Kielder Water & Forest Park | Kielder | Northumberland | NE48 1ER
Nestled in the Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland, Kielder Observatory is a spectacular experience for all the family. At nearly 580 square miles, our dark sky zone, known at Northumberland and Kielder Water & Forest International Dark Sky Park, is the second largest area of protected night sky in Europe. Here the stargazing can be breath-taking: the ‘Kielder moment’ is very special, the moment that visitors look up at the glittering skies and realise that they’re completely connected to this vast cosmos, yet utterly unique within it.
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 Kielder Water and Forest Park into an open-air gallery over the last 10 years.
The observatory hosts events to suit everyone: there are family events to entertain young explorers; relaxed events for people with different abilities; introductory events; legends behind the constellations events; and events focusing on phenomena such as the aurora, our moon, dark matter, and exoplanets.
Access to the Observatory is for ticket-holders only: booking is essential and can be done via the website. The access track is 2 miles long, uncased and single lane so is only opened for events one hour before to ensure traffic up and down the track is managed properly. Visitors can walk up to the Observatory during the day and enjoy the spectacular views but there are no facilities available during the day.
Close to the Observatory is James Turrell's Kielder Skyspace, a circular sculpture which is illuminated by a combination of natural and artificial light. Skyspace can be accessed via the track to the Observatory. During dusk, the LED lighting system is triggered and as the exterior light changes - the effect is a rich and unforgettable display of tone and colour.
Kielder Observatory — a beacon for dark skies. Come and find your infinite inspiration.
For more information about Northumberland International Dark Sky Park see our Dark Skies page.
Come here to:
- Learn about the night sky and use the powerful telescopes.
- Meet experienced astronomers and learn how to take stunning photographs of distant objects in the Universe.
- Experience meteor showers (shooting stars) and other celestial events.
Kielder Observatory is also part of the art and architecture programme. Find out more about its striking design here.