Visitor information
Opening hours
How to find us
Parking & prices
Facilities & access
Contact details

Opening hours

Kielder Castle visitor centre is currently closed for an eagerly anticipated redevelopment of the ground floor and courtyard. We hope work will be completed in 2023, when the centre will reopen with an enlarged cafe space and rooms to sit and relax. There will be more information in the coming months on how the development will progress.

Kielder Forest Drive will reopen on 1 May 2022.


How to find us

How to find us
Kielder Castle, Kielder
Sat Nav Postcode: NE48 1ER
By Car

From the nearby villages of Bellingham and Newcastleton follow signs to Kielder Water and Forest Park which will take you onto the C200 - the road which runs adjacent to the southern shore of Kielder Water.

OS Grid Ref

55.2335711, -2.5805507

Parking and prices



Parking Charges

Main Car Park
Up to 1 hour £1.50
All day £5.00
Forest Drive (Toll road)
All day £3.00
Forest Drive Toll and Car Park
All day £7.00
Campervans Overnight Parking at Kielder Castle Only (Discovery Pass membership not included, additional charges apply)
After 5pm £10.00

Additional information

Regular visitors can save money by becoming a Member - Find out more about our membership offer
Number of accessible parking spaces: 0
Card payments accepted
Disabled parking available

Facilities and access

  • Castle building and visitor information point - closed
  • Café - closed
  • Takeaway Diner - closed
  • Cycle hire - open
  • Picnic areas - open
  • Kielder Observatory - closed
  • Forest Drive - closed

Kielder Castle visitor centre is currently closed for an eagerly anticipated redevelopment of the ground floor and courtyard. We hope work will be completed in 2023, when the centre will reopen with an enlarged cafe space and rooms to sit and relax. There will be more information in the coming months on how the development will progress.

Food to go is available at present in the grounds at Kielder Castle. The Sea Diner is serving an array of freshly cooked take-away food, including the Fishy Friday specials where freshly caught fish from the Northumberland or Scottish North Sea Waters are served!

For more information on planning your visit, take a look at our accessibility information:

Accessible toilet
Assistant dogs welcome
Baby changing facilities
Dogs allowed
Easy access trail
Picnic area

Contact details

Discover endless opportunity at England's largest forest

Please note Kielder Castle is shut until further notice, including the main cafe. Takeaway food and drink facilities are available.

A visit to Kielder Castle visitor centre will uncover many surprises. Get lost in the Minotaur Maze, discover the fascinating night sky or walk along the unique Lakeside Way, a 26 mile multi-use path around the lake which can be accessed from Kielder CastleYou can discover the amazing night sky – perhaps from the comfort of your campervan, as Forestry England car parks can be used to stay overnight for just £10.

For families we have the fantastic Gruffalo Spotters trail which starts at Kielder Castle. We also have one of England's largest mountain bike trail networks! Located adjacent to Kielder Castle is the Kielder Cycle Centre which offers bikes for all ages and disciplines as well as up to date, electric assisted cycles. We advise pre-booking rental bikes as demand is high at present.

Kielder is a great place to see a variety of wildlife. From April to August, live camera footage is shown daily from Northumberland's only breeding osprey population which is now the largest natural colony in the UK with an impressive 6 nests per seasonKielder Salmon Centre is also close to Kielder Castle and gives a real insight the fantastic work the Environment Agency carry out in the area, including rearing salmon and also protecting pearl mussels.

Kielder Forest Drive is open 1 May - 1 December 2022.

You can even explore the forest from the comfort of your car along the Kielder Forest Drive, which starts at Kielder Castle it should be noted this is an unsurfaced road and best suited for 4x4 vehicles, not a suitable road for low to the ground vehicles.

At a glance

Castle building and visitor information point is currently closed
23/05/2022 15:51

Whether you've just bought your first bike or are searching out single-track, Kielder Forest offers a fantastic opportunity for natural cycling.

With over 100 miles of trail, much of it single-track and all of it traffic-free, Kielder has a trail for you. 


This is a pleasant stroll thorough the grounds of Kielder Castle and the adjacent woodland. The first half mile of the Duke’s Trail, with slight inclines and fine graded stone and tarmac surface, is designed for use by wheelchair users (with assistance) and families with buggies.

If you venture into the deep dark wood you may bump into the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's Child plus other characters from Julia Donaldson's fantastic story. 

Each wooden sculpture has been carved in a different position - can you find them all?

Post your Gruffalo photos on our Facebook page  - we'd love to see them.

Horse riders are welcome at Kielder Castle and can explore the dozens of miles of tracks and forest roads in the forest.

There are no dedicated horse trails in Kielder Forest, although we recommend that riders use the trails at Kershope. There are no waymarkers but there is a route marked on our map in green. Riders can also utilise the Lakeside Way

No permit is required to ride at Kielder Water and Forest Park. 

Please note that this is a remote location. You should make sure someone knows what time you are due back, especially if riding alone. There is no reliable mobile phone signal in the area. For more information on our facilities, opening times and contact details, please see our visitor information.

Nearby forests

Kielder Water and Forest Park

Although it's England's largest forest, 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.

small un-surfaced trail winding through dark autumnal trees to lake in the distance

With two nearby walking trails and a picnic area, Sidwood is at the heart of this delightful part of Kielder Forest, just two miles from the village of Greenhaugh.

Raised walking path next to stream in the forest

At the northern end of Kielder Forest Drive, Blakehopeburnhaugh is the starting point for the Hindhope Linn walking trail. The trail leads you to the spectacular waterfall in an enchanting dell, a local sight not to be missed!

Reward yourself with a tasty picnic after your forest adventure or if you're keen to discover more, venture over to the Pennine Way long-distance footpath, accessible from the car park. 

Picnic table at sunrise

More than just a picture perfect spot for your next picnic, Warksburn is overlooked by the famous Totem Poles of Stonehaugh village, adding some fascinating depth to the view from your picnic. 

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