Forestry Commission logo

Kielder Forest Drive
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.7/5)

Trail details

Length of trail:

12 miles

Trail is currently closed

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





The Forest Drive is closed until Saturday 26 May 2018.

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.

What do other visitors say?

2 Stars 2 Stars

regular visitor for the past 18 years now but although the forest drive is nice it has been spoilt by the trucks breaking the road up and by people driving to fast making large dust clouds and failing to give way or use the pass places properly

I did use the drive at all in 2017 due to the ignorance of other drivers that show no courtesy for others.

Its not as nice as it was 10 year ago when hardly anyone knew about it and before all the trees where harvested but will be good when the new trees grow up

George Downing, 12/Apr/2018

The forest drive is currently closed due to harvesting but will be re-graded and repaired before re-opening on Saturday 26 May.

Forestry Commission Response

Hi, when does the forest drive open for 4x4?

garry jones, 1/Apr/2018

The Forest Drive will re-open to all vehicles on 1 May.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Nice ride through on my adventure motorcycle, very scenic, will do it again next year when the road re opens good fun.

Warren, 28/Oct/2017
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

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
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

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