book in advance online here All visitors pay for car parking including Blue Badge holders.

Alternatively, if you park for one hour or under, the charge is £2.00. Monies raised from car parking fees are vital to the upkeep of facilities within the Park, which includes public toilets, visitor centres, the Lakeside Way, MTB trails, art works and many more.

Using the Forest Drive and directions to the Park

Please note: The Forest Drive is open 1st May to 2nd December 2022.

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 chippings. 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 £7.00.

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.

The Nick one of our newest artworks, is situated at the highest point of Forest Drive that links Kielder village with the A68 to east. The Nick is designed to provide a variety of shelter and seating alternatives from which different aspects of the landscape can be viewed. Download a Travelling Tales guides guide below to help make the most of your trip along the Forest Drive. The guide details some of the flora and fauna you might to expect to see and explores the way the man has intervened into this wild border landscape. 

PDF Download

Download a Travelling Tales Guide

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. Please Note there is no public transport within Kielder 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.

Adapt run a bus service between Kielder and Hexham on Tuesdays and Fridays. Seats must be booked is advance by ringing 01434 600599. Times can vary but more information will be given when the booking is made.

Nearest petrol stations and distances from Kielder 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

Scots Gap 01670 774 200

Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm, Saturday 8:30am - 5:00pm, Sunday closed (Bank holidays times may vary)

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.