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)|
|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
chico4334, Hinckley, United Kingdom
If you get the chance have a night here. Although we never got to see the northern lights it was still a very good night. The staff who were all extremely knowledgeable , were also very enthusiastic about the nights proceedings. They also spoke to us as people , not down at us as inferiors. I would totally recommend this if in the area.
Kate P, Whitchurch
Visited here September 15 fantastic evening very well organised and despite cloud and rain a great informative presentation was delivered and then the clouds cleared superb views through the telescopes. Great evening one warning wrap up seriously well I had 3 layers on and was still cold but the Hot chocolate did help thaw me out great visit.
Arrived to be greeted by a very friend team of staff - Dave , Alan , Becky and Gary . The whole evening was very well organised and the staff both really knowledgeable and friendly. Becky was so enthusiastic it was unfectious. Only disapointing part was the weather so we were unable to use the telescope at all but that is beyond anyones control. We will return in better weather.
Aurora-Chaser, Lancaster, United Kingdom
What a great Observatory at Kielder, visited an evening event but sadly it was raining. So no stars seen, but lectures given to fill the time by informative staff. Highly recommend this event and well worth a visit.
pondhopper29, Surrey, United Kingdom
You imagine professional observatories like this are just for scientists, but the team here make our visit an incredibly relaxed, interesting and informative experience. We were lucky with the skies (mainly clear) which is obviously not always the case, though the team have a well-grooved programme of talks for less good nights (which we experienced on another evening). If you have binoculars, take them, as the skies are so dark you can see loads with them as well when it's not your turn with the big 'scopes. Highly recommended.