Kielder Castle Overnighter

Back to the lovely Kielder Water & Forest Park for an overnighter in the Jimny. This time we stayed at Kielder Castle and it was an absolute corker!

Kielder are trialing a £10 overnight car camping fee at 3 locations. Kielder Castle, Tower Knowe and Elf Kirk Viewpoint. You pay for the ticket at the Castle carpark (and you really should pay, don’t be one of those free loaders!), proceeds go towards maintaining the amazing forest park. Absolute bargain 🙂

We parked up and spent a few hours walking around the trails. Having left our walking boots at home ??‍♂️we ended up walking the kids trail 🙂 it was actually really nice. Full of wood carvings or all kinds of woodland animals and the gruffalo.

As it was late in the afternoon the walk was pretty quiet with only a few mountain bikers spotted in the distance. There’s a lot of brilliant mountain bike trails at Kielder if that floats your boat.


After the walk and a coffee by river…

Sat here for a quick drink

…we headed back to the Jimny to get setup for the night, grab a bite to eat and have a few drinks.

We expected the castle car park to have quite a few people car camping as it was really busy when we arrived. As luck would have it we had the entire place to ourselves.

The setup is really starting to come into its own now. We’re taking less stuff each trip, gradually refining what we really need. It took 10 minutes to setup. So simple:

  1. Pop the tent = ⏱7:00
  2. Roll out the bedding = ⏱0:30
  3. Set up the camp kitchen = ⏱2:30 (optional)

The midges were out in force but we luckily had a citronella candle and a full bottle of deet (my wife still got bit a lot for some reason ??‍♂️).

Minimal Setup

The clouds flew in as the sun went down… bastards! So no star gazing for us. Not too worry, it was warm and unbelievably quiet. Quite eerie in fact, not even the sound of the wind, it was so still. At around 10pm the silence was broken by an owl which was pretty cool.

Slept well again, just the usual broken sleep that comes default with camping. We still got around 7 hours sleep though so felt good in the morning.

The plan for the morning before we headed home was to do the Kielder Forest Drive. A spectacular 12 mile (19 km) drive on a forest road with breathtaking views over Northumberland. Only a £3 toll ?

We loved this drive. I’m sure you’ll be fine in a normal car but they recommend a 4×4 for some reason, maybe it can get a bit rough in certain weather.

At the halfway point you’re rewarded with a cool wooden structure call ‘The Nick’ designed and built by students from a Newcastle university. A cracking place to spend the night star gazing if you’re lucky with clear skies.

You can’t beat Kielder for giving you something to remember each time you visit. We’ll be back here soon.

For the Jimny roof tent geeks we averaged around 38 mpg this time.

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