The best way to start your day is to call in to one of our three 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 has recently changed its name from Leaplish Waterside Park. Some signs and information may still say this whilst the information is being changed over.
Thank you and enjoy your stay.
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Hints & tips
For information on opening times of visitor centres and other facilities at Kielder Water & Forest Park click on the 'download Kielder winter opening hours' button.
Please note the toilets situated at Matthews Linn and Hawkhope car parks are closed for the Winter and will re-open in March.
You can fuel your car up within Kielder village NE48 1EG (unmanned station& card payment only) between 7am -7pm which is open seven days and also at Bellingham Village NE48 2BS between 8am - 6pm Monday -Friday , 9am -5pm Saturdays and Sundays.
Car parking at Kielder Water & Forest Park costs £5.00 for the day - car parking tickets are available at any of the visitor centre car parks and can be used at any of the car parks within the Park throughout that day. Alternatively, if you park for one hour or under, the charge is £1.50. Monies raised from car parking fees are vital to the upkeep of the facilities within the park, which include public toilets, play areas, visitor centres, the lakeside way, MTB trails, art works and many more.
Over night parking
Forestry Commission has approved overnight parking in the following car parks for responsible campervan parking at Kielder Castle Car Park and the iconic Elf Kirk View Point.
FEE £10. to be paid at Kielder Castle Car Park (ticket machine can take card payment).
This trial is being undertaken to see how visitors respond to the responsible camping in a camper opportunity.
For many years paople have parked overnight in Elf Kirk and at many times at Kielder Castle Car Park and it is important people pay towards the maintenance of the fantastic forest facilities.
The car parks will be checked at random and campers will be expected to have paid.
We expect users to take all their rubbish home and no open fires are permitted.
We see this as a great opportunity for campers to enjoy the parks fantastic dark skies.
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 and also surrounding areas, but we do want to support those who would rather park in a quiet areas and enjoy the park.
Electric car charging points are available for use at the following sites in Kielder Water & Forest Park:
Two charging points are also situated within Hareshaw Linn Car park in Bellingham.
Visitors in possession of a Kielder Discovery Pass can park their car for free.
The pass, 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 Discovery Pass, 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 a Discovery Pass, see http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/BEEH-9Y7C9B
Passes can also be purchased from Tower Knowe and Leaplish Visitor Centres within the Park
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 any necessary precautions should you visit during this time. Bring insect repellent with you - alternatively you can purchase this from our visitor centre shops on site.
Visitors are welcome to enjoy a variety of water activities but must note there are strict water rules and regulations to be adhered to. Also, activities on the water must always be pre-booked in advance. For more information go to the water activities page. There may be occassions when the ferry is not running. Call 01434 251 000 prior to setting off to check in advance that day.
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 www.vets-now.com is:-
We welcome dogs within Kielder Water & Forest Park. Please help other visitors have a great visit by keeping your dog under control and observing visitor centre rules for dogs and please ensure no mess is left.
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.