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.
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 and Exhibition are now open 11.00am - 4.00pm (daily, except January when only open at weekends) till the end of February. Last admission to exhibition 1/2 an hour before closing.
The toilets at Kielder Castle are OPEN all the time.
Cafe and Exhibition are CLOSED 23rd-25th , 30th, 31st December and 1st-3rd January.
From March to october opening times will be 9.30am - 5.00pm daily (9.00 - 5.30 in school holidays)
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.
Kielder Castle Cycle Centre is now closed on a Wed & Thurs, opening hours are 9.30am-5pm.
Christmas Opening times are:
23rd Dec Open, 24th & 25th Closed, Dec 26th Open (if there are prepaid bookings), Dec 27th, 28th, 29th & 30th Open, Dec 31st Closed. Jan 1st open (if there are prepaid bookings), Jan 2nd Open.