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.
Superworm is here!
If you enjoyed the Gruffalo and Gruffalo Child's trails then you'll love the new Superworm trail, based on the children's book by Julia Donaldson. Activity packs to go with the trail can be bought onsite at the cafe (£3.50 and include a special edition book). The trail starts on Friday 13th March and runs to the end of October.
From April to October, Kielder Castle Cafe is open 9.30am - 5pm (9am-5.30pm during holiday periods). During the winter period (Nov-March), the cafe is open 11am-4pm. For more information regarding the cafe phone 01434 250100 or visit Kielder Castle Cafe.
The information point at the Castle is open daily 10am-4pm. Admission to the Exhibition is free. Access is through the cafe with last entry 30 minutes before closing. Opening times are 10am-5pm (11am-4pm from November to March).
The Cycle Centre at Kielder Castle is open daily from 9.30am until 5.30pm. For information regarding the Cycle Centre please phone - 01434 250457 or visit Kielder Cycle Centre
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 StarsAnonymous, 8/Feb/2014
5 StarsAnonymous, 11/Oct/2013