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

Trail details

Length of trail:

12 miles

Trail is currently open

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?

Hi, I took my old Land Rover on the forest drive couple year ago. It was great, people complain about the state of the road. To be honest it adds to the experience. Makes a change from tarmac, I'm wanting to do it again before it closes, what is the closing date this year? Thanks


Richie Hauxwell, 20/Aug/2018

Currently the drive is scheduled to close in December

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Did the forest drive and IT WAS spectacular. I was wondering what the cordon tape was next to blakehope nick?

Anonymous, 16/Jul/2018

Glad you enjoyed the drive. There is a new interpretation point being installed at Blakehope Nick this summer.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

If you follow the guidance an drive slow your car will be fine and you will be rewarded with some magnificent views of the forest and wildlife. We saw deer including 3 new fawns, buzards, a goshawk and we think a pereguine falcon. It was so good we did the trip 3 times in a day and we will be back to do it again. Hope the Lynx project goes ahead.

K.Raine, 16/Jun/2018
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.
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.