Kielder Observatory is an astronomical attraction at Kielder Water & Forest Park run by the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society. Please visit www.kielderobservatory.org for all event bookings.
Famed for having the darkest night skies in England thanks to minimal light pollution, Kielder Water & Forest Park is a star gazers' heaven and the Observatory offers exciting opportunities for those with an interest in learning more about the night sky.
Like the deck of a ship sailing above the landscape, the Observatory provides astronomers with a permanent facility in the heart of Northumberland. It is part of the art and architecture programme that has turned the park into an open air gallery over the last ten years.
Anyone can visit the Observatory at any time and walk around the decking. However, the turrets and astronomical equipment can only be operated by fully qualified members of the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society (KOAS) during specific events. Check www.kielderobservatory.org for all event listings.
Those wishing to visit during the day can park in the car park for Skyspace* (signed posted from Kielder Castle) and walk up the hill (50 minutes) - there are also excellent views of Kielder Water.
The Observatory is fantastic to visit all year round - the spectacular views are best in summer while the winter nights are darker and better for star gazing.
As part of the process of developing the Observatory project, artist Alec Finlay created 'One Hundred Year Star Diary', an astronomical diary cataloguing all major astronomical events from 2008-2108 with space for owners to write their own notes and observations on the events that they have witnessed. Finlay researched the book with professional astronomers and developed a series of visual representations for each type of event. Please see Star Diary's separate entry for more information. Information about Alec Finlay's work can be found at www.alecfinlay.com
*Skyspace is a circular room which is illuminated by a combination of natural and artificial light at different times of the day. During dawn and dusk, the changing light conditions create a rich and unforgettable display of tone and colour. Both Skyspace and the Observatory are part of the art & architecture programme at Kielder Water & Forest Park.
To reach the observatory make your way to the additional car park for the Skyspace (see map) and begin your walk from there. Distance 1 mile to the Skyspace, a further 0.5 miles to the Observatory. Please note that there is a vehicular barrier beyond the additional car park and although you can obtain a key from the Forestry Commission shop to make it possible to drive as far as the Skyspace, vehicular access after this point is restricted to times when astronomy events are being held.
The Observatory is run by the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society (KOAS) who have developed an access programme to enable people to find out more about astronomy, visit the building and use the astronomical equipment. This programme covers all levels of interest and includes both night and daytime events.
|Kielder Observatory is a venue for ...|
|Northumberland Dark Sky Park, Kielder(Great Outdoors)|
|Astro Photography, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Aurora Night, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Family Astronomy, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Night Sky Safari, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|A Universe Full of Stars, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Autumn Space Kids, Kielder(Workshops)|
|Late Night Dark Skies, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Magnificent Milky Way, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|An Evening with Gary Fildes, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Saturn and the Moon, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Planets & the Search for Life, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Shooting Star Spectacular - Orionids, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Shooting Star Spectacular - Leonids, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Full Moon Party, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Shooting Star Spectacular - Geminids, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Orion; Dark Sky Hunter, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Christmas Aurora Night, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|A Year in Review, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Christmas Late Night Dark Skies, Kielder(Star gazing events)|
|Kielder Observatory is part of Kielder Art and Architecture and so are...|
|Minotaur - Nick Coombe and Shona Kitchen 2003, Kielder (Garden)|
|Janus Chairs Viewpoint, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Cat Cairn: the Kielder Skyspace - James Turrell 2000, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Kielder Observatory, Kielder (Science and Technology)|
|Kielder Column - John Maine 1999, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Mirage - Kisa Kawakami 2006, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Silvas Capitalis - SIMPARCH 2009, Hexham (Great Outdoors)|
|Janus Chairs - Ryder Architecture 2009, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Viewpoints - Tania Kovats 1998, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Mapping mini golf, Kielder (Sport and Leisure)|
|Play Garden - Zone Architects 2006, Kielder (Sightseeing and Leisure)|
|Shadow - Julia Barton 1995, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Freya’s Cabin - Studio Weave 2009, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Belvedere - Softroom Architects 1999, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|55-02 - Sixteen (makers) 2009, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Wave Chamber - Chris Drury 1996, Kielder (Great Outdoors)|
|Stell - Colin Wilbourn 2006, Falstone (Great Outdoors)|
|Type||Entry for||Guide price|
Car parking available
Events must be booked in advance
Open all year
Ticket booking essential
Alix W, Newcastle
Visited on a really cloudy night at the beginning of July, although not being able to see anything Hayden and Dan kept the night extremely interesting and their passion shone through, the hot chocolate was also amazing!
rhonackilpatrick, Glasgow, United Kingdom
We visited on the 15th of July to see late night planets, which was a 3 hour event 12am- 3pm. The staff were very friendly and welcoming at the beginning. We were not hopeful when we arrived as it had been cloudy and rainy all day. We started with a talk inside, and the staff were very keen to get us outside, if possible, so explained that as soon as the opportunity arose they would do so. The sky became clear at several points during the night. We were split in to groups which allowed us to use all the telescopes. We got great views of the moon, various stars and venus. It was well organised for both people with keen interest in astronomy and those who do not know much about it. The staff were very knowledgeable and had a range of backgrounds allowing them to answer any questions we had. They helped us get some amazing pictures of the moon! Would definitely recommend if in the area!!
Husbands birthday one of the bucket list
So on Friday 14th July I took my husband to kielder observatory for part of his birthday (8-11pm) My husband is very interested in astronomy and watches plenty of programmes around this, he finds all of the amazing facts and figures very entertaining.For myself I am more of a person who does love the sky and the stars but from more of a wow isn't that pretty isn't that a breathtaking sight. So for both of these to be catered for this was amazing. You had all the facts and also all the spectacular pictures and meteorite pieces. Sadly it was extremely cloudy but that couldn't be helped it's the joys of living in England. This didn't ruin our night we still thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be back to see some of these amazing sites with our own eyes. The team are very welcoming and friendly and made a great night, thank you 😊⭐️
Well worth the late night!
Steven T, Newcastle and Gateshead, United Kingdom
Having talked about it for a long time we finally visited the kielder observatory for late night planets. After weather watching the whole week beforehand (we booked quite far in advance), we were lucky enough to have clear skies. The result was a fascinating evening full of planets, star clusters, binary systems, and a stunning full moon, made all the more interesting by our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. The full moon and the light summer sky meant that there wasn't as much in terms of stars in the sky, so we look forward to returning in the autumn/winter to see exactly what the protect dark sky above the observatory has to offer.
Janice M, Durham, England, United Kingdom
We visited on July 8th and were really lucky with the weather. Lovely clear night and a full moon. The staff are very informative without being too technical. Used 4 telescopes. Lots of midges, to be expected in a forest in the summer evenings, so no matter how nice it is when you leave home, wear long sleeves and trousers. Be prepared for it to get drastically cooler and take a few layers. Highly recommended if your into this kind of thing.