Saturday 9th January 2021

ENTRY UPDATE: Unfortunately we will not be going ahead with this event for January 2021. Details HERE

"Deep in the heart of Northumberland you can experience a night sky which is out of this world”

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The Kielder night trail run is open to all abilities of runners. You will be tackling some of the amazing trails that Kielder Forest has to offer including single track, open forest tracks and even a 'bit' of mud! All runners must run with a head torch and suitable trail shoes. Kielder's weather climate in January will add to the fun! You will either be running in snow, rain or if your lucky a lovely crisp evening under the stars in the dark skies of Kielder.

"Absolutely fantastic loved every slippy, muddy, dark minute off it with the added bonus of coming forth woman thank you very much for this fab race" Ali Kidger


Read more participant feedback HERE

“Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is England’s first Dark Sky Park and the largest expanse of dark night sky in the whole of Europe, thanks to minimal light pollution” (Source: Visit Kielder).

According to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), the star-studded skies above Kielder Water & Forest Park are the darkest in England.

The best time for viewing is during the winter months, when the nights are darkest. Combine this with an awesome trail running route on a great mixture of forest trails then what further incentive do you need to pack your head torch, some warm winter gear & experience this amazing night run set in the beautiful confines of Kielder Forest.


Date: Saturday 9th January, 2021     Distance: 10km   Entry Fee: £25   Time Limit: 2:30hrs


Start Time: 1700       Registration: 1500-1630.   Event numbers will be issued at registration. Event briefing notes will be available on Wednesday 6th January.  


 Venue:  The event is to be based at Kielder Castle Visitor Centre, Kielder, Northumberland, NE48 1ER. This is ideal for families & supporters.



10k Course: Starting from Kielder Castle, formerly the hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland, the route initially follows the 'Duke's Trail' for the first few miles on a mixture of surfaced roads & forest paths before returning through the grounds of the Castle.

Then it’s back out, past the Minotaur Maze picking up the trail through Viaduct Wood along the banks of the River North Tyne. This leads onto a loop which initially crosses underneath then across the historical Kielder Viaduct. The route then follows the course of the old railway line alongside Bakethin Nature Reserve, leading onto a section of the Lakeside way multi-user trail to reach Bakethin Weir.

The route now follows the forest road leading up a steady climb past Devil's Lapful to reach the junction at Castle Hill. This is followed by an exhilarating single track descent to reach ‘The Duchess Trail’ running alongside Kielder Burn. Cross the old pack horse bridge returning back to Kielder Castle to a well deserved finish.

Total Ascent: 205 meters

Click on the map to view a larger version

The course will be marshalled at various points...

 The course will be fully marked so all you need to do is follow the route & look out for the forest animals...

Nocturnal wildlife: There are many nocturnal animals living in the Dark Sky Park, including barn owls, bats, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs & Gruffalo. These animals rely on dark nights to forage for food and hunt their prey…

Kielder Castle cafe will now be staying open late for the event, providing hot food & drinks both before & after the event. Warm up, refuel & enjoy the open log fire in this cosy family run cafe... 

Included: Professionally run event, qualified & experienced personnel at various checkpoints, qualified medical support, online registration, electronic chip timing, fully marked routes, refreshments at finish, medal to all finishers, a great event venue & contribution to Kielder Water & Forest Park (This helps towards trail maintenance).

Event Terms and Conditions

Parking: Event parking is at Kielder Castle Visitor Centre car park (pay & display) which is just a few minutes’ walk to the castle. 

Previous Results:

2016  Here

2018 HERE

Some Facts: At nearly 580sq miles, the dark sky zone, known as Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, is the largest Dark Sky Park area of protected night sky in Europe. It is the first of its kind in England and the fourth largest in the world, joining the likes of Death Valley and Big Bend Dark Sky Parks in the USA.

What is a Dark Sky Park?
An IDA Dark Sky Park (DSP) is an area of land that is recognised as having an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment.

Rural Northumberland (around the National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park) are not only are the most tranquil places in England, but also have the largest area of dark skies in England. A “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park is the highest level that can be attained by an area being designated for its starry skies.

(Source: Visit Kielder)


For further information on Kielder Dark Skies: