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Kielder Forest Drive
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.5/5)

Latest News (10/10/2016 16:20)

The Forest Drive will close for the winter this year on Monday 31st October. This is to allow timber operations to commence and finish in time for the drive to re-open in the Spring. At present, this is scheduled for 1 May 2017.

Trail details

Length of trail:

12 miles

Trail is currently open

Users are reminded that the Forest Drive is an unsurfaced road through remote countryside without mobile phone coverage. At slow speed and with due care most normal vehicles can be driven across, but it is not recommended to try in cars with exceptionally low ground clearance. The exposed section of the drive can be affected severely by wintry and adverse weather. In wintry or extreme weather conditions people should not attempt to use the Drive.

Trail description

View from the Forest Drive in the Kielder Forest





Kielder Forest Drive is a spectacular 12 mile (19 km) drive on unsealed forest road, from Kielder Castle in the west to Blakehopeburnhaugh on the A68 in the east.

The Forest Drive is one of England's highest roads, cresting over 1500 feet (450 metres) at Blakehope Nick. Here the 'big sky' views over Northumberland are simply breathtaking.

The Forest Drive is a toll road, with a £3 fee payable at the toll machine at the Kielder Castle end.

Please note that the surface has recently been repaired and in sections the surface is covered with loose stone. It is important to drive with caution and keep to the 20mph speed limit.

The Forest Drive will be open for the season from Sunday 1 May to Monday 31 October 2016. Please note the earlier closure for the season which is to facilitate timber operations.

What do other visitors say?

4 Stars 4 Stars

Went today, 15/8/16. Excellent drive, easily manageable with care, despite the untarmaced sections. Wonderful scenery and wildlife. Despite no specific picnic sites, there are plenty of places to pull off and take a break to admire the scenery. Very little traffic, and very peaceful. Well recommended.

SHELDON, 15/Aug/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

I took my motorbike and it was a really good ride.

Just remember that it is a 2 way road.

I was unlucky enough to meet two Audis coming at me at an uncontrollable speed. It was a joy for me to dive into watery ditch to avoid being hit.

Most of the road itself is made large gravel stones and runs through a beautiful area and apart from the rally driver wannabes I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous, 14/Jul/2016
5 Stars 5 Stars

Thoroughly enjoyed our trip along the drive. Nice views and great to be in the wilderness away from traffic.

Anonymous, 16/Jun/2016
More user comments

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What's Here?

  • Forest drive
  • Information
  • Viewpoint
  • Cafe
  • Duke's Pantry at Kielder Castle
  • Cycling
  • Cycling is permitted on forest roads.
  • Horse riding
  • Horse riders welcome
  • Petrol station
  • Kielder garage in Kielder village
  • Picnic
  • Kielder Castle, Kielder Burn (on Forest Drive) and Blakehopeburnhaugh.
  • Telephone
  • Public telephone opposite Kielder garage. Mobile phone reception patchy or non-existant along much of the Forest Drive.
  • Walking
  • Walking trails start from Kielder Castle and Blakehopeburnhaugh.
  • Toliets
  • Kielder Castle and Blakehopeburnhaugh
  • Wildlife
  • Wildlife Hide on Forest Drive.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NY632934
Postcode: NE48 1ER

Get directions


Kielder Castle

01434 250209
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.