Surrounded by 250 acres of dense, pine forest, Kielder Water is the largest reservoir in England. The road from Bellingham follows the North Tyne River west and skirts the forested edge of the lake, passing an assortment of visitor centres, waterside parks, picnic areas and anchorages that fringe its southern shore. Mountain biking, hiking, horseriding and fishing are some of the land-based activities on offer, and watersports like waterskiing, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing are hugely popular, too. The mass of woodlands and wetlands mean that wildlife is abundant – you might spot badgers, deer, otters, ospreys and red squirrels. Leaplish Waterside Park, on the western flank of the reservoir, is the best place to head if you’re visiting for the first time and need to get your bearings.

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