Top Tips for Visiting Local Reservoirs & Waterside Parks this Summer

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Top Tips for Visiting Local Reservoirs & Waterside Parks this Summer

There are several Northumbrian Water Waterside Parks & Reservoirs located across North East England and their beautiful locations make for a wonderful day out or location for exercise and walking.  Kielder & Derwent Waterside Park are two of our favourite spots in the whole of the North East.

Waterside Parks & Reservoirs offer a lovely place to visit with stunning scenery, open spaces and a chance to enjoy nature and fresh country air. It is super important that we stay safe whilst visiting these beauty spots and today I am sharing a few tips to allow you to get the most from your visit and stay safe too.  

Stay Out Of The Water 

Top Tips for Visiting Local Reservoirs & Waterside Parks this Summer - stay out of the water

This is SO important. Swimming or paddling is not allowed in any Waterside Park or Reservoir (including Kielder and Derwent Waterside Park). It may be tempting to take a dip on a hot day or allow your children to paddle by the water edge but there are so many hidden dangers below the water.  Please stay safe and stay out of the water. 

Dangers can include: 
  • Unknown depths
  • Extremely cold water
  • Hidden machinery - waters may look still but machinery operates underneath the surface 
  • Strong underwater currents as water is pumped through the reservoir (even the strongest swimmer can get into difficulties)

Cold Water Shock 

Top Tips for Visiting Local Reservoirs & Waterside Parks this Summer - stay out of the water

This is a particularly important message to pass onto teens and young people - please take a few minutes to do so and share the video below.

  • Jumping into cold water can kill you in less than one minute
  • Even when the sun is out and it feels hot, the water underneath the surface will be very cold as the sun cannot reach it
  • As you enter the water, your body goes into shock which can cause you to automatically gasp for air. Water enters your lungs which leads to drowning
  • The shock of cold water can also lead to abnormal heart rhythms which can lead to a heart attack. Even in healthy young people 

Follow Social Distancing Rules 

It is important that we all stay safe and allow others the chance to stay safe too. Please stay at least 2m away from anyone outside of your own household and do not arrange to meet in groups larger than 6 people.  Follow signs and stick to designated pathways - there are some birds nesting on the ground at the moment and it is important not to disturb them. The best way to do this is to stick with designated routes. 

Sometimes, Waterside Parks sites do get busy and may have to close their car parks early when they reach capacity. Check the Waterside Parks social media pages for updates before setting off, especially during good weather. Please only park in designated car parks and not on a verge. If you visit somewhere and the car park is full, please leave and return another time rather than park irresponsibly. 

It is recommended that visitors bring their own anti-bacterial wipes or gel for use when opening or closing gates. 

Dog Owners 

I know that most dog owners are super responsible (thank you) but there are still a few who spoil it for the rest. Please can you keep dogs on leads and dispose of dog mess responsibly using the bins provided or take it home.

Sometimes dog poo bags are discarded on paths, in bushes or near bins (if the bin is full - please take your bag home). Not only is this unsightly, but they also attract animals which can choke or become ill after ingesting. 

No Camp Fires 

Waterside Parks have shared a few close calls on their Facebook page where rangers have had to extinguish smoldering fires. The last thing we need during a pandemic is for our beautiful countryside to burn too. Please be responsible and follow the no fires rule when visiting Waterside Parks. 

Take Your Rubbish Home 

This is such a huge bugbear of mine and I could write pages on the subject. Please use bins provided to discard of any waste (or even better, take all waste home and leave no trace).  If you cannot see a bin or a bin is full, please keep hold of your rubbish and take it home. We always take a carrier bag with our picnics to use as a rubbish bag and all rubbish goes in there. When we have finished, we tie the bag up and pop it into the car to take home. 

Discarded rubbish looks awful but also has very serious effects on local wildlife and our planet. I have incorporated the effects litter has on wildlife into our homeschooling this week and if you are looking for a practical homeschool topic, I highly recommend. If you wish to plan a littering lesson, I have shared some good online resources and games around the topic over on my Facebook page here. 

Where Can I Visit? ( + Toilet & Facilities Information)

At time of publishing, the following Waterside Parks and Reservoirs are open ( Kielder Waterside Park remains closed but you can still visit and enjoy the wider Kielder area - I will share more info below).  Please visit for the most up-to-date information. 

12 June Update : The cafe at Derwent Waterside Park will open from 9am-5pm Monday - Sunday from 15 June. Takeaway snacks and drinks will be available. 

Please use public toilets responsibly. Follow social distancing guidelines, use hand sanitiser and liquid soaps provided and follow signage. Be respectful of those whose job it is to keep facilities clean.

Fishing is available at some Waterside Parks. Check out this post for more information

Please note, at this time, play parks, visitor centres and cafes remain closed and refreshments are not available. Check the Waterside Parks website for updates. 


Landal Kielder Waterside Park remains closed at this time but the wider Kielder area can be enjoyed and Kielder is a lovely spot for a walk. Please stay away from the village and residential areas. The following car parks are open: 

  • Hawkhope
  • Tower Knowe
  • Elf Kirk
  • Matthews Linn
  • Bakethin Nature Reserve
  • Kielder Skyspace Lower Car Park 
  • Kielder Castle 
Normal car park charges apply and parking must be pre-booked here:  (excluding Kielder Castle, Elf Kirk ad Kielder Skyspace Lower Car Park).  Overnight parking is not allowed. 

Landal Kielder Waterside is closed to visitors. Where Lakeside Way passes through Kielder Waterside, please stick to the path and do not pass through the site. 

Public toilets are open and available at Tower Knowe and Kielder Castle. 

Please remember, DO NOT ENTER THE WATER and stay safe. 

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