The Forestry Commission has approved overnight parking in the following car parks for responsible campervan parking: Kielder Castle Car Park and Elf Kirk View Point.
The fee is £10 (2x £5 tickets) which covers the period from 9pm to 9am, it must be paid at Kielder Castle Car Park (the ticket machine can take card payment). Daytime parking at Kielder Castle Car Park is £5 from 9am to 9pm.
The Forestry Commission say that this is a trial being undertaken to see how visitors respond to the opportunity to park overnight. It is a great opportunity for campers to enjoy the park's fantastic dark skies.
For many years people have parked free overnight in Elf Kirk and at Kielder Castle Car Park, the Forestry Commission say it is important that people pay towards the maintenance of the forest facilities.
The car parks will be checked at random and campers will be expected to have paid. All rubbish must be taken away and no open fires are permitted. The overnight parking is for camping in vehicles only, NO use of tents is permitted.
Open fires are not permitted but gas stoves, enclosed barbecues and fire pits used responsibly off the ground, are allowed as long as no mess is left and no damage caused.
Campers are encouraged to use the formal campsites in Kielder and also surrounding areas, but support is now being offered those who would rather park in a quiet areas and enjoy the park.
We welcome this initiative by the Forestry Commission and hope that the trial is a success, leading to the introduction of similar provision for motorhome and campervans to stay overnight at other Forestry Commission sites.
However, we do think that £10 for 12 hours overnight is too much, taken with the daytime fee of £5 this means a 24 hour stay costs £15, or £20 if the stay includes part of the days each side of a 12 hour overnight period, at Kielder Castle Car Park. Presumably there is no daytime charge at Elf Kirk View Point.
Contrast this with the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park where a 12 hour overnight camping permit costs just £3.