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13 things to know about Kielder Water before you visit

Kielder Water is a popular place to visit in Northern England. But what makes this UK tourist destination so popular and what should you know before you visit? Read on to find out…

Things to Know About Kielder Water

12 things to know about Kielder Water before you visit

Imagine experiencing the unique sight of the Milky Way while camping near Kielder Water with your loved ones, feeling like you are in a little piece of heaven.

The Kielder Water is one of Northumberland’s incredible attractions, offering everything from stunning night views to dazzling blue waters.

Located in North East England, it is the largest artificial water reservoir in the UK and is utilised to supply water to support the industrial economy and prevent flooding.

Regarding tourism, this place is ideal for individuals or families who love to spend holidays at tranquil spots, all while exploring unique wildlife at Kielder. Also, the water reservoir provides an opportunity to spot seals and dolphins.

In this article, we’ve compiled essential facts about Kielder Water to make your destination choices simpler. So, stay with us till the end and get ready to witness the breathtaking sights and endure fresh upland air at the popular site.

1. Kielder Water Was Never Designed For Tourism

Kielder Water is the largest man-made lake in the United Kingdom by capacity. It is fed by the North Tyne River. T

he reservoir was created to satisfy an expected rise in demand for water to support the booming UK industrial sector, but that demand never materialised due to de-industrialisation.

Kielder Water was developed by Northumbrian Water and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982. It took two years for the valley to fill completely with water after the dam’s construction was complete.

The dam that created Kielder Water is 70 meters high and over half a kilometre long. The dam’s design is unique as it’s made from an earth core and covered in rock rubble, and not concrete.

2. Home to the Last Remaining Population of Red Squirrels

Due to the careful management of this artificial landscape, thousands of absent species are now returning to Kielder Water, such as red squirrels.

Hence, with the red squirrel safari, you can search and explore the way of life of these cute and tiny creatures or look for the clues they leave behind.

Around 50% of the red squirrel population in England resides at Kielder Water, which is also the largest remaining population protected greatly from grey squirrels.

Therefore, extreme management efforts are taken to expand their habitats by providing natural food resources like hazelnuts or fruits, which visitors can bring to feed their forest friends.

Kielder provides a suitable environment where you can catch glimpses of red squirrels playing around Oak, Pine, and Alder trees during the summer and autumn.

3. Kielder Observatory Exhibits Third Largest Area of Dark Sky

12 things to know about Kielder Water before you visit

As a result of minimal light pollution levels, the Kielder Observatory offers an out-of-world experience with its glittering night skies that are clear from all horizons.

Hence, it is considered one of the perfect places to view the Milky Way and enjoy breathtaking stargazing with your loved ones. The Kielder Observatory was also awarded a dark-sky status by the International Dark Sky Association.

The observatory conducts several viewing events for visitors based on the moon, aurora, dark matter, satellites, and meteors, making it an astronomical landmark for tourists and a great to experience this type of space tourism.

Furthermore, trees surrounding Kielder Water block the sources of artificial lightning like street lights or headlights, allowing you to do some astrophotography for your socials.

Learn about different celestial events with the guidance of experienced astronomers who will let you view glittering stars from their giant telescopes.

4. Bicycle Trails surround the Kielder Water

Kielder is perfect for family cycling, with a number of potential routes surrounding the reservoir that lets visitors experience the fun of biking with views of the water.

Explore the most popular and well-built biking trails, such as Lonesome Pine, Bloody Bush Trail, Cycle Skills Loop, Freya’s Cabin, and Deadwater Red Trail.

These markings encircle the shoreline of Kielder Water, where cyclists can absorb tranquillity while cycling.

The above mentioned trails are suitable for everyone, from beginners to professional cyclists, where you can challenge yourself to cover diverse route lengths and overcome tricky rocky sections.

In addition, you can choose cycling as a mode of transportation throughout your stay at Kielder Water to enjoy freedom and nature around the impressive water body.

However, make sure to book your bike in advance to avoid any inconvenience or delays in your thrilling journey.

5. Kielder Viaduct- A Bridge That Offers Superb Views

12 things to know about Kielder Water before you visit

Kielder Viaduct, which is a historical landmark, serves as the best-preserved example of a “skew-arched” bridge in England.

Located at the North-Western end of the reservoir, this viaduct is now used as a footpath where visitors can enjoy a leisure walk with dramatic views of Kielder Water.

Plus, you can also walk beneath the bridge to experience the sight of its seven marvel arches visible across the brilliant waters.

This hidden gem is located near the Kielder castle with several diverse habitats where you can arrange a small picnic with your friends and family to spot wildlife such as osprey fishing.

Now take advantage of the visit to this ancient monument and enjoy the vibes as it showcases the heritage and hospitality of Northumberland.

6. Owns a Licensed Kielder Water Bird of Prey Center

The Bird of Prey Center is one of the most extensive compilations of birds in England and is located within the captivating lakeside surroundings of Kielder Water.

So get ready to discover a wide variety of feathered creatures like Vultures, Owls, Eagles, Hawks, Ospreys, and a family of wallabies.

You can also enroll in a 5-hour bird management course at the center, which gives a basic understanding of a prey bird, including its feeding techniques and hygiene tips.

Moreover, flying demonstrations will allow interaction with the giant flying birds- a flock of white pelicans as they swoop through the sky.

The centre offers an amazing opportunity for visitors to participate in guided walks where the experts will educate you as you handle the beautiful birds for a lifetime experience.

7. Landal Kielder Waterside Offers a Variety of Activities for Tourists

This unique destination is near the edge of the reservoir and is home to luxury lodges in Northumberland, ideal for an adventurous holiday for families or couples.

The lodges here are designed in a setting of natural beauty and give an opportunity to visitors to escape from worldly stress and indulge in wild meadows. Also, the onsite fitness center has a fully equipped gym and spa for relaxation after an exhausting day out.

At the waterside, you can participate in Go Active, a collection of fun activities like archery, crossbow, ice-skating, and snorkelling, or enjoy a dive for a quick cooldown.

An entertaining activity called water walkers will let you spin around in a giant waterproof bubble on the water’s surface! Hence the location is perfect for those seeking relaxation coupled with luxurious facilities.

8. Kielder has a Variety of Habitats to Experience

The interconnected ecological conditions make Kielder Water a hub of wildlife with sheer habitats like woodlands, marshy grasslands, bogs, meadows, and wetlands.

Hence, this variety of habitats maintains the sensitive ecosystems of Kielder so that visitors can experience the rich biodiversity of plants and animals in every season.

Moreover, Kielder also offers a variety of orchids, like northern marsh orchids or fragrant orchids, providing the land with a lovely environment.

A fantastic activity of Pond Dipping is practiced at the waterside, where children can also take part in exploring the water residents.

You will be provided with a net, container, and magnifying glass to capture amphibians and bugs under the supervision of experts. Therefore, visitors can increase their knowledge about various water species after this fun educational activity.

9. Kielder Water Works as a Boat Fishery

12 things to know about Kielder Water before you visit

The giant water reservoir provides an exciting fishing experience with around 2,680 acres of water, so you can explore new spots every time you visit. Before heading towards your destination, remember to hire boats and request permits from the Landal Waterside or Visitor Center.

The significant inhabitants include Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Atlantic Salmon, the most popular one as its farming is done at Kielder Salmon Center. In addition, you can find these species in river sections as well as still waters for a relaxing fishing adventure.

If you are an excited angler, check out the regular fishing competitions held throughout Summer, where you can participate and create heartfelt memories with your family.

10. Offers an Art and Architecture Tour to Visitors

Enjoy an open-air experience that displays nature-inspired works of art around the lake with a stunning backdrop, bringing people, architecture, and landscape closer.

The event aims to produce high-quality work that is accessible to visitors coming from all over the world, enhancing Kielder’s reputation in terms of tourism.

Kielder Art and Architecture tour is perfect for all ages; where you might decide to visit Kielder Belvedere to see its unusual shelter or visit Wave Chamber, a camera obscura on the shoreline.

Besides that, don’t forget to see the monumental structures manufactured with steel and wood to gain insight into the creativity of artists.

Additionally, tourists can explore hidden valleys, traditional footpaths or a circular building buried in the ground that offers insights into Kielder’s history, flora and fauna, and seasonal conditions.

11. Minotaur Maze- A Brain-Teasing Challenging Walkway

12 things to know about Kielder Water before you visit

Located on the grounds of Kielder Castle, the old-fashioned Minotaur Maze is a must-see for children and adults as it features incredible walkways ending with dead ends.

You can challenge your navigational skills as a set of stairs take you above walls where you can try for a successful escape. Explore the natural surroundings while searching for your final goal- a room made of recycled glass and basalt without getting lost.

This fun activity spot is near the waterside with surroundings of green shade, making it a unique and mysterious landmark at Kielder.

So, get ready to solve confusing puzzles at this living sculpture before you reach the end of the maze to create unforgettable memories.

12. Kielder Provides Spacious Campsites to Visitors

A holiday without camping remains incomplete as it gives the best of both worlds – your own place to relax with some wildlife action nearby. Kielder Water, with its lush green vegetation and riverside walks, is a popular site for camping lovers.

An ideal spot for tent and caravan pitches includes Kielder Village Camping and Caravan site, which is a perfect retreat getaway for you and your family.

It provides great facilities like shower blocks and shops to visitors, so you don’t have to worry about stocking up on supplies. Following that, visitors can also enjoy hot indoor pools, top-notch cafes, saunas, and bars.

A peaceful environment without any mobile phone signals accompanied by dark skies will definitely connect you with nature in unimaginable ways. So, pack your bags to create perfect memories to relish for a lifetime.

13. A Man-Made Forest Surrounds Kielder Water

The most extensive man-made woodland managed by Forestry England surrounds the sparkling water reserve. It has beautiful trails for walks, like Pennine Trail ( National Trail ), Sidwood Bastle, and Duchess Trail.  

Hence, enjoy the long, challenging walks or leisurely wander with your family in the woods encircling the shoreline of Kielder Water.

Furthermore, it is a haven for nature lovers as you can walk among the pine and oak trees while you admire the breathtaking views of the brilliant blue waters of Kielder.

Being one of the most important sites of biodiversity, the woods surrounding Kielder Water allow us to witness rare and remarkable species like roe deer, otters, shrews, and different breeds of bat.

From exploring the panoramic views to joining the wildlife tours, Kielder is the jack of all trades, with over 250,000 visitors every year.

Summing Up

The outstanding natural beauty of Kielder Water makes the destination worth a visit with its birdwatching opportunities and dramatic hill views.

From kayaking in sparkly waters to enjoying a cycle ride at playparks, Kielder provides uncountable opportunities to outdoor enthusiasts trying to leave city lives for a while.

Not to forget, nature-loving tourists can have their enjoyment as the reservoir offers a fantastic landscape filled with tall trees and rare wildlife.

Enjoy a picnic with your loved ones beside the tranquil water body, or you can dive in for high-adrenaline water activities like water skiing or sailing.

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