Kielder Observatory

Kielder Water and Forest Park
NE48 1ER

0191 265 5510

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:TripadvisorBased on 826 reviews
Find within approx miles of Kielder Observatory



Kielder Observatory is an astronomical attraction at Kielder Water & Forest Park run by the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society. Please visit 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.

The observatory runs a wide variety of events every evening with extra at weekends and school holidays; from main evening observing evenings to shorter educational family events and specialist science events. Check for all event listings and to book places. Please note pre-booking is essential. 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.

To reach the observatory, follow signs up the forest track and park at the top car park. The track will be opened approx. 1 hour before the start of your event, access is only for those with tickets for that event. Those wishing to visit during the day to enjoy views down to Kielder Water (facility will be closed) can park in the car park for Skyspace* just off the main road and walk up the hill (50 minutes). Please note that there is a vehicular barrier beyond the bottom 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.

*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.

Road directions

Sat-nav users beware, the observatory does not have a postcode.


Coming northbound from Bellingham the turn off for the observatory is about 1/2 mile before Kielder Village (NE48 1ER), the track is clearly marked with a brown road tourism sign labelled "Kielder Skyspace and Observatory".

Southbound from Scotland drive straight past Kielder Village (NE48 1ER) then the turn off for the observatory is about 1/2 mile after the village, the track is clearly marked with a brown road tourism sign labelled "Kielder Skyspace and Observatory".


The track will be opened to vehicles 1 hr before the event starts and it is a further 2 miles through the forest to the observatory visitor car park. If the track is not open when you arrive please wait for a staff member to arrive, the track is suitable for most vehicles but do not exceed 15mph. Disabled visitors may park beside the observatory building. We have no waiting area so if you arrive very early please wait in the decking area or in your vehicle.

Kielder Observatory features in the itinerary...
Family Fun
Day Trip Must Sees
Discover Kielder


Ticketing and entry prices for Kielder Observatory

Type Entry for Guide price
(External Viewpoint)
per ticket
Car parking available at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Car parking available
Online booking at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Book online
Event venue at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Event venue
Events must be booked in advance
Open all year at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Open all year
 at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Ticket booking essential
Guided Tours at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Guided Tours
Toilet Facilities at Kielder Observatory Science and Technology Attraction Toilet facilities
Certificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of ExcellenceCertificate of Excellence

We are insignificant!

WanderingRailman, Lincoln, United Kingdom
Booked the Aurora night, but didn't really think we would see it, and we didn't! But what we did see on a clear pitch black night, was more stars than I have ever seen in my 56 years, including Saturn, Mars, the milky way, and more all through the great telescopes. The team are young, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, funny, and get you engaged in a great evening. Ask any question and they will answer. This is a charity, so buy the plastic mug for your hot drink as it all goes back to the observatory, and what's £3.75 when you've just looked at a star 1300 light years away! Do this visit and then re-think where you sit in the universe.

Night visit

848kevanm, Runcorn
Visited this Tuesday was a bit cloudy but kept clearing to view a magical scene of stars and galaxy's I would imagine on a clear night it would be even more spectacular the staff are so knowledgeable and enthusiastic and manage to explain the intracasies of the night sky so I was able to understand some of it and advice is to wrap up warm and take it easy on the approach road well worth the money will go again

Out of This World

saltea1, Manchester, United Kingdom
Wow, wow, wow! Buckle up & prepare to be blown away & not necessarily by the weather! However, warm clothing IS very strongly advised as everything is outside & it can get very chilly. Only warmth is a log burner during pre-gazing talks & your complimentary & very welcome hot drink. The staff are amazing, incredibly enthusiastic, funny & so knowledgable you get every conceivable Q&A solved. Photography experts on hand as well as Astrophysicists. All 3 telescope stations staffed at all times & moved regularly so nobody gets bored. They have huge Star Wars like lasers to point out the night sky & each individual constellation’s shape. Everywhere is level access (great for wheelchairs) as only lit by dim red light, so steps would be a trip hazzard. Accessible facilities too, which are quite a novelty being off grid but kept perfectly clean & certainly NOT offensive. Highly recommend. Will certainly be going again on next visit.

No view but still very interesting.

Andrew B,
Unfortunately nothing to see when we went. Although we did still learn a lot. The two guys were nice and very knowledgeable. Apart from the fact there was nothing to view, the real issue is the road to get there. I know this can’t be helped at all. What I will suggest is that if you’re going on an evening, head over to kielder early and see other things in the area. Or it’s a long way to go for a look at nothing if the clouds come. Will try again for on a clear evening.

Great Night Stargazing!

Mike_JPL, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Really enjoyed our informative and educational night here. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Well worth getting up and staying awake till the early morning. Will definitely return.

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