Kielder hosts one of the best public observatories in the UK. Its remote location at the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park allows the observatory to benefit from dark skies free from light pollution. The journey to the observatory takes in wonderful views around Kielder Reservoir and Kielder Forest. Experienced astronomers and friendly staff always offer an enjoyable event no matter the weather.
The observatory runs events 7 nights a week and for most nights particularly weekends booking is required several weeks in advance of visiting. Tickets for weekend events around each new moon (the best time to visit) always sell out and therefore priced at a premium.
For the best stargazing experience plan your visit during the observing season (September to March) when the evening skies are dark. Avoid periods around full moon when the skies suffer the moon’s natural light pollution. Use our dark sky calendar to see when is the best time to visit Kielder Observatory and book early!
Photograph used with kind permission from Astro Matt Photography.
Location event organiser
Kielder Observatory organises stargazing events at this location.
Dark sky discovery site
Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site this location is accessible by members of the public and are officially recognised as excellent places to stargaze. Such locations often have free overnight car parking, some have toilet facilities however rarely allow overnight camping.
Location has an observatory that is accessible to the public by prior arrangement or during public events.
Location light pollution
When to stargaze at Kielder Observatory
This location's dark site setting means it benefits from dark skies depending on the time of the year and lunar cycle. In the calendar below where you can see stars indicates when the skies will be dark and the best time to stargaze. Yellow areas show the adverse effects of daylight (bold) and moonlight (faded). Hover over a day to see darkness times or click on a date for more information.