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
could of been better...
peter b, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
visisted on the 6th august, complete washout, seen nothing, but thats the good old british weather talk at the beginning was informative, very inteligant - but ALOT of mention of the big bang as if it was fact? didn't enjoy that part. Dan who showed us telescope was a great guy, great explanation of everything, told us apps to use to track the skies and photo shop apps The other dan showed us the other one, and showed us what we could of seen if we had went the previous night, great pics and vids. ended with a talk about finding life on other planets, didn't enjoy this as much and may have been better for a Q&Q, show us pics or vids instead? i will try and make it back sometime to look at the stars, fingers crossed
Despite the weather being naff so I couldn't look through telescopes I had a lovely time. We watched and listened to a few presentations and got to look at different software to track stars ( suns ) and look round. It was good to see things under the miccroscopes and I feel the team make an incredible hot choc. I thought Dan was amazing. Thank you Dan.
Hallamri, St Ives, United Kingdom
We attended the observatory for the Aurora night. We knew at the time of booking that chances of actually seeing the Aurora on the evening would be virtually none existent. However the talk about the Aurora was second to none, pitched at the right level very informative and entertaining. As the skies cleared outside we were treated to spectacular views of Saturn, the Moon (which we were able to get great shots of on our phones through the telescopes) , countless stars along with a perfectly timed pass of the International Space Station. The team were exceptional. They were clearly experts in their fields but down to earth (sorry) and entertaining. I think we would have had a great time even if it had been cloudy. Well worth the visit.
A wonderful place to see the stars and planets. All staff are highly qualified and explain the basics in laymen terms. We saw Saturn with it's beautiful rings, Jupiter and it's moons, not to mention a beautiful Moon rise! Just one word of warning - cover up or you will get bitten badly by the insects!!
Worth a visit!
Chelsea F, Cleckheaton, United Kingdom
Definately a must for a entertaining evening at a reasonable cost when visiting kielder. My partner loves space so this was right up his street for his birthday. We were unfortunate to visit on a partly cloudy night but the team still managed to get us to see the moon up close, viewing its craters and mountain ranges and then we also manage a quick glimpse of Saturn! The lectures were very informative and inspirational carried out by an enthusiastic and entertaining team. Warm beverages were a great touch at the end. Only negatives were the group was too large only allowing seconds of viewing through the telescopes at a time. Most of the time was spent being lectured but this may of been due to the conditions. Came away with alot more knowledge of sun, the northern nights and meteors.