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Kielder Forest and
Kielder Castle Forest Park Centre

nr Bellingham, Northumberland

Featured Location Guide

Kielder at 250 square miles, is England's largest and most productive forest. It also has 600km of waterways, Kielder Water reservoir at its centre. There are 9 Sites of Special Scientific Interest covering some 7,500 hectares. These sites include ancient woodland, fossil trees, geological sites, moorlands and Border Mire peat bogs.

Wildlife to be found in the forest include:
  • Red Squirrel, one of its largest remaining strongholds in the country.
  • Otters are today a more common around the major waterways.
  • Roe Deer - to catch a glimpse of these shy creatures, the forestry commission run Deer Watch events
  • Birds include: Goshawks, siskin, crossbill, kestrel, buzzard, tawny owl, barn owl and song thrush.
  • Insects and Reptiles can include: Adders, slow worms

See Larger ImageKielder Path thekelticfringe

Bakethin Raptor Viewpoint

Kielder Castle - Built in 1775 as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland, it is now the focal point for visitors to the forest. The Castle itself houses a series of exhibitions about the forest and its wildlife, together with an information centre, gift shop and licensed restaurant. It can be accessed from the northern end of Kielder Water off the C200, situated in Kielder village.

Access to part of the mires has been improved by the completion of the Bellcrag boardwalk. This timber walkway surrounds one of the best ponds for dragonflies in Northumberland and links into the Pennine Way.

Activities which take place in the park include:

  • A number of walking routes
  • A 12 mile forest drive from Kielder Castle to the A68
  • Fishing (by permit available from Castle)
  • Many forms of watersports on Kielder Water
  • Orienteering courses
  • Cycle route and a treasure hunt
  • The Duchess Gallery within the Castle houses monthly exhibitions of local artists.
  • Bird and squirrel feeding stations within the castle grounds
  • The Arboretum contains a number of wooden sculptures

See Larger Image Kielder Forest

See Larger Image Kielder Water

See Larger Image Kielder Forest 

Further information Grid


Kielder Forest, Nr Bellingham, Northumberland

Ceremonial County: Northumberland

Grid Reference:


Map Link:

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Aerial photo:

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Best Times to Visit:





Kielder Forest

Other useful websites:


Nearby Locations: Kielder Castle Forest Park Centre
Other Relevant pages: Red Squirrel


Planning Grid


Kielder Forest, Nr Bellingham, Northumberland

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

From Bellingham 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.


Access to the forest can be gained from a number of points along the C200, alternatively continue to Kielder Castle Forest Park Centre at the northern end of Kielder Water.




Visitor Centre, information points, toilets, picnic areas, forest shop, cafe

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

walks, reservoir, peat bogs, wildlife activities

What to take:

long lens, panoramic kit, water to drink, picnic

Nature highlights:

Red squirrels, woodland and other woodland birds and creatures


Kielder Castle


NE48 1ER


01434 250209

Opening times:

For Kielder Castle - Jan-Easter Closed. Easter-October 10am - 5pm

Nov-Dec weekends only 11am-5pm. Closed Xmas and Near Year


3 parking fee

Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Easy access to all areas,
Special Needs Facilities: special parking areas, ramp/level access to castle, toilets
Children Facilities: play area
Dogs Allowed:  

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section: Nature/Flora/Countryside Key:
Page Ref: kielder_forest Topic: Woodlands and Forests  Last Updated: 09/2009

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