19) Kielder Water & Forest, Hexham.
Kielder Water is a man made reservoir, it is the largest freshwater lake in Northern Europe. Fed by the river Tyne and other smaller tributaries.
Work on the reservoir commenced in 1975 and was completed in 1981. The reservoir is surrounded by one of the largest man made ( and managed ) forests in Europe, mainly pine trees.
Dogs are allowed as long as they are kept on a lead.
The route I do is almost 27 miles long and circumnavigates the lake. Obviously you could do part of the route and head back depending on the amount of time you want to spend wandering.
Some sections on tarmac, mostly on wide woodland path. A good few sneaky but not over steep hills.
No stiles, a few wide opening gates. No steps.
I would suggest you always check the website for Kielder before you go, many things can change. Trees can and do fall across the accessible path.
Note! Due to the amount of forest and water midges can be a real issue in this area. The midge season is between May and October! Depending on the weather of each year. They can really spoil a visit if they are hungry. They are attracted to humans due to our odour and the carbon dioxide we breath out.
Some products do help such as insect repellant - the British Army people I know used to swear by Avon's Skin So Soft. I tried it and it does seem to work. Or you could go out of midge season.
Facilities on site:
There are three carparks that you can base yourself at. Not all have a disabled toilet or cafes.
I park and base ourselves at Kielder Castle, or Tower. Which have both. The Lake route is very well signposted.
I can also recommend the accommodation at the Calvert Trust. They have accessible accommodation that suits most budgets. We recently stopped in the Macardle Lodge -very executive, you can take dogs and it has a hot tub. Note dogs are not allowed in the hot tub, and there isn't a hoist. I was helped in and out by family and friends.
There is a restaurant at the Calvert Trust that also offers excellent and very reasonable food and drink.
There website is -
What to see at Kielder.
Amazing scenery with large skies. The sky at night is incredible - Kielder has been awarded the Dark Sky " award and is popular with visiting astro viewers.
Wildlife, in abundance across the whole area. Lots of fowl, geese, and many owls. Also Kielder is the home a many Red Squirrel, tho these are quite shy.
A stunning , wild and beautiful place to explore.