Dog Friendly Days Out for Halloween & October

A Dog Walk Around Bolam Lake

Bolam Lake is a wonderful, accessible walk in Northumberland. Located near Belsay Hall and 9 miles west of Morpeth, the route around the lake is suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs. A version of this post first appeared on North East Family Fun in 2020. 

A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland - jetty and swans





The circular path closest to the lake is is approximately 1 mile in length (circular) so nice and easy for little legs too. The lake is free to visit and dogs are welcome. There are not many litter bins around so you may need to carry your dog poo bags for a while before you can dispose of them. 

A Dog Walk Around Bolam Lake

The photos in this post were taken in Winter 2018 - the lake is lovely to visit at any time of the year.


Bolam Lake - Location & Parking


There is no direct public transport to Bolam Lake. You can catch a direct bus to Belsay from Newcastle and walk (2.5 miles) but this probably isn't suitable for children. 

A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - map from bus stop


There are three car parks at Bolam Lake - all open during daylight hours (they are locked at night). Parking is FREE for 1 hour (you still need a ticket) and chargeable for anything over this (see below for prices - correct January 2020 ). Use postcode NE20 0HE and follow the signs. 


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - car parking charges



Bolam Dog Lake Walk 


As mentioned above, the walk around Bolam Lake is 1 mile (circular route) in length and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is no play park but the woodland setting is fascinating for toddlers so it really isn't needed. There are picnic benches/seating at various points around the walk and it is a flat route. There are longer routes if you venture away from the lakeside but these may not be as accessible. 

The walking route is super popular with families and dog walkers and there are points where you can exit the main paths and explore some of the woodland. Obviously, keep dogs on a lead near wildlife. 




A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - lake in winter


There are information signs at various points around the walk pointing out walking routes, nature and wildlife you may spot.

Dogs are welcome at Bolam Lake and it is a popular spot for dog walkers - owners are asked to keep their dogs under control and be considerate of the wildlife/other visitors.

A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - bolam lake map


The lake is home to lots of birds including swans & geese - we love walking along the jetty to say hello to them.

A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - feeding geese from jetty


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - circle of life sign


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland - jetty and swans


Swimming in the lake is not permitted due to hidden hazards and mud. You are able to canoe on the lake (excluding breeding season) - book a permit in advance via the visitor centre by calling 01661 881234.


During your walk, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. If you are lucky you may spot roe deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers and nuthatches. Breeding season runs throughout Spring & Summer and it is important to be respectful of any animals or wildlife you may spot.


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - red squirrel information



A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - walking on a log


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - accessible pathways


Bolam Lake is the perfect walk for families/friends looking for an easy short walk with plenty to see and lots of scenery to enjoy and admire. It is definitely one of our favourites.




Bolam Lake Visitor Centre & Cafe 

There is a visitor centre, cafe and public toilets by the lake (next to Boathouse Wood Car Park). The cafe accepts cash only and is opening during the following times: 


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - cafe opening times

The cafe serves hot and cold drinks, cakes, scones, soup, sandwiches and snacks and local maps/gifts are available to purchase too. Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted inside of the cafe but there is outdoor seating where they are welcome. Sometimes an ice cream van pops up too. 

Please note, the above times are subject to change. 



A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - cafe location


A Guide to Visiting Bolam Lake, Northumberland  - inside of cafe



Let me know if you have visited Bolam Lake and if you enjoyed your trip or if you fancy visiting this year.

If you are looking to extend your visit, The Blackbird and The Badger are both nice pubs in Ponteland and both dog-friendly. Dogs are also welcome at Dobbies Ponteland and Belsay Hall which are in the vicinity. 

Looking for other dog-friendly days out? Check out these posts: 

30+ Places to take your dog (tried and tested by readers)

50+ Dog-friendly days out across North East England

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