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“Beautiful, even in the rain.”

Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Kielder
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Officially licensed Birds of Prey Centre set in the heart of beautiful Kielder Water and Forest Park, the only place in Britain with dark sky status.
Chesterfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Beautiful, even in the rain.”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

The whole area is stunning, I did not actually stop on my way through, as unfortunately for me, the weather was against me. It was throwing it down, even though I had my full length wax coat, I really didnt want to walk around in it.

Through the windows I could see how beautiful the area is, and couldnt help imagining how much I would enjoy it more on a better day.

I saw Buzzards, Kestrels, and I think I saw a flash of a Red Squirrel, (I saw a red flash, but Im counting it!!!) and a small Grey coloured bird, which we are still arguing about, I think it was a Peregrine Falcon, Dad thinks it was a Pigeon!

(I know what a pigeon looks like! And that didnt look like one!!)

I will certainly return! Perhaps earlier in the year, next time.

I cant really comment on available activities as I didnt partake in any.

Visited October 2013
Thank Ezzy2525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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294 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic!!”
Reviewed October 9, 2013 via mobile

We were very excited to check out this birds of prey centre, and I must admit on arrival we were a little unsure. We felt that the birds didn't seem to have quite the freedom we thought they needed, but after the first five minutes of speaking to Ray, who seems to be the owner, our doubts were immediately thrown out of the window. He explained the careful regimes that are needed to care for all of the birds and to make sure that they maintain a healthy weight, especially in colder weather, and that they are all flown each day for 9 months, then have 3 months to rest and moult, in which they are fattened up and need to be kept from flying otherwise they would burn too much energy and would become ill. It was evident from everything Ray did and said that he cares intensely for his birds, and does everything in his power to make sure they are perfectly heathy, happy, and well trained. Jonathan, the other lad who chatted to us about the birds while we were there was also very friendly and knowledgeable. It was great to see such chatty, happy members of staff who were so happy to answer absolutely any question you had, including those they were used to from unaware people such as ourselves, like questions of why they cannot be given free reign, and why they don't even need free reign.
I am very disappointed at the negative reviews on here, that have said the birds looked 'unhappy' and 'wanted to fly away'; if these visitors had only taken the time and effort to have a chat to Ray, they would have been completely satisfied and happy that the birds were all looked after perfectly, just as we were. There was also mention of 'lack of information'; I, for one, preferred the casual chatty touch of being able to find out anything and everything you wanted about the birds themselves and the centre, from the members of staff who were more than willing to tell you everything you wanted to know. When little bits of paper, and signs with minimal information, are introduced into centres such as this, that's when it becomes too commercial, lazy, and the staff members less involved; so I loved it exactly the way it was.
In way of things that we were able to experience, we first had a wander around the centre, took lots of pictures (which were very much encouraged) and took in the beauty of the birds. We then headed over to an area in which they keep birds that are particularly at ease with human handling, and were able to stroke a little screech owl, Tilly, who was so happy to let you stroke her that she would even preen herself while being stroked! We found out that in the wild, these hours would likely live not much longer than 2 years, and yet bred in captivity, Tilly was just over 10 years old and expected to live another 10 yet!! I think that says a lot about what captivity actually does for these stunning creatures. We then, after a lovely chat with Jonathan and Ray, moved onto watch an absolutely incredible demonstration, in which we saw gyr/peregrine hybrid crosses flying free, a kestrel sitting on people's heads (including mine), everyone was invited and convinced to have a turn at wearing the glove and having each bird fly to them and sit on their hand, which I was absolutely ecstatic about, and we were given a special treat in having a young bald eagle fly over our heads too! We were then given a very very special treat.. I inquired about the little owls that we could find in this country, and Ray pulled us to a side and allowed me to hold and feed Ollie, one of their little owls, who was absolutely beautiful and such a gannet! He then allowed my partner to hold and feed a Harris Hawk called Lucky, and we were both prompted to take as man photos as we wanted.
All in all, a truly amazing experience, we were so so glad we checked out the place, I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone, whether it be couples, families, schools, or even a lone traveller. I hope we get to visit again someday!

1 Thank Sam D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Helens, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“great place”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

An amazing experience to be able to watch the birds of prey flying inches above your head. The staff are very informative and the relationship they have with the birds is very evident in the demonstrations. The centre has an area in which you can actually touch the little owl "Tilly" who seems to lap up the attention. The birds are clearly well looked after and I was very happy to have a vulture land on my hand. A great experience provided by a dedicated team.

Visited September 2013
Thank mand15StHelens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic visit”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

My family and I visited this attraction in Northumberland during the summer holidays. It was fantastic and the children have not stopped talking bout it since. The staff were welcoming and friendly. The demonstrations with different types of birds were wonderful. Both my children got opportunities to hold different birds and we had quite a surprise when the pelicans waddled past. The staff took time to explain the birds to us and showed us how they feed the babies. A highlight for us was a walking through the woods with a hawk and his handler. We had to book this separately for another morning but it was worth the return visit and fabulous to see the bird flying from either us, the handler or from tree to tree. The walk was just over two hours but my 7 and 9 year olds were enthralled by the adventure. I hope to be able to return soon.

Visited July 2013
Thank Natasha C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Really cool experience”
Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

Having just returned a couple days ago I thought I should put a review about this place. All I can really say is go. Although it is small,it's well worth a visit.there is a nice collection of hawks,owls etc and are all well kept in a nice enviroment.you pay just once and you can return as many times as you like in the day.while there we got to feed a small owl and then we got to have a few owls and a black vulture land on your hand which was really cool.all in all a nice place with friendly staff for not much money

Visited September 2013
Thank Danny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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