The scale of Kielder Forest is enough to take your breath away! At 250 square miles it is England’s largest forest.
But Kielder is not just about trees. At any one time, a quarter of the area of Kielder is open space, including England’s largest area of blanket bog. Kielder is also England’s most important red squirrel reserve, home to the biggest remaining population of red squirrels in the country.
A visit to Kielder will uncover many surprises such as the Minotaur Maze and Skyspace, one of England's largest mountain bike trail network and home to Northumberland's only breeding osprey population.
So if it is adventure or tranquillity and wild beauty you are after then there is something for you in this awe-inspiring place.
6 amazing forests in 6 breath-taking locations. Chopwell, Gisburn, Grizedale, Hamsterley, Kielder, Whinlatter are the Super 6! Grab your bike and discover our exhilarating trails!
From February 24th, follow clues and collect evidence as you search for the Gruffalo along the Gruffalo Spotters trail! Bring the characters to life before your eyes with The Gruffalo Spotter free app, or gather clues with an Evidence Kit. More details for Kielder Water and Forest Park
Experience stars in the night sky like never before when visiting Kielder Forest after dark this winter. Kielder Observatory will run a whole programme of events throughout the year, but start at the Kielder Castle visitor centre to try our "Why stars matter" trail to see why we hold Dark Sky Discovery status and are amongst the top stargazing sites in the country. Trail starts at Bakethin Viaduct car park.
Miles of wild Northumberland await with some pretty spectacular views along the way.
England's largest mountain bike trail network with miles of breathtaking singletrack awaits.
It doesn't get much better than trekking along miles of track and bridleway in England's last great wilderness.
The forest is a fantastic backdrop to showcase the work of some of the world's finest artists and architects.
Grab your binoculars and ID books! Ospreys, goshawks, buzzards, red squirrels, otters - the forest is home to many iconic species and unique habitats.
Experience some of the darkest skies in the country and view the majesty of our galaxy at Kielder Observatory.
Find out what's happening at Kielder over the next few months with our calendar of events.
Food and Drink
Running low on energy after all that exploration and exercise? Kielder Castle cafe (formerly the Duke's Pantry) at Kielder Castle provides the ideal refuelling stop, be it for a meal, drink or just a nibble of cake. Don't worry, we won't tell!
Kielder Water and Forest Park has been awarded a CLOtC Site Provider Award. The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) is the national voice for learning outside the classroom. This award recognises organisations which actively welcome schools onto their site/s for self-led visits and ensure that the sites and any other services provided meet the needs of schools.
What do other visitors say?
4 StarsIain, 11/Mar/2017
I wish you'd do an in-between parking charge, say 3hr, 4.50 (rising to 5) when you may only be there for 2-3 hrs is really off putting. Or why not do a national 'Discovery Pass"?
Forestry Commission Response
Thank you for your comments. The reason for only offering a full day rate is we would like visitors to spend more time on site, visiting the attractions and using local facilities without watching the clock. We feel £5 per vehicle (from 1 April) is a very competitive rate and the savings for 2-3 hour stay would not be that great. As for a national Discovery Pass, this is something that is currently being explored.
3 StarsJen, 28/Feb/2017
We came up for the afternoon for my daughters 1st birthday to take part in the gruffalo spotting event. Weather wasn't on our side so decided to first grab some lunch at the cafe, wish we hadn't bothered. It was so expensive and very poor quality, the lady serving was as miserable as sin and extremely rude. My eldest two children waited ages for their preps led children's lunch boxes which for 4 each were an absolute rip off.
The gruffalo spotters packs were ok but not worth the 3 each and got ruined in the rain anyway. However the app to take photos was brilliant and the kids all had a fab time despite the rain and rubbish lunch. The car park was expensive for how long we were there. Had the gruffalo event not been on I would have said it was a wasted trip to somewhere that could have been an amazing family day out.
Forestry Commission Response
Thank you for your feedback. Sorry to read your lunch did not live up to expectations - I will pass on your comments regarding your experience in the café. With regard the cost of visiting Kielder Castle, I believe £4.50 for parking for a family of four is actually extremely good value. Entry to the castle and use of trails is free and you also had use of a free app for your phone to enjoy the Gruffalo Spotter's Trail. You can't get much for just over a £1 per person these days!
3 StarsJim Martin, 13/Sep/2016
Enjoyed the visit (September 2016) spent the full day around Keilder Forest & Water.
Scenery good. Went on forest trail (drive) paid 3 toll, all fine, much tree felling but that was OK. Road a bit bumpy etc, but to be expected. Signs could do with being refreshed but that was OK.
Negative aspects: No single wildlife seen at all during drive (neither bird, land wildlife or whatever, very disappointing despite a considerable time slowly driving through forest trail/drive. Very disappointing in that respect
Entrances to forest or water, parking charges required, not impressed, was not prepared to stop and park - wanted to stop and go for something to eat, but not prepared to be ripped off twice, charge to park and then pay for meals (which were slightly expensive). That was a let down Went to a pub nearby for meal, no parking charges.
Keilder water - great to see however at Tourist Info points info is very basic. No mention of history, some info boards no info on them, a bit disappointing in that respect.
Otherwise was still worthwhile visiting and glad we did it... but could be improved.