Bolam Lake Country Park & Visitors Centre

This page contains information about visiting Bolam Lake Country Park

Bolam Lake

Latest events at Bolam Lake Country Park


Bolam Lake Country Park lies about 9 miles west of Morpeth and is signposted off the A696 from Belsay. It is situated in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside surrounded by historic landscapes and dramatic views. It has lakeside, woodland and open grassed areas for all to enjoy with the attractive lakeside walk being accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

For many years Bolam Lake has been a popular place for a day in the countryside. Take a leisurely stroll around the lake or explore the woodland. Bring a picnic and enjoy a summer's day with the family or explore on your own and discover the wildlife which makes Bolam Lake so special, including red squirrel, roe deer, great spotted woodpecker, and nuthatch.

Public transport

To find out how to get there by public transport view bus company information here

The visitor centre

Bolam lake cafe

The Visitor Centre is a good starting point for your visit. It has a café, shop and information area. The café sells a range of hot and cold refreshments, including soup, cakes and sweets. The shop has local information and sells a range of gifts, books and maps. The visitor centre and cafe are open from 10.30am to 4pm at weekends, Bank Holidays and school holidays from Easter to November. From December to Easter it is open from 10.30am but closes earlier at weekends and during school holidays. It is fully accessible.

The toilets are located in the Boathouse Wood car park next to the Visitor Centre and are open daily.

Car parking

The three car parks are open during daylight hours and locked at dusk, and are free of charge. Each car park has disabled parking bays. No overnight camping is allowed. You are advised not to leave valuables in your vehicle.

Please ensure that your vehicle is removed from the car park by the closing time stated on the car park notices.

Getting about

Bolam lake Swans

Feel free to explore the Park on foot, but please respect boundaries and don't climb fences. The lake side path is surfaced and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, for who the circuit of the lake is best done in an anti-clockwise direction and is approximately 3/4 mile long.

Horse-riders and cyclists please use only the marked bridleway and give way to walkers.

The park is a great place for walking dogs but dog walkers are encouraged to keep dogs under control and to be considerate towards other park users by clearing away dog faeces into the bins provided. If walking dogs near the park boundary or on the rights of way outside the park, extra care should be taken to keep dogs under close control to avoid worrying farm stock. Please respect the breeding season (spring and early summer) on the lake by keeping dogs under control near waterfowl.

Picnics & barbecues

You'll find a number of picnic tables in the main picnic area on the Pheasant Field. The best access to the Pheasant Field is from West Wood car park. Please take your rubbish and your barbecue home and do not scorch the grass or wooden surfaces.

There are picnic tables around the Visitor Centre.

The lake

Bolam lake

The lake is not suitable for swimming due to submerged hazards and deep mud. The lake is suitable for rigid canoes but sailing, motorised and inflatable craft are not allowed. Organised canoeing groups must book their visit and obtain a permit from the visitor centre in advance.

The best access to the lake for canoes is from Low House Wood car park. Boats are not allowed in the nature sanctuary or to land on the islands. Canoeing is not allowed from March 15 - June 15 inclusive.

Fishing for pike and perch is allowed, but anglers must have a rod licence and obtain a permit from the shop in Belsay. There is no fishing from boats or in the nature sanctuary. There is a closed season from March 15th to June 15th inclusive.

Night fishing is not permitted.

Safety information

  • Life buoys and throw lines are positioned around the lake.
  • In winter, do not walk on the frozen lake surface.

Group visits

Bolam is an ideal place for educational visits and recreational groups, although staff time is not normally available to assist groups directly. If you intend to bring a large group please inform the staff in advance.

Permanent orienteering course

A permanent orienteering course exists in the park. Why not give this exiting outdoor pursuit a try? Maps and guidance notes are available at the Visitor Centre.

Latest events at Bolam Lake country park & visitors centre

Out & about beyond the park

A good network of public rights of way around the Park offer half or full day circular walks. Our series of self-guided trails are on sale from the visitor centre or can be downloaded here. Large walking groups are requested not to park in Boathouse Wood car park especially at weekends and during the summer months.

Friends of Bolam Lake

Bolam Lake has a Friends group who are dedicated to promoting, protecting and preserving the park.  You can find further information about the Friends group here.

Contact information

Contact: Telephone Number: 01661 881234.