Kielder might not be the most exciting place in the outdoor world, but nevertheless, I do have a soft spot for it. For one, it was the first place I ever took my special Dixie wild camping.
Consequently, we often find ourselves gravitating up to the area in the cooler months, for a few days relaxing and chilling.
It’s not all forest – there’s plenty of moorland around too – although I have to admit I don’t mind the forest anyway, and as soon as you’re half an hour away from any car park, it’s very quiet. It’s possible to walk all day and not see a soul.
The area just happens to be home to a fair number of outdoor sculptures, as well. A number are around the lake, but there are also others in totally out of the way spots, that you just happen upon unexpectedly.
Surprisingly, Kielder also has a network of ‘wild camp sites’ that you can use. Not many people know this, but a list of them can be found here.
Of course, you could conceivably disappear anywhere you wanted for a night, in an area the size of Kielder, but over the years I’ve taken a certain amount of pleasure in hunting these sites down and using them. I haven’t as yet used them all, but I have been to some more than once.
If you ever try one out, please don’t expect a manicured pitch with a water tap! They are all near water – a stream, river or even the reservoir in a couple of cases – and some of them practically need bushwhacking skills to reach them. The ground is also often long grass or lumpy but, you know, they are supposed to be ‘wild’ spots after all!
Some are fairly near tracks, whilst others are quite deep in the forest.
Anyway, for a quick and easy night out, they can be fun. I have also linked a couple together in the past for a short, couple of night’s circuit. And incidentally, I have never got to a pitch and found someone else already there.
So, a couple of weeks ago, Pebbles and I set off for a camp at the Plashetts pitch. As predicted, we saw next to nobody over the two days and had a very peaceful night.
It was a long night – dark at around 4:30pm – but I’d taken a couple of documentaries to watch on my phone. Pebbles was happy just to snooze in the tent anyway, so she was no problem. And, although the temperature hovered around freezing all night, we were both snugly warm, cocooned in our relative bags and pyjamas.
All in all, a pleasant little interlude.