Updated: Jan 12, 2020
This is the first of our weekly Sunday blogs that will hopefully give you some fresh ideas on where you can take the campervan. Our week 1 trip idea is a trip to Kielder forest in Northumberland, the largest man-made forest in Europe.
A photo we took last week on a frosty morning overlooking Kielder water.
Drive time from Gt Blakenham where we are based is around 6 hours, meaning you might like to look up a stop on the way up. There are lots of pubs close to the A1 that offer overnight camping in their carparks either for free or a small fee (http://wildcamping.moonfruit.com/pub-stopovers/4563550207 - great website for stop over ideas).
Theres loads to do around the lake with the likes of fishing, walking, cycling, star gazing, Kielder castle and much much more.
Here are some links for things that may be of interest...
- Kielder Winter Wonderland - https://www.kielderwinterwonderland.com/
- Star Gazing - https://www.visitnorthumberland.com/darkskies
Now is a great time to start planning those New Years resolutions you have set and complete those goals. How about the Kielder marathon or 10K at the start of October 2020. Check out www.kieldermarathon.com for more info.
As cyclists ourselves we love the miles of gravel tracks that go all through forests enabling us to get off the busy roads we are used to down south. A popular event in the area is the Dirty Riever held in April. The GXP routes for this event offer great cycle routes if you want to venture off out a little further than the sign posted routes around the lake.
For more on what Kielder offers follow this link: https://www.visitkielder.com/visit
You know what Kielder has to offer, so where to stay?
The campervan has complete off grid capabilities and there are plenty of car parks that offer overnight parking for a small fee.
If you would prefer some extra comforts, Kielder Campsite is the closest with Showers, WC and motorhome hook up's.
Elf Kirk view point is one of the carparks you can use for £10, which needs to be paid at Kielder castle (Takes cards). We have already stayed in Kielder Dam carpark which costs £5 overnight paid into the parking meter (Change only).
Another option is to stay at Anglers Arms very close to Kielder castle, where they will let you stay for free if you use the pub for a meal and drinks. To book a slot or check availability at the pub call 01434 250072 between 12:00 - 22:00.
Kielder, Hexham, NE481ER
Kielder has some lovely sights and makes a great stopover on your way up further north into Scotland. We highly recommend the 'Park4Night' app that users post locations they have stayed with costs and what the site had to offer (WC, Showers, Elect, Water etc). Download it before making a trip for recommendations from other like minded adventurers.
You'll soon learn we love our coffee so each blog we'll do a little 'coffee corner' on nearby cafes in the area.
We only saw two cafes around the lake. One is by the sailing centre and the other by the castle. When we visited in winter the one by the sailing centre was shut so we advice checking winter opening times for this one.
We used Kielder castle cafe and the food and drink was quite average, the staff were very friendly and it's dog friendly. Looking at reviews they seem to say a similar for so don't expect a gourmet lunch but we happy to eat it after all the activities around the lake.
One cafe that seemed to have very good reviews (4.5 stars out of 5) on tripadvisor is Olive Tree cafe based at Newcastleton which is just under 30mins drive from the castle. The cafe is Vegetarian Friendly, and has Vegan & Gluten Free options to cater for all.
Thats it for our first blog, see you again next Sunday evening 🚐