Pebbles Does Kielder

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.





15 thoughts on “Pebbles Does Kielder

    1. No, I know what you mean. I don’t exactly mind the sculptures and it can be almost exciting when you suddenly happen upon one right in the depths of the forest, but I definitely prefer the ones that are made of wood and other natural materials. I think it’s the mass of iron and steel etc that can make them look wrong.


      1. My argument against them is that they somehow seem to think that people need manmade stuff like sculptures to appreciate natural environments and I think that tends to be true to an extent but, to me, people should want to visit the countryside for the countryside itself

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sadly Kielder is a totally man made and managed environment, from the reservoir to the trees, to the car parks, marked trails etc. I don’t mind the sculptures there, although I would protest loudly if there were in an untouched Scottish Glen!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have to admit that I do like the sculptures in the Kielder forest. One thing that Kielder is NOT is a natural environment, it’s totally man made! Nice quiet area suitable for backpacking though. Loving Pebbles Yellow Jacket!


    1. I definitely prefer some sculptures more than others, but I’m not the world’s best at appreciating art anyway – definitely more of a traditionalist than a modern art person. I really like that head though, although we didn’t see it on this trip!

      I don’t think I said it was a totally natural environment, did I? Apologies if I gave the wrong impression…. it is nice and quiet for the odd backpack though.

      Pebbles loves that yellow jacket – it’s a Hurtta Torrent Coat. Supposedly waterproof but not too hot for running about in!


      1. Just realised the me writing not in capitals probably came across as a bit forceful. It was more in reply to a comment above rather than the blog post. Im not a bit art fan myself but those sculptures round Kielder were a draw for Mrs B a couple of years ago. That’s how I persuaded her to go hiking in the area!


        1. I remember you going with Mrs. B – it was when you rented that cottage in the area wasn’t it?
          I find it difficult to quantify why I’ve got a soft spot for the place really – no big mountains or huge vistas – but I suppose as artificial environments go, it’s done pretty well. Never been in the summer, but certainly in the winter it’s always lovely and quiet – and it’s certainly large enough to lose yourself in and avoid seeing anyone else at all if you want!


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