Dark Skies

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

Star gazing

Star spotting in Northumberland is a regular occurrence. While Northumberland has many a red-carpet fan, it’s the star-studded galaxies above we’re talking about.

According to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), the vast skies above Kielder Water and Forest Park and Northumberland National Park are the darkest in England. Here, black-velvet skies crackle with billions of stars.

Win a Dark Skies Mini Break

The skies in Northumberland are so deep and so dark that Northumberland National Park along with Kielder Water & Forest Park and Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society have officially been awarded 'Dark Sky Status' by the International Dark Skies Association; the leading international organisation combating light pollution worldwide; to become Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park. Why not book a Stargazing Short Break during your visit to Northumberland, or an evening's stargazing with an astro-guide during a stay in Europe's largest Dark Sky Park?

The kudos of becoming a Dark Sky Park will help ensure the area is kept free from light pollution and will stimulate more opportunities for people to enjoy the night sky.

Billions of shimmering stars making up our Milky Way, a plethora of planets, dazzling meteor showers and the glow of galaxies like Andromeda - the dark skies of Northumberland as seen on Robson Green's Tales from Northumberland are home to star gazing opportunities that are out of this world.

Around 85% of the UK population has never seen a truly dark sky. So for an astronomic experience that won’t cost the universe head to Northumberland for unrivalled stargazing.

The best time for stargazing is during the autumn and winter months, when the nights draw in. You don’t need an expensive telescope. Just pack up a pair of binoculars, a deckchair, take a hot drink and bite to eat and head for rural Northumberland for a star-studded show.

Star gazing at Kielder Observatory

Star gazing at Kielder Observatory - Credit: Gary Fildes

One of Northumberland's favourite tourism attractions Kielder Observatory has an exciting programme of astronomical events throughout the year - Northumberland Dark Sky Events.

p>The Northumberland coast has played a starring role in TV programmes like BBC’s Stargazing Live who featured recent sightings of the Northern Lights here. One of Northumberland’s favourite tourism attractions Kielder Observatory at the award-winning Kielder Water & Forest Parkhas an exciting programme of astronomical events throughout the year.

Northumberland National Park has lots of good sites from which to spot the stars. Officially recognised as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Cawfields Quarry Picnic Site is in the central section of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site near Haltwhistle. Part of a nationwide network of accessible dark sky discovery sites, look out for stargazing events during the year. A 24-hour webcam is on site too, showing weather conditions to help plan your journey in advance.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

For more information, go to www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk, www.visitkielder.com and www.kielderobservatory.org.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

Star gazing

Star spotting in Northumberland is a regular occurrence. While Northumberland has many a red-carpet fan, it’s the star-studded galaxies above we’re talking about.

According to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), the vast skies above Kielder Water and Forest Park and Northumberland National Park are the darkest in England. Here, black-velvet skies crackle with billions of stars.

Win a Dark Skies Mini Break

The skies in Northumberland are so deep and so dark that Northumberland National Park along with Kielder Water & Forest Park and Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society have officially been awarded 'Dark Sky Status' by the International Dark Skies Association; the leading international organisation combating light pollution worldwide; to become Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park. Why not book a Stargazing Short Break during your visit to Northumberland, or an evening's stargazing with an astro-guide during a stay in Europe's largest Dark Sky Park?

The kudos of becoming a Dark Sky Park will help ensure the area is kept free from light pollution and will stimulate more opportunities for people to enjoy the night sky.

Billions of shimmering stars making up our Milky Way, a plethora of planets, dazzling meteor showers and the glow of galaxies like Andromeda - the dark skies of Northumberland as seen on Robson Green's Tales from Northumberland are home to star gazing opportunities that are out of this world.

Around 85% of the UK population has never seen a truly dark sky. So for an astronomic experience that won’t cost the universe head to Northumberland for unrivalled stargazing.

The best time for stargazing is during the autumn and winter months, when the nights draw in. You don’t need an expensive telescope. Just pack up a pair of binoculars, a deckchair, take a hot drink and bite to eat and head for rural Northumberland for a star-studded show.

Star gazing at Kielder Observatory

Star gazing at Kielder Observatory - Credit: Gary Fildes

One of Northumberland's favourite tourism attractions Kielder Observatory has an exciting programme of astronomical events throughout the year - Northumberland Dark Sky Events.

p>The Northumberland coast has played a starring role in TV programmes like BBC’s Stargazing Live who featured recent sightings of the Northern Lights here. One of Northumberland’s favourite tourism attractions Kielder Observatory at the award-winning Kielder Water & Forest Parkhas an exciting programme of astronomical events throughout the year.

Northumberland National Park has lots of good sites from which to spot the stars. Officially recognised as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Cawfields Quarry Picnic Site is in the central section of Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site near Haltwhistle. Part of a nationwide network of accessible dark sky discovery sites, look out for stargazing events during the year. A 24-hour webcam is on site too, showing weather conditions to help plan your journey in advance.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park

For more information, go to www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk, www.visitkielder.com and www.kielderobservatory.org.

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Northumberland's Dark Skies

Astronomers at work in Kielders Cawfields Dark Sky Discovery Site Stunning dark skies in Kielder Milkyway over Kielder Sycamore Gap - Hadrian's Wall Star trail over Kielder Kielder Dark Skies Crammel Linn, near Gilsland Star trails over Kielder Observatory
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