Kielder Water boasts a whopping 11 square kilometres, the sheer amount of space for an inland stretch of water is staggering. The ample room allows paddlers to head off into their own quiet corner of the lake and enjoy the scenery, wildlife and their time on the water.

Watersports are a seasonal affair with a number of clubs governing individual disciplines. Kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and wake boarding are all catered for but due to strict access laws anyone planning a visit to the lake will need to get in touch with the relevant club to arrange a visit.

If you’re a paddler looking to bring your own kayak then you’ll need to take into consideration these points –
• Each craft MUST be insured against third party claims up to a minimum of £2million
• Everyone must wear buoyancy aids
• Anyone under 17yrs needs to be accompanied by an adult

The paddling itself is placid flat water which lends itself to kayakers exploring all parts of the lake. Most weather types are suitable for a float although windy conditions will make paddling trickier.

Calvert Trust Kielder is the recognised onsite teaching establishment and is fully equipped with all the necessary gear you’ll require for a day’s float. The trust is also set up to coach people with disabilities. The centre is open through high season seven days a week from 9.30am – 4.30pm but booking is essential. Prices are based on half or full day sessions. Call 01434 250 232 or email
Kielder Water will appeal to kayakers who are looking for a non-stressful location to practice their sport. With the areas stunning views, the option for camping and the fabulous on water paddling conditions, Kielder water will deliver to all but those who prefer coastal and/or river spots.

How to get there:

Kielder Water is about an hour and a half north west of Newcastle upon Tyne. From Newcastle head west to Corbridge before swinging right and heading for Bellingham. From here you need to navigate along the B6320 towards Kielder Water which is roughly 30 minutes and sign posted.


Camping, lodges, cottages, self catering lets and hotels are all within easy reach of Kielder. There’s also the visitor’s centre and watersports facility.


Weather can be an issue during certain times of year and with many visitors heading to the lake boating traffic could also be a problem for the unwary. Mostly though, Kielder is a perfectly safe spot to paddle – use your common sense and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Ins and Outs:

Once you’ve paid your launching fee then you can drop in straight out front of the watersports centre.


If paddling exploits aren’t cutting your loaf of bread then there are plenty of other activities such as biking along the many cycling paths dotted around. Don’t forget, if you’re on holiday then you can always s choose just to relax!


Kielder Water is a Northumberland artificial reservoir which is in fact the largest of its type in northern Europe. Surrounded by Kielder Forest and slap bang in the middle of Kielder Forest Park this stretch of water is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for some inland water paddling.

Owned by Northumbrian Water and holding 200 billion litres, there’s plenty of room for all watersports fans of all levels.


Kielder Water