Forestry Commission logo

Discovery Pass

Discover the
freedom of
the forest…
every day of the year…

Get free parking, discounts on events and much more with an annual Discovery Pass


The ultimate free guide to our forests

Forest Xplorer running on iPhone and Android devices

Explore Kielder Castle Visitor Centre
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 5/5)

Built in 1775 as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland, Kielder Castle is now the focal point for visitors to the forest.

KIELDER CASTLE. AUTUMN. KIELDER FD.The Castle houses a series of exhibitions about the forest and its wildlife, together with an information centre and Kielder Castle Cafe. The exhibition is full of fantastic opportunities to get to know the forest and its history better, including an osprey camera providing live footage of the forest's nest sites, an interactive red squirrel exhibition and a local history exhibition focussing on the bastles built during the 'Border Reivers' period.

 Upstairs in the Castle is the classroom. This is available for hire and is often used for various workshops arranged by the Forestry Commission.

The castle grounds (map) include picnic sites, children's playground and the start of the Duke and Duchess walking trails. Within the grounds of the Castle is a work of art called Minotaur, which is a maze built of basalt stone and glass.There is also a bird viewing platform in the castle grounds and a squirrel hide a short walk away on the Duke's Trail. A short pedal from the castle you can test your cycle skills on the mountain bike skills loop before venturing onto the wider trail network.

Stickman is coming in December!

Forest web page 150x98pxFrom Saturday 5 December, Stickman will be needing your help to return to the family tree. A brand new Stickman activity trail will be launched which will be on site until next summer. Activity packs cost £3 and will be available from the cafe. The current Superworm trail will continue to run until Sunday 22 November (packs cost £3.50).

Kielder Water and Forest Park - VisitEngland Awards for Excellence gold winner, 2013From April to October, Kielder Castle Cafe & exhibition is open 9.30am - 5pm (9am-5.30pm during holiday periods). During the winter period (Nov-March), the cafe is open daily 11am-4pm, except 23-26 & 31 Dec, 1st & 4-22 Jan 2016.  For more information regarding the cafe phone 01434 250100 or visit Kielder Castle Cafe.

Admission to the Exhibition is free. Access is through the cafe with last entry 30 minutes before closing.  The exhibition is open on days the cafe is open, from 10am-5pm (11am-4pm from November to March).

The information point at the Castle is open daily 10am-4pm, except 25/26 December and 1st January.

The Cycle Centre at Kielder Castle is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday  Saturday and Sunday 9.30am till dusk. Closed Wednesday and Thursday except for prepaid bookings. For information regarding the Cycle Centre please phone - 01434 250457 or visit Kielder Cycle Centre

Our opening times at Bellingham are Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am till 5.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am till 5pm.  Closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday

The toilets at Kielder Castle are OPEN all the time. Please note, Blakehopeburnhaugh toilet block closes for the winter at the end of October and reopens again on 1 April.

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

Anonymous, 8/Feb/2014
5 Stars 5 Stars

Anonymous, 11/Oct/2013

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Last updated: 11/04/2015

Be a forest hero

Get the latest news, information & offers

Sign up for our emails

What's Here?

  • Baby Changing
  • Cycle wash
  • Easy Access
  • Educational
  • Information
  • Picnic
  • Visitor centre
  • Arts
  • Minotaur maze is located below the castle on the site of an old walled garden.
  • Bus Stop
  • Outside Kielder Castle. Seasonal service, Sundays only.
  • Cafe
  • Kielder Castle Cafe
  • Castle
  • Kielder Castle, built in 1775, is a Grade II listed building.
  • Cycling Hire
  • Contact Kielder Castle Cycle Centre (operated by The Bike Place) on 01434 250247
  • Mountain biking
  • Hub for all MTB trails
  • Dogs
  • There are no dog bins provided at Kielder Castle.
  • Forest drive
  • A 12 mile forest drive from Kielder Castle to the A68.
  • Litter bin
  • Litter bins at Kielder Castle only
  • Parking (easy access)
  • Parking for Blue Badge holders is available at Kielder Castle. Please note, parking charges still apply.
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 4.50 all day (covers all car parks within the park including those operated by Northumbrian Water)
    1.50 for one hour at Kielder Castle.
  • Play area
  • Located on playing fields north of the Castle.
  • Walking
  • Duke's, Duchess, Deadwater and Skyspace walking trails all start from the castle.
  • Toliets
  • Toilets, including disabled toilets and baby change facilities can be found at Kielder Castle and below Kielder Castle car park
  • Wildlife
  • Wildlife exhibition at the castle, including cameras trained on osprey nests and red squirrel feeding stations. Wildlife Hide on Duke's Trail.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: NY632934
Postcode: NE48 1ER

Get directions


Kielder Castle

01434 250209

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Car parks are open dawn to dusk daily.
4.50 all day (covers all car parks within the park including those operated by Northumbrian Water)
1.50 for one hour at Kielder Castle.
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedenjoy England quality assured visitor attractionForest Stewardship Council certified