Grade of Trail:
Length of trail:26 miles
Trail is currently open
The Lakeside Way multi-user path offers visitors to Kielder Water & Forest Park a truly unique experience giving access to the most scenic parts of the lake shore and the opportunity to get up close to some of Kielder’s abundant wildlife.
The 26-mile path encircles Kielder Water and is suitable for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, mobility scooters and wheelchair users.
Some routes incorporate the Osprey ferry (please remember it is vital to check in advance for sailing schedules). Also, the ferry has limited space for bicycles so booking is advised.
The Lakeside Way has a good surface and is excellent for cycling, although some hills may be difficult for younger or less experienced cyclists. It is recommended that people in wheelchairs are accompanied. Horse riders should move at a controlled walking pace only. Visitors using a mobility scooter should ensure batteries are fully charged before setting off. No other motorised vehicles are permitted.
The Lakeside Way is one of England’s finest long distance paths. For those adventurous enough, it can be completed in one visit. If cycling, allow 3-4 hours if you are fit and looking for a good ‘pedal out’. Allow more time if you wish to take in the scenery, have lunch or visit some of the contemporary Art and Architecture along the path. When planning your day out, please always take account of the remoteness of the site and the weather forecast - in this area the weather can rapidly change.
For most people, completion of small sections of trail at each visit is far more relaxing and enjoyable. Shorter route options and links to the local villages of Falstone and Kielder are available. The route incorporates a number of art and architecture pieces including 'Sylvan Capitalis' known locally as 'The Head' and the landmark bridge over Lewisburn inlet.
The south shore is approximately 14 miles in length, stretching from Kielder Dam to Kielder Castle Visitor Centre and including Tower Knowe Visitor Centre and Leaplish Waterside Park.
The Lakeside Way on the north shore of Kielder Water runs from Hawkhope car park at the north end of the dam to Kielder Castle Visitor Centre. The distance is just less than 12 miles. Unlike the south shore, there are no visitor centres along the north shoreline so please be adequately prepared before setting out.
The North and South shores at the Kielder village end are connected by a new loop of track at Kielder Viaduct that allows you to access this spectacular 150 year-old skew arched viaduct via the route of the old Border Counties railway line.
Overview map of ALL Kielder's 100 miles of trails (download pdf here).
What do other visitors say?
5 StarsJoyce nattress, 25/May/2015
First time for me and my husband, cycled the whole 26 mile lakeside route and have to say it was harder than I thought but enjoyed every minute. The pathways are fantastic, no worries about mud, the scenery is superb what more could you ask for.
5 StarsSarah, 3/Apr/2015
Lovely run challenging hills and fast slopes
5 StarsAdrian Kentleton, 2/Jul/2014
This is a favourite route, a good workout on a prepared surface, sprinkled with enough moderate technical challenges (steep gradients, sharp bends, sometimes in very quick succession) to make it a satisfying 'mountain bike' ride when done in one go. I've cycled it fairly often over the last few years, glad to have found somewhere I could ride hard without worrying about the state of the track, a lot of hitherto favourite routes having become almost unridable, turned into quagmires by above-average wet weather. However, that issue is now starting to affect the Lakeside Way; the surface is deteriorating in places, grooved by water run-off. One occasionally has to take unnatural lines on bends, to avoid potential 'wobbles'.