Welcome to Kielder Yacht Club

Kielder Yacht Club is located on the shores of Kielder Water in Northumberland, United Kingdom, and enjoys unrivalled views of the tranquil landscape of Kielder Forest. The Club Marina is based in the Whickhope Inlet, part of the 27 miles of shoreline. The lake provides both tranquil cruising and challenging sailing.

We are a friendly club in North East England, with a diverse membership coming from as far afield as Yorkshire, Lancashire, Scotland and Cumbria. We are always looking to welcome new members to the pleasures of sailing or cruising on Kielder. Our strategy is to encourage both cruising and sailing events, as well as organising a full social programme – but club members may also simply like to get away from it all and relax with a peaceful days sailing.

Check out the stunning location of the KYC marina and surrounding area with this short 30 second video which has been compressed to be mobile data friendly (20mb).

Learn something new and enjoy Sailing


Learn new skills

Read the wind, the clouds and even the ripples in the water. Sailing can be both peaceful and  relaxing as well as challenging. No sailing trip is ever the same. A sense of accomplishment by becoming the master of your own vessel is truly unique and extraordinarily pleasing.


Health Benefits

Sailing can help increase agility and flexibility and may help with the normal tensions of life whatever your age. Spending time with nature and the outdoors can improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress as well as have a positive impact on your self esteem.


Life Experiences

See new places from a different perspective, take in the tranquility of the lake, feel the breeze and leave the complications of life behind if only for just a few hours. Spending time with your family and friends on your craft sailing or socialising is true quality of life.  

Our Club

Toilets, showers, galley, club room able to accommodate 50+ members, outside seating/eating area. Defibrillator.

Parking & Storage
Ample members parking, gated with key access. Boat & trailer park, tender park, inflatable tender storage.

Kielder Water

Concrete launching slip, jetty, deep water swinging moorings, club tenders. 

The Lake
Access to day and overnight moorings. Stunning views and tranquillity.

Kielder Yacht Club is not just about cruising the lake, we operate an extensive sailing calendar with enough activities to keep the whole family involved. We include everything from a gentle sail to a secluded inlet, rafting up with friends enjoying a good bottle of wine, to full blown regatta weekends. Of course, no sailing calendar would be complete without a good BBQ.

Our social calendar operates throughout the year. During the winter season we make the most of our club house facilities by hosting parties, hog roasts and winter walks.

The club is home to both motor cruisers and yachts where members can enjoy a full calendar of social and sailing events or simply get away from it all on Europe’s largest man-made lake.

Kielder Yacht Club is a family friendly sailing club in the heart of Northumberland located on the banks of stunning Kielder Water, the largest man-made reservoir in the UK.  

We are based on the shores of Kielder Water in Northumberland surrounded by the quiet tranquillity of Kielder Forest, one of the few remaining Dark Sky locations in the UK and one that can boast its own public Observatory.

Membership & Mooring Fees 2024

New members are very welcome at our club. We were founded in 1981 and have established our base in the beautiful surroundings of Kielder Water by our team of volunteers and committed members. Whether you wish to develop your sailing skills or simply cruise the tranquil waters of Kielder, the lake offers diversity for all levels of experience and a place where long lasting memories can be made and treasured.

Initial Joining Fee: £75* 
Full Membership: £325 
Associate Membership: £163 
Student Membership: £21

Full Membership - £325.00 Two named adults and all of their children under 18 years of age operating one boat afloat. Any children between 18 and 24 and still in full time education should be added as student members.

Associate Membership - £163.00 Covers individuals or families who do not own a boat, but wish to use the Club's facilities or sail on a boat belonging to another member whilst they are in attendance.

Student Membership - £21.00 Covers those between 18 and 24 years of age whose parents or guardians are members of the Club and who can satisfy the Committee that they are in full time education.

Other Fees may apply depending how you operate at the club, e.g. additional entry keys or storing personal tenders. Please request a full list of additional fees if required.

* A joining fee is payable when you join the club and is non payable in subsequent years for unbroken membership.

Fees are non-negotiable.

The following fees are also payable to Northumbrian Water for the season if you own a boat and wish to sail on Kielder Water:

Registration - Boat only £29.50
Registration - Boat and Tender £43 
Mooring fee – £450

1. Request a Membership Pack, either by using the contact form on the website or by emailing us directly at kielderyachtclub@email.com .
2. A Membership Application form will be emailed to you along with links to the Member's Handbook, Club Constitution, Grievance & Disciplinary and Northumbrian Water Rules. Ensure you read these documents before applying, as there may be restrictions or conditions that could make the club unsuitable for your needs. They can also be reviewed now in the Documentation section on the main website page.
3. Complete the Membership Form and return it to the email address stated on the document.
4. The Membership Secretary will review your application and contact you to make payment.
5. Pay the fees to the account stated on the Invoice provided.
6. The membership secretary will confirm your membership once funds are received and a site key(s) will be posted to your home address. Contact details will be provided for any Northumbrian Water Ltd payable fees if applicable. Once any NWL fees are paid, you will receive a sticker(s) for your craft which must be placed in view and in accordance with NWL instructions.
7. If you intend launching a boat with our assistance, your launch date will be agreed with the launch crew and carried out with you in attendance observing all handbook guidance and safety instructions.

* Please note, as the application process is quite involved with more than one individual, the process will take several working days to complete.

What's the maximum boat size you can accommodate?
In simple terms, our limit is of 9m in length (30ft) and less than 5,000kg (5 tonne) for us to be able to launch the craft and for you to moor in the marina. You must also have a suitable trailer that is satisfactory and safe for your vessel. If you are near these limits and wish to inquire about membership, please contact us for verification as moorings are limited for the largest of craft.

Can I launch and haul out my own boat at my own convenience?
Whilst we do offer a launch and haul out service, which is part of your membership fee for seasonal scheduled dates, yes, in general you may use your own suitable vehicle to launch or haul out (see next question for exceptions). All club, NWL rules and safety procedures must be followed and the club tractor may only be operated by designated individuals.

Do you offer Slip and Retrieve facilities?
No. Slip and Retrieve is a process where a person may launch their boat, sail for the day, then remove the boat from the water. 
Unfortunately, our Club Rules and Leasing Agreement with Northumbrian Water Ltd do not permit Slip and Retrieve. Boats launched must remain on the water for the season. 

Can I use the club for a 'staycation' instead of going abroad for my holidays this year?
We have received a number of requests asking if a 2 or 3 week stay at the club along with use of the lake is possible rather than joining as an annual member. Unfortunately this is not permitted with the agreement we have with Northumbrian Water Ltd. Please direct all casual boating queries to Kielder Waterside. Tel: 01434 251000 

Can you sleep overnight at Kielder Yacht Club?
Yes of course! You may sleep on your yacht or cruiser overnight. You can moor on the jetty or on overnight moorings around the lake. Our leasing arrangements with Northumbrian Water Ltd does not allow sleeping in caravans, tents, campervans or motorhomes overnight at the club premises.

May I bring visitors to the club?
We very much welcome visitors to our club. Of course, they must follow our rules and should be briefed by the invitee before visiting the site. Remember, you will need enough life jackets to accommodate your guests if they are to use the jetties and take to the water. There are some club life jackets available on a first come first served basis that may be also be borrowed for the day. We do request that individual guests may only attend for a maximum of 6 times in a season, we trust you'll understand a form of membership would be required for anyone attending regularly.

Can Associate Members sail at the club?
Yes. Associate Membership is for those who don't own a boat but wish to be a member of the club, use club facilities, and sail with other members on their boats. Boat owners must always be present onboard when associate members are guests on their vessels. 

Can we hire a boat at Kielder Yacht Club?
Unfortunately we are unable to hire boats or provide formal lessons at the club.

What is your role at Kielder Water?
We often get mistaken for the custodians of Kielder Water and regularly get questions about the lake, fishing, staycations, camping etc. Please be aware we are a Yacht Club, we are permitted to use the lake but have no other role in the area. For leisure activities or questions about the area, please contact Kielder Waterside Park on 01434 251000.  

Can already paid fees be transferred to a new owner?
No. If you were to purchase a boat for sale at KYC, fees are non transferable between members, all fees are payable by the new owner. The new member must pay registration to NWL along with Mooring fees even if they have already been paid by the previous owner. Membership fees and any associated temporary storage are also due following any boat exchanges. This is a year round requirement so if someone indicates fees are already paid during any sale negotiation, this is incorrect.

It's okay to use someone else's keys yeah?
No. Keys are non-transferable and should not be accepted from another member even if you have purchased their boat. Every key must be logged and accounted for when a member leaves or joins the club for tracing and security purposes. 

Click Here to Launch the Fees Estimator...

This tool is provided purely to give you an estimate of annual fees should you be interested in joining Kielder Yacht Club. The calculator explains each membership option and you may use it freely and anonymously.

Please Note: We are a Yacht Club that launches larger boats with sleeping accommodation onto moorings for the entire season. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate day sailors, dinghies, wind surfers, paddle boards or similar.

New members are always very welcome. Please email us directly or complete the following form if you would like someone to contact you about membership, to request a membership joining pack, or if you have any other questions.

Please may we request reading the FAQ's above before contacting us as we commonly get the same questions which are covered in that section.

If you are requesting a membership pack, please give details of your boat make, weight and size so we may check for a suitable mooring.

Current Response Times:

Usually within 24 hours

Early History of Kielder Yacht Club

by Judith Robinson, Michael Money and Bill Holden

Charles McPhail, the second Commodore, and his wife May were walking at Whickhope one day and there below them on the hillside, men were working, putting in the moorings…. before the lake was completely flooded.

The inaugural meeting of the Sailing Cruiser Section of Kielder Water Club was held at the Duke of Wellington, Kenton Lane. Newcastle upon Tyne, on Tuesday, 7th April 1981

The mooring buoys were the pink ones, similar to those around the lake now. Tenders were pulled up on the shore just above the water line. There was a jetty. That was all there was.

The clubhouse, at this time, was still a green hut at Leaplish, shared by all sections of Kielder Water Club, who were the Sailing Club, based in the bay at Leaplish, the Yacht and Motor Cruiser Clubs, who sailed out of Whickhope, and the Ski Club. Their area was the large bay east of the Leaplish headland. It was 1981.

The shed, a cricket pavilion from Annfield Plain, costing £300, brought over and put up by members, had not yet come to Whickhope. This was finally put up and declared fit for use by a Works Officer in October 1983. 

‘Resolution’ (lain Mungall) and ‘Fable’ (Charles and May McPhail) were the largest yachts, most members sailing in 15 to 22 feet size, not in the comfort experienced today. Racing was popular, members were keen, but all the races were friendly. There must have been some bad weather, but those days seemed to be sunshine and racing winds.

Membership had increased to 63 by 1987. The Motor Cruising section was still separate. After many years, in 1985, because both sections sailed at Whickhope, it was suggested it made sense to amalgamate the Motor Cruiser Club with the Yacht Club. This finally happened on January lst 1993 under the Yacht Club name.

Two mooring buoys, bow and stern, and laid north / south against the prevailing winds caused much discomfort for the boats and eventually, in 1983, they were re-laid east to west. Much later, in 1989, these were changed to the swinging moorings we have today. It cost £150 per mooring plus diver costs of £300 a day to install the swing moorings. This was paid for by the £6,000 per year paid through Kielder Water Club to Northumbrian Water for maintaining the moorings.

The clubhouse at Leaplish, the green hut, was formerly the construction site laboratory which was re-erected about where the Leaplish conference centre and swimming pool is now. Everyone had to take a turn at galley duty, which became more controversial and a nuisance as some good sailing weather was missed. In the beginning, the building was also shared by the Reivers of Tarset who ran a boat hire/sailing school from it before they got their own building at the head of the west slipway. Their building is now the Bunkbarn.

Caroline Waitt was the first “Water Sports Officer” and she dealt with registration, not only for club members but also for the large number of day visitors who brought their own boats to Kielder in the early years. Caroline served for the I982-84 seasons and she was strict. Yachts and owners had to conform to Northumbrian Water Rules, for example, flares on board were checked and all boats had to pass an engine noise test before Caroline allowed them to stay on the water.

Alan Hetherington came after Caroline for the next two seasons. He lived on site in a caravan when on duty and did much to reduce the theft and vandalism prevalent at Leaplish at that time. One of his reports included the following incident which occurred on 30th July 1987:

“Six youths aged 16 – 18 tried to use the Reivers rescue boat, but had no petrol. They then broke into the petrol store, filled milk bottles for petrol bombs and threw them behind Reivers’ building. Later an attempt was made to start a dumper truck The next morning the police collected them from their tents and they were charged.”

Boats on moorings at Whickhope did not escape, on one night 20 were broken into. Following this many members avoided using strong padlocks on the cabin door, better to have a broken padlock than a smashed door.

After many negotiations, Northumbrian Water (before privatisation), built a magnificent new clubhouse, at an estimated cost of £300,000, which is now the Boat Inn at Leaplish (This is much changed from the original building). Grants were applied for from the English Tourist Board, who wanted the toilets to be made public. The clubhouse was opened by David Scott Cowper on Monday, 6th June 1988.

David Scott Cowper, who practised as a Newcastle Solicitor, is renowned for sailing round the world and is / was frequently away sailing (or trapped in ice) in northern waters. Sadly, the plaque which commemorated the event of the opening and the organisations who had funded the clubhouse, has disappeared.

Les and Pat Ferguson were appointed as wardens for the 1988-89 season and they lived in the upstairs flat in the clubhouse. Pat ran the galley. Evenings and socials were held in the clubhouse as the clubs continue to do in their own premises, but again, it was for all three sections.

Les and Pat left to become stewards at the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club at Blyth. Gordon and May Greensill came shortly after Pat and Les. May followed on from Pat with more excellent cooking for hungry sailors. They stayed until 1991. Rumours had begun that Northumbrian Water wanted the building for themselves…. or to share it.

Launching and retrieving was at Leaplish. Easy enough to launch with cars, but Yacht Club members then had to sail or motor to Whickhope to their moorings. Ferrying cars between the two places caused some headaches, one family member / friend, had to be available to collect the car and return it to where it was needed. Sometimes this involved walking from Leaplish to Whickhope or vice versa. Many people were certainly very fit in those days!

At the end of the season, most yachts were stored over the winter at Leaplish, in the car park, which was not as large as it is now. Some boats went to the scouts at Hawkhirst and some were taken home. It was a full day. Again, members had to sail / motor to Leaplish and then help each other to haul out using cars.

Later on, for well over ten years, John Richardson was helping at launch / haul out with his tractor. Umpteen members in the club have John to thank for sorting out their trailer / boat problems as he, frequently, was waist high, or above, in the water. Nothing was too much trouble for John and members owe a huge debt of gratitude to him before their own ‘ tractor crew’ came on the scene when John decided he could no longer continue with this demanding work.

More negotiations and finally, in 1991. Northumbrian Water approved the plan for each section to have their own clubhouse and their own area. The Sailing Club chose Tower Knowe and the Yacht Club stayed at Whickhope, as the Ski Club did in their own bay. The other two sections’ clubhouses were made of whole log construction. The Yacht Club’s was half log.

Originally, it was intended that the cabin Northumbrian Water had used at the Gateshead Garden Festival would become the clubhouse, but that never materialised and what is there now was built. Not in the original agreed position however. The main windows should have been facing down the inlet. Members began using the clubhouse from April 1993.

The official opening of the new clubhouse was on the Sunday of the August Regatta 1993, by Sir Michael Straker, who was given Honorarv Membership of the club and he remained interested in us until his early death a few years later.

There was a marquee in the car park and invitations went to the other sections, and many visitors were invited to the splendid buffet lunch. Celebrations went on well into night time. The midges joined the company then as they do now.

Once the sections split up, and became totally centred in their own areas, each club began to grow and get more and more facilities. The marina built at Leaplish in 1988, which Kielder Water Club had offered £2000 towards, was towed to Whickhope and moored where it is now by October 1993. When the marina was first put in at Leaplish it was deemed to be a great success provided the wind blew from the south or west only. 

The shed (or store) at East Wickhope was kept for a few more years. It was finally demolished sometime in 1999. It had served the club well, progressing from nothing to porta-loos and parties. Trailers stayed where they had always been stored. The jetty at Whickhope remained, since refurbished by members.

Each year since has seen more progress to comfort. Larger yachts and motor cruisers appeared, sadly, the enthusiasm for racing lapsed and members began to stay overnight on their boats. Social evenings continued, from meals served by Doreen and Sadie from Bellingham, to the ‘special’ evenings now and the Pie and Pea suppers. The ferry was also booked for the club some years for an evening tour of the lake with supper on board and sometimes with themed fancy dress such as ‘pirates’, and ‘millionaires’.

The Yacht Club membership is good and constant, always determined by the number of moorings available. Several Sailing Club members moved from dinghies to yachts, some so they could sail together with their families, others just wanted something larger with a little comfort. The Yacht Club and Sailing Club continue to share sailing events with each other, such as the Yacht Club Regattas, and yachts are always welcome in the Round the Lake races. Contact with the Ski Club is less easy because of having to avoid sailing into their bay, but friendships made when members were one club at Leaplish have continued and are as strong today as they were then.

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 and as we are today

Visitors are welcome to checkout the Members Area to see what we're up to.
Here you'll find our news blog, important documentation, hints and tips, wind charts and more...

2024 Calendar

Dates and Events are subject to change at short notice due to unforeseen circumstance or adverse weather conditions. Check back here regularly for updates.
Last Updated: 22-Jan-2024


7th Christmas Party and Annual Walk


9th  Annual General Meeting, inc. buffet lunch


5th Early Bird Haul Out
23rd-24th Midweek Haul Out
26th-27th Weekend Haul Out


21st KYC Racing Series - Race 6
22nd KYC Racing Series - Race 7
28th ‘Out with a Bang’ bangers & mash social evening


3rd KYC Racing Series - Race 4
4th KYC Racing Series - Race 5

Regatta Weekend

Friday - Cheese & Wine social evening
Saturday - Fun Sailing Event, inc Motor Cruisers, plus BBQ
Sunday - Best Dressed Boat competition 


6th Pie & Peas social evening
13th Commodores Chase & sailors supper, motor cruisers & yachts
14th KYC Racing Series - Race 3, female skippers
20th Flotilla (Kielder Big Regatta joint clubs event), motor cruisers & yachts


1st KYC Racing Series - Race 2
         > Italian Night social evening
2nd Cruise in Company inc. Commodore’s Picnic, motor cruisers & yachts


4th Mince & Dumpling social evening
5th-6th Dam to Dam joint sailing event with the Kielder Water Sailing Club
11th Belling Bell Trophy Race, inc. motor cruisers & Astronomy Night!
12th KYC Racing Series - Race 1


6th-7th(am) Launch Weekend
10th-11th Midweek Launch
20th Late Launch
21st Volunteer Working Day


9th-12th “Men's Shed” Maintenance Working Group
(All Welcome)

Members Boats 'n' Gear for Sale

Please note, all  listings are private sales and the club is not responsible for any details provided.
All contracts whether verbal or written are solely between the seller and purchaser.


Firefly - Hurley 22

Price: £ 3,999
Classic 22' sailing boat built in 1982. Bilge keel and boasting 4 berths. 6HP Suzuki outboard with only 6 hours of use and recently professionally serviced.  Further info...


Verica - Jaguar 23

Price: £ 2,750 ono
Jaguar 23 (lifting keel) sold with trailer, all sails, new cushions and extras, ready for viewing at Kielder Yacht Club. Genuine reason for sale.  Further info...


Mallard - Gib'Sea 242 

Price: £ 6,500
Included: 6hp 4 stroke outboard, 4 wheeled road trailer, all sails, cushions and a variety of extras.  This easy to sail 4 berth yacht delivers good interior space with separate washroom and galley. Ready for a solo or exciting new family adventure! Further info...

Water Tank

Flexible Water Tank 

Price: £ SOLD
As new Nuova Rade flexible water tank holding up to 100l for a practical solution to store water on your boat. Further info...


Tui - Pippin 20

Price: £ 5,900
Renowned as a great option for enjoying day sailing or longer getaways on the water. Great example of a well maintained Pippin 20, pictures speak for themselves. Road trailer, 6HP outboard & dinghy included in the sale. Further info...


Thinking of joining? There are further documents to read in the members area. < Take me there >

2024 Handbook

Membership guidance on how the club functions, what services are provided and what is expected of members.

Kielder Water Rules

Northumbrian Water Ltd rules and regulations governing the use of Kielder Water. 

External Links

The following links are provided as a convenience. They do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Kielder Yacht Club of any services or opinions of the corporation or organisation. Kielder Yacht Club bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. These links will open in a new window.


Kielder Yacht Club
Whickhope Anchorage, Hexham Northumberland. NE48 1AX

Located in the Clubhouse Entrance Hall. Response kit included in the carry case.

Club Location: Visitors 

The Whickhope turn off is easy to miss, check out these additional location markers to help with your visit.

Travelling from the East
See road...

Travelling from the West
See road... 


Lat Long
55°09'56.2"N 2°30'14.4"W
55.165622, -2.503986


Check your route for roadworks
One Network...

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