Know before you go


Click here for full list of what remains closed or has a diversion in place. 

Access at Kielder Water & Forest Park | Kielder Water and Forest Park (

The best way to start your day is to call in to one of our main visitor centres to find out the latest news about what is happening in the Park – remember, Kielder Water & Forest Park is a working forest so some paths may be closed from time to time and all operational notices should be adhered to.

Kielder Water & Forest Park is the largest man made water and forest park in northern Europe. As such, the landscape and weather can be changeable and different from home. Some days you might need waterproofs AND sun cream.

Make sure you bring the right footwear and clothing for the activity to ensure the best comfort and enjoyment. If you’re not sure what to wear, give us a call to ask – 0345 155 0236.

Please note Kielder Waterside changed its name from Leaplish Waterside Park. Some signs and information may still say this whilst the information is being changed over.

As you visit Kielder Water & Forest Park you will no doubt enjoy the pleasant hamlets and villages in this beautiful part of rural Northumberland. The local residents are delighted to welcome you and hope you will enjoy your visit. Please respect the privacy of the residents and park only in designated areas.

Thank you and enjoy your visit.


Water safety

Entering the water for unauthorised swimming, water sports, inflatables or just for a quick cool down is not allowed. We like to keep all our visitors safe, and to do this we must request that you stay out of the water and it's hidden dangers at all times.

Our reservoir is operational, so dangers that you may not be aware of include unknown depths, extremely cold water, machinery and really strong underwater currents, as the water is pumped from the reservoir through to the water supply chain. One of the biggest dangers when jumping into open water is cold water shock. This can kill you in less than one minute.

 Here is a link to the water safety download LF0417 - water safety leaflet rebrand (NW) 2018 EF_NOCM (

Please stay safe!


Respect, protect and enjoy!

We are encouraging everyone to respect, protect and enjoy Kielder arriving prepared. Please remind yourself of the countryside code and useful information on Forestry England's forest code and Covid guidance before you head out.

Fire safety - please do not light fires; dispose of litter carefully especially cigarettes, matches and glass bottles. If you see fire or smoke please call 999 immediately. 


You can get fuel for your car at Kielder village NE48 1EG (unmanned station& card payment only) between 7am -7pm which is open seven days. Also at Bellingham Village NE48 2BS between 8am - 6pm Monday -Friday , 9am -5pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Kielder Village Post Office opening times 

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 09.30 to 4.00

Tuesday 9.30 to midday & Saturday 9.30 to 13.00

Car parking 

Car parking at Kielder Water & Forest Park costs £5 for the day (up until 3am to allow visitors to stargaze under the darkest skies in Europe) or £2 for one hour or under. Car parking tickets are available at any of the visitor centre car parks and are transferable, so once bought it can be used at any of the car parks within the Park throughout that day. All visitors to Kielder pay for car parking, this includes Blue Badge holders.

Monies raised from car parking fees are vital to the upkeep of the facilities within the park, which include public toilets, visitor centres, the lakeside way, MTB trails, art works and many more.

Car park ticket machines are at Hawkhope (£1 coin or Bookwhen), Kielder Dam South Abutment (coin or Bookwhen),Tower Knowe (coin or Bookwhen) Kielder Waterside (coin, Bookwhen or you can pay in the 24 hour shop on card) Matthew’s Linn (coin or Bookwhen) , Bakethin Nature Reserve (coin or Bookwhen)

Bookwhen is paid online in advance . The system collects your car registration so no need to display a physical ticket when on site.

Kielder Castle car park coin and card payment. (Not available on Bookwhen)

Elf Kirk, Lower Skyspace car parks all coin only (Not available on Bookwhen)

Wider Park - Warksburn, Sidwood and Blakehopeburnhaugh

Overnight parking 

Forestry England & Northumbrian Water has approved overnight parking to responsible campervans in the following car parks - Kielder Castle car park, Anglers Arms rear car park in Kielder village, and the iconic Elf Kirk View Point.

FEE £10 to be paid at Kielder Castle Car Park (ticket machine can take coins or card payment)  The overnight parking is for vehicles only used for camping, NO use of tents permitted. We encourage campers to use the formal campsites in Kielder. We expect users to take all their refuse home and no open fires are permitted.

The car parks will be checked at random and campers will be expected to have paid.


Please note there are no cash machines, or cash back facilities at Kielder. The nearest cash machines are in Bellingham. 

Electric car charging point is available for use at the following site in Kielder Water & Forest Park: 

  • 2 points at Landal Kielder Waterside (Please contact reception on 01434 251 000) in car park opposite reception.

There are also two 7.2kW EV chargers at the rear of the Town Hall in Manchester Square, Bellingham. Location  what3words ///  The Type-2 (Mennekes) sockets are available for use by any EV driver, such as residents with no off street parking or visitors to the village. The sockets are part of the Pod-Point Open Charge Network.

Access information

The Matthews Linn toilets have suffered due to the freeze/thaw therefore we have made the decision to close the toilets until further notice

There are disabled toilets at Tower Knowe Visitor Centre, Hawkhope car park, Kielder Waterside (right hand side of Forest Kitchen and Bar) and Kielder Castle (roundabout) which are open and no keys needed. Castle roundabout toilet is open 24/7.

Kielder Castle has a disabled toilet in the courtyard, closes at 5pm. 

There is a disabled toilet at Blakehopeburnhaugh at the Byrness end of the Forest Drive – note it is seasonal, so closed from end September, reopens April.

Both the visitor centres and facilities at Tower Knowe and Kielder Waterside are accessible.

There are a small number of disabled parking spaces at the main visitor centres - Blue Badge holders are required to purchase a parking ticket. 

We are home to Calvert Kielder – a centre offering challenging, exciting and fun activities and a range of accommodation types to suit everyone.

So whether you are an adrenaline junkie and want to climb, swing and zip, or relish the tranquillity of a buggy ride through Kielder Forest and sailing on beautiful Kielder Water, Calvert Kielder have just what you are looking for. They are delighted to welcome families, groups, organisations and individuals for the day or for a longer stay in an en-suite centre bedrooms or a choice of self-catering chalets.

More info see

Kielder Water & Forest Park membership

Visitors in possession of a Kielder Water & Forest Park membership can park their car for free.

The membership, which costs £40, is valid for one year and also includes national and local discounts and offers, as well as a seasonal newsletter. Once visitors have bought their membership, they can return to Kielder Water & Forest Park and enjoy their favourite outdoor activities all year round.

The £40 cost for the year can actually mean only £10 per head for a family of four for 12 months, as the pass is per vehicle and not per person.

Money raised from the scheme will help the Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust to develop and improve the activities and facilities available at the Park.

For more information and to apply for membership, see

Passes can also be purchased from Tower Knowe and Kielder Waterside. 

Insect repellent

Midges can be found across Britain and in particular Scotland and the Border areas where there are trees and water. Midges are a part of everyday wildlife at Kielder Water & Forest Park. They usually appear late springtime and disappear approximately in September time depending on weather conditions. We recommend that you take necessary precautions should you visit during this time. Please remember to bring insect repellent with you alternatively you can purchase this from our visitor centre shops on site.


Kielder Water & Forest Park is home to Britain's only venomous snake, the adder. They rarely bite unless provoked so if you see one, give it a wide berth and only observe from a distance, a bite from an adder is not necessarily fatal but it can make you feel unwell. It is unusual for someone to be bitten as they will normally disappear as soon as they hear a noise. If you have been bitten please consult your doctor. They can be seen when it is warm and sunny basking on rocks or on paths and roads.

We recommend always keeping your dog in line of sight so you can call it back if you see an Adder. Dogs on leads will also further reduce the risk of an Adder strike. If your dog does receive a strike, the advice from is:-

  • Quickly seek attention of a vet
  • Carry your dog rather than letting it walk this will reduce the spread of the venom
  • Bathe the wound in cold water to reduce the swelling
  • Keep your dog quiet and warm why transferring to nearest vet


We welcome dogs within Kielder Water & Forest Park. Please help other visitors have a great visit by keeping your dog under control and ensuring no mess is left.

Dogs can be allowed off the lead in the forest, but make sure you know where they are and can call them back if necessary. Dogs should be on a lead in busy public areas such as campsites and visitor centres (different rules apply for each visitor centre), kept under close control on the lead when near livestock at all times.