Forestry Commission logo

Background information on Kielder Water & Forest Park and the project

Introduction to Tender

Thank you for expressing interest in this exciting business opportunity at Kielder Water & Forest Park.

Forestry Commission and partners are looking for a dynamic business partner (forward thinking and up to date with both leisure cycling and mtb singletrack visitor trends & products in the market knowledge) to become the successful operator on site.

Mountain biking within Kielder Water Forest Park was established in the 1980’s and many high profile events took place in that time.

Mtb trail development moved on the creation of world class singletrack trails in the UK, which led to Kielder losing its place as a key player on the scene.

The Forestry Commission have worked with local mountain bikers and partnership project teams to drive through the main development phase.

The focus has been establish Kielder on the national mtb scene and make an impact all year round in the local rural economy and to attract mtb visitors from outside the North East England Region.

We have built quality single track trails (three new trails for 2009) to support the exciting Lakeside Way Trail (multi user trail).

The trails include cyclist progression to ensure mtb visitors always get a trail to their grade/ style of cycling to ensure they leave the area satisfied, and wanting to return, whilst always having a safe experience on the trail network.

High profile mtb events are now returning to Kielder Water & Forest Park.  Since 2006 an annual mtb race series has been established and in 2008
Avalanche Trophy Enduro MTB event was attracted to Kielder Water & Forest Park (this returns in 2009 and 2010).
High profile events for Kielder Water & Forest Park are in planning stage with external event organisers and more this of this development is expected in the coming years as the trails get a national reputation.

Forestry Commission England, Kielder Partnership, One North East, Northumberland Tourism work closely together on marketing on the area and mtb scene.  We are developing strong links with 7stanes cyling project in South Scotland.

Future marketing links are with Hamsterley Forest County Durham, (managed by the same FC team as Kielder Water & Forest Park), Whinlatter, Grizedale and Dalby to create a North England MTB scene.

Kielder Water & Forest Park Background Information

Kielder Forest Park extends to some 200 sq miles the largest man made forest in Europe. We are developing the area with the intention of it becoming one of the leading venues for family cycling and for mountain biking.  There has been a bike hire centre in Kielder since 1995 on this site. This lease ended in 2007.  The old building has been demolished and a new building will be completed by April.  There is another bike hire business run from the Tynedale Council workshops in Kielder village about 500 m distant.

The 26 mile Lakeside Way (multi user trail) will be completed in 2009.  This will provide a lovely scenic ride around the lake on a purpose built track, which will pass close to the bike hire centre. Lakeside Way is mainly green grade trail with sections on blue grade.

MTB Facilities/ Singletrack Cross Country Trail Network

Listed below are the details on the number of MTB trail facilities adjacent to the new hire centre and wider cross country trails all radiating out from Kielder Castle Car Park into the wider Kielder Water & Forest Park.

1. MTB Training Loop 0.5km, (opened 2006)

2. Trials Area. Northshore trail, Jump trail and Rock balance zone (Orange graded extreme cycling area) to be opened mid summer 2009.

3. Blue grade mtb cross country trail (opens summer 2009) approx 12km, links to Lakeside Way

4. Deadwater red grade mtb trail 15km (opened 2007), 1st 12 months has seen over 12,000 mtb riders on the trail.

5. Lewisburn to Bewshaugh red grade cross country trail approx 15km (opens spring 2009)

6. Currick to Bloody Bush red grade cross country trail  approx 12km (links from Trail 5)  (to be opened autumn 2009)

    Note -this trail is the main link to Newcastleton 7stanes mtb trail from
    Water & Forest Park (total route from Kielder Castle  to Newcastleton and
    back is  50km+)

7. Black Red Grade mtb grade mtb trail (Deadwater Fell) 2.5km

For more information and access to online maps of all the above trails (including those that open during 2009  of these facilities please visit:

Other facilities close to the bike hire building include the Kielder Castle Visitor Centre, which attracts around 45,000 visitors a year.  This includes a restaurant and toilet facilities.  There are excellent toilets within 30 metres of the bike hire centre, at the Castle Hill roundabout.  Kielder is also the centre for a growing arts and sculpture trail, which is becoming increasingly popular.

There is good parking just to the north of the centre within easy walking distance. This is a pay meter car park.

Kielder Observatory and Skyspace (within 4 miles of the hire centre) is a large
attraction in the area and one of the mtb singletrack trails serves this.

Kielder Water and Forest Park Logo