Kielder water is at the head of the North Tyne valley, about 50 miles north-west of Newcastle.
The biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe, with a range of watersports, cafes, shops and lots and lots of walks. There are many car parks around the lake. a £2 parking ticket will buy you one hour in one car park, but a better option is a £5 parking ticket, which is valid all day and allows you to move to different car parks around the lake.
I opted to park at Kielder Waterside, which is a bit commercialised, but gives easy access to the Bull Crag Peninsula, a large piece of land that juts out into tbe water. The walk around the peninsula takes about 3 hours, but the paths are easy.
Coming from Jedburgh in Scotland take the A68 heading south then the B6320 from Otterburn to Bellingham. Follow the brown signs to Kielder Water & Forest Park.
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.
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From the car park, head towards the shop, keep right, then find a path on the left that takes you up above the lake. If you climb up through the trees above the path, you will see good views here of the boats in the lake, especially as the view opens out to the south.
Follow the path round past the boatyard and round the edge of the peninsula, and you will see Freya's cabin. Here you can read the story about two would be lovers separated by the water.
The good pathway, called Lakeside Way, continues through trees to a grassy area,
with beautiful views of the far side of the lake.
The pathway winds on around the peninsula, sometimes with pebble beaches by the lake, but always with views. On the far side of the peninsula, the pathway approaches the main road around Kielder water. Don't cross the road, but keep to the right, and you will see the pathway leading back to the carpark at Kielder Waterside.
Kielder is a remote place just south of the Scottish border. It therefore suffered a lot from border raids and warfare, being plundered by both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.
Kielder today is a man-made environment. The valley was dammed in the 1980s to create the resevoir, which supplies water throughout the North East region. Several farm houses, a school and a railway are flooded under the water. The resevoir is the biggest in Northern Europe by volume, and the surrounding Kielder forest is one of the largest man-made forests in Western Europe.
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