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The Lakeside Way at The Headland at the eastern end of the Bull Crag Peninsular
The Lakeside Way at The Headland at the eastern end of the Bull Crag Peninsular

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Route No. 690 - Tuesday 3 October 2017
Leaplish Waterside Park, Lakeside Way,
circuit of Bull Crag Peninsular - 10km
Kielder Water & Forest, Northumberland . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL42 Kielder Water & Forest


Our starting point from the car park at the Leaplish Waterside Park
Our starting point from the car park at the Leaplish Waterside Park

Leaving Leaplish Waterside park along the Lakeside Way
Leaving Leaplish Waterside park along the Lakeside Way

Kielder Water seen from the Lakeside Way
Kielder Water seen from the Lakeside Way

Nearing the Water Ski Club car park along the Lakeside Way
Nearing the Water Ski Club car park along the Lakeside Way

From the Leaplish car park at map ref. NY 659 878 we set off along the Kielder Lakeside Way heading around the south shore of Kielder Water. The Lakeside Way followed a track through the trees near the lake shore with good views out to our left over the lake.

My friend, Jim, & I have our respective wives agreement to spend a few days exploring the Kielder Water & Forest Park. We are staying at a very nice pub on the edge of the park near the Kielder Water dam. This morning we drove to the Leaplish Waterside Park.

The Lakeside Way heading away from Leaplish
The Lakeside Way heading away from Leaplish

Kielder Water seen from the Lakeside Way
Kielder Water seen from the Lakeside Way

Nearing the Water Ski Club car park along the Lakeside Way
Nearing the Water Ski Club car park along the Lakeside Way

Dropping down the zig-zag path to the Water Ski Club car park
Dropping down the zig-zag path to the Water Ski Club car park

Crossing the Water Ski Club car park by the club house
Crossing the Water Ski Club car park by the club house

The Lakeside Way heading for the Bull Crag Peninsular
The Lakeside Way heading for the Bull Crag Peninsular

Here the track made a left turn along the north shore of the Bull Crag Peninsular. About 200m after this left turn we came to a huge timber finger post sign where there was a fork in the track.

After about 500m from the Leaplish car park the track dropped down to the car park at the Kielder Water Ski Club (map ref. NY 664 875). We continued southwards along the Lakeside Way from the Water Ski Club House for another 500m.

The Lakeside Way leaving the Water Ski Club car park
The Lakeside Way leaving the Water Ski Club car park

The Lakeside Way heading for the Bull Crag Peninsular
The Lakeside Way heading for the Bull Crag Peninsular

Huge finger post sign at the fork in the Lakeside Way next to Freya's Cabin
Huge finger post sign at the fork in the Lakeside Way next to Freya's Cabin

Freya's Cabin overlooking Kielder Water
Freya's Cabin overlooking Kielder Water

There is a story about the two of them on the walls of the cabin & hut. (Our walk tomorrow should take us past Robin's Hut) From the large finger post we took the right hand for following the Lakeside Way across the neck of the Bull Crag Peninsular.

Between the two tracks at the fork is Freya's Cabin. This is a kind of Summer House with a view across the lake. There is another little summer house on the north shore of the lake called Robin's Hut.

Crossing the neck of Bull Crag Peninsular from Feya's Cabin
Crossing the neck of Bull Crag Peninsular from Freya's Cabin

Crossing the neck of the Bull Crag Peninsular along the Lakeside Way
Crossing the neck of the Bull Crag Peninsular along the Lakeside Way

Lakeside Way crossing Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way crossing Bull Crag Peninsular

Left turn at the next junction in the track
Left turn at the next junction in the track

After another 500m we came to another huge timber finger post sign at a junction in the track at map ref. NY 666 863. We kept straight on here following the track around the southern shore of the Bull Crag peninsular.

After about 1km from the large finger post we came to a 'T'-junction in the track at map ref. NY 663 864. Here we turned right for about 50m and then turned left still following the Lakeside Way.

Right turn at 'T'-junction in the track at map ref. NY 663 864
Right turn at 'T'-junction in the track at map ref. NY 663 864

Straight on past this large finger post sign
Straight on past this large finger post sign

The Lakeside Way heading down towards the north shore of the Bull Crag
The Lakeside Way heading down towards the north shore of the Bull Crag Peninsular

Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular

We turned right between to large vertical timber way markers
We turned right between to large vertical timber way markers

We continued along the Lakeside Way for about 1km from the large timber finger post (NY 666 863). Here the track turns inland for about 150m to map ref NY 676 865 where we turned right between to large vertical timber way markers, still following the Lakeside Way. We followed the track along the southern side of the Bull Crag Peninsular with the Whickhope inlet of the lake on our right.

(Note: On my OS Explorer map there is a public footpath shown closely following the shore line of the lake. We could not find this path at all. The Lakeside Way follows well maintained tracks with large timber signs at intervals and this is the route we followed a little further from the lakeside)

Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular

Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular

Moorings at the Whickhope inlet seen from the Lakeside Way
Moorings at the Whickhope inlet seen from the Lakeside Way

Heading for The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular
Heading for The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular

Nearing The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular
Nearing The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular

Large pack of bottled water ready for the marathon on Saturday
Large pack of bottled water ready for the marathon on Saturday

As we began walking along the north shore of the peninsular we passed a large pack of bottled water. This was to be a water station on the Kielder Marathon to be held on Saturday 7 October, just a couple of days after our visit. The Kielder Marathon is a circuit of Kielder Water along the Lakeside Way, a full 26 miles.

We followed the track around The Headland at the end of the peninsular to the north shore of the peninsular. Along this part of the track there were a series of small sculptural plaques on rocks beside the track.

Heading for The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular
Heading for The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular

Lakeside Way at The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way at The Headland of Bull Crag Peninsular

Bottled water ready for the marathon on Saturday
Bottled water ready for the marathon on Saturday

Around The Headland there were a series of small sculptural plaques on rocks beside the
Around The Headland there were a series of small sculptural plaques on rocks beside the track

Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular

Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular
Lakeside Way along the north shore of Bull Crag Peninsular

Illegible information board at the Otterstone view point
Illegible information board at the Otterstone view point

At the view point the information board was very faded and covered with algae and was completely illegible. However it was a good view looking north towards the head of the lake. We had been lucky with the weather so far and the threatened rain had held off, but now we could see a heavy shower advancing down the lake.

About half way along the north shore of the Bull Crag Peninsular at map ref. NY 675 872, there is the Otterstone View point. We turned off the Lakeside Way here and made our way through the large clumps of coarse grass to a wooden kissing gate and then across about 30m of more clumps of coarse grass to the view point.

The mossy forest floor beside the track
The mossy forest floor beside the track

Kissing gate leading to the Otterstone view point
Kissing gate leading to the Otterstone view point

Seat on the Lakeside Way below the view point
Seat on the Lakeside Way below the view point

The Lakeside Way along the north shore of the Bull Crag Peninsular
The Lakeside Way along the north shore of the Bull Crag Peninsular

Heading back to Freya's Cabin along the Lakeside Way
Heading back to Freya's Cabin along the Lakeside Way

Approaching Freya's Cabin
Approaching Freya's Cabin

Giant finger post sign near Freya's Cabin
Giant finger post sign near Freya's Cabin

We continued to the Leaplish Waterside Park and the end of our walk for today. Fortunately the biting midge season had ended and we did not encounter any of these little pests. The whole route had been 10km and it had taken us around three & a half hours to walk including our lunch stop at Freya's Cabin.

We returned to the Lakeside Way track and continued along the north shore of the peninsular for another kilometer back to Freya's Cabin where we took shelter and had our packed lunch until the shower had passed over. After our lunch we retraced our steps from Freya's Cabin back along the Lakeside Way track.

Kielder Water from the Lakeside Way near Freya's Cabin
Kielder Water from the Lakeside Way near Freya's Cabin

Our lunch stop in Freya's Cabin
Our lunch stop in Freya's Cabin

After the summer water levels will build up over the winter
After the summer water levels will build up over the winter

Heading back along the Lakeside Way from Freya's Cabin to Leaplish Waterside Park and the end of our walk
Heading back along the Lakeside Way from Freya's Cabin to Leaplish Waterside Park and the end of our walk

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