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Newcastle upon Tyne
This 18-mile circular walk circumnavigates the stunning wooded banks of Kielder Water – the largest man-made lake in Europe.
Situated in the Kielder Water and Forest Park, you’ll also be exploring the largest working forest in England at 250 square miles.
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Kielder provides a fascinating mixture of modern art and architecture with the natural landscape that surrounds it. The whole area has a man-made feel to it, but at the same time the woodlands still feel wild and exciting.
Ospreys nest here, salmon hatch here, and the Birds of Prey Centre at Kielder Waterside is home to eagles, owls, falcons, hawks and vultures. Although Kielder is a popular tourist destination, it also feels remote and secluded. It sits within the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and is one of the best places in Britain for stargazing due to its low levels of light pollution.
The full circumnavigation of the lake is a long walk so you may want to break it into two parts. There are plenty of picnic spots and sculptures to stop and relax at while you walk, so take your time and enjoy the wonderful surroundings.
This route was voted 59th in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
TOG VERDICT: Stunning woodlands and a huge freshwater lake overflowing with wildlife – Kielder is a perfect place to get away for a weekend.