Kielder

About the Village

At the head of the reservoir, Kielder was once a wild and uncultivated fastness, surrounded by moors and bogs. It is now a purpose-built forestry village cocooned by alpine spruce and pine trees. Before the turn of the century Kielder Castle, which stands guard over the village, would have been hidden and alone at the valley head. It was built in 1775 by the Duke of Northumberland as his hunting lodge. Shooting parties travelled from London on the sleeper and were met at the station by pony and trap. To carry home a bag of 200 brace of grouse and blackcock in a day was not unusual. The village is a small oasis for the cyclist with a shop, pub and post office. The whole area is now far more accessible as multi-purpose tracks have been put in from the dam almost as far as the village, thanks to the Kielder Partnership. This avoids roads which, during the summer, become horribly busy.

Places of Interest

Kielder Castle Forest Shop, tea room, WCs
Kielder YHA
01434 250195
Kielder Castle Visitor Centre
01434 250 209

Cycle Shops

The Bike Place. Operates rescue service and repairs, accessories and clothing. Hire service. Big business in a small place. Unit 3, River Mead, Kielder NE48 1HX. Ian Bell 01434 250 457

Kielder Water

A wild and romantic place, Kielder Water is in the heart of Border Reiver country. It is hard to imagine the cattle rustling, kidnapping and arson that flourished here in the 15th and 16th centuries. Today
Kielder’s stunning scenery, peace and quiet welcome all visitors. There is a wealth of facilities for the cyclist here. Northumbria Water, who created the reservoir, has been responsible for a good deal of the inspiration behind the Reivers Cycle Route. Sadly, the Reivers Rest at the Leaplish Waterside Park has been closed down for the foreseeable future. Any developments on that front will be posted.

Tower Knowe Visitor Centre: 0870 2403549. An Information Centre with extensive gift shop and audio visual exhibition. Situated on the south bank very near the dam wall. Open daily 10-4/5. There is a ferry point, souvenir and fishing shop, exhibition centre, picnic area, extensive lavatory facilities, selfguided trails, a sailing club and a restaurant.

Leaplish Waterside Park: 0870 240 3549. Heated swimming pool and sauna, campsite, accommodation together with a licensed restaurant, sculpture trail, bird of prey centre, and much more. Open from April-October.

Kielder Ferry Service: 0870 240 3549. 80-seater cruiser takes you round lake, from Tower Knowe to Leaplish to Kielder Castle. Facilities on board include bar, commentary, shop, heated lounge and toilets.

Kielder Water Club: sailing club and yacht club plus a water-ski club. Watercraft hire: 01434 250217. Range of canoes, kayaks, toppers, wayfarers and dinghies.

Cycling: yes, even cycling. Aside from the Reivers, there are many different routes around Kielder which might interest those of you who are doing a detour here, or perhaps meeting up with the family. Get a ‘Cycling at Kielder’ brochure from Tower Knowe or Leaplish Waterside Park.

Kielder Castle: 01434 250209. Former hunting lodge of the Duke of Northumberland overlooks Kielder Village and is open daily from April to October.