Built in 1775 as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland, Kielder Castle is now the focal point for visitors to the forest.
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.
Gruffalo Child Trail at Kielder Castle!
If you enjoyed the Gruffalo Trail, you'll love the Gruffalo Child's Trail, which will be coming to our forest from Friday 3rd October. Sign up to hear more about our plans.
Crowned the best tourism experience of the year.
Kielder Water & Forest Park won the prestigious honour at the VisitEngland 2013 Awards for Excellence and is now officially recognised as the best tourism experience in the country.
Kielder Castle Cafe is now open 9.30am - 5.00pm daily till the end of October (9am-5.30pm in school holidays). From 1 November, opening hours are 10am-4pm daily. The exhibition is free and open 10am-4pm with last admission to exhibition 1/2 an hour before closing. The toilets at Kielder Castle are OPEN all the time.
Admission to the Exhibition is free. Access is through the cafe. For more information regarding the cafe phone 01434 250100 or visit Kielder Castle Cafe.
The Cycle Centre at Kielder Castle is open daily from 9.30am till 5pm. For information regarding the Cycle Centre please phone - 01434 250457 or visit Kielder Cycle Centre