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Kielder Forest Drive
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.9/5)

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





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?

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
5 Stars 5 Stars

I loved it, yeah there's a lot of the forest that has disappeared however if you wander through some of the little lanes. It really is spectacular, I would recommend that it's in an Suv or 4WD of some sort and have a back up plan if you get stuck, but me and my friend thought it was brilliant, half the people we met saying it's not great etc where all driving small pot pot cars,(nice for the lane I suppose) It's well worth the money.

Stu, 24/Aug/2017
3 Stars 3 Stars

Too much de-forestation means the drive is now more of a gravel road. Still worth it, but not if traveling a long distance to get here. Lost it's magic now, far better a few years ago.

David Bishop, 7/Aug/2017
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.


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.