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Explore Kielder Castle Visitor Centre
(Average user rating: 1 unrated 1/5)

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 small exhibition 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 dark sky exhibit.

 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.

Stand and deliver! Highway Rat is here

Until November 2018, the Highway Rat will be prowling the grounds of Kielder Castle in a brand new trail. The trail starts at the Castle and can be completed with or without an activity pack (packs give added activities and puzzles and can be purchased from the cafe, £3).

Kielder Water and Forest Park - VisitEngland Awards for Excellence gold winner, 2013From April to November, Kielder Castle Cafe & exhibition is open 9.30am-5pm (9am-5.30pm during holiday periods and 11am-4pm in November). During the winter period (Dec-March), the cafe is closed on Tuesdays.  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 24 (pm), 25/26 December and 1-2 January.

From January 2018, 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

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 May.

What do other visitors say?

1 Star 1 Star

Very unhappy with our visit at new year. We came a long way to do your stick man trail on our family holiday. My daughter was really looking forward to getting the activities pack from the castle. When we got there on new years eve we found out the castle was closed so my daughter could not do the activities that she was so looking forward to doing as the castle is the only place that sells the pack very upset about the whole thing. Cont believe a very well known popular family place was closed on a family holiday. We new it would be closed new years day so we travelled up a day early to be able to get the pack before we did the trail on new years day.

Jen davison, 2/Jan/2018

Sorry your trip to Kielder Castle at New Year was a disappointment. The Stickman Trail is no longer at Kielder but has been replaced with the Highway Rat trail. Activity Packs to supplement the trail are available at Kielder Café or Bike Hire when open. Unfortunately, both were advertised as closed on 31 December.

Forestry Commission Response

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Last updated: 16th July 2018

Help us take care of your forest

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.
  • 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 but bagged dog waste can be disposed of in general waste bins.
  • 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)
  • £5 all day (covers all car parks within the park including those operated by Northumbrian Water)
    £1.50 for one hour at Kielder 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.


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.
£5 all day (covers all car parks within the park including those operated by Northumbrian Water)
£1.50 for one hour at Kielder Castle.

Forest Plans

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.