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
Staff were a joy to behold
The enthusiasm of the staff filled my heart with glee. I can only remember Hayden's name (sorry!) but he was a joy to behold. Funny and informative. We didn't stay till the end as we were absolutely freezing but we still had a truly brilliant night. Thanks all. Keep up the great work.
Visited 30/9/17 lovely clear night could see thousands of stars.Staff very friendly and informative willing to answer any questions you may have.Saw international space station, shooting stars.Wear warm clothes as it is very cold.Drive up to observatory takes about 10minutes up hill on forest road.Well worth a visit.
Attended the aurora night. We were very lucky to have stunning clear skys. The whole experience was fantastic from start to finish, the guys were very knowledgeable and the night was very interesting. Definitely recommend this as an attraction. Take warm clothes as itnis very cold even in September
Rain, massive cloud cover but it still worked
Robin A, Peterborough, United Kingdom
We picked a bad night to go. It was raining and there were no breaks in the cloud cover. The organisers did their best to entertain us and we enjoyed listening to them and looking at telescopes.
We were so lucky to have a clear night
sue682015, Northallerton, United Kingdom
After many cloudy nights we were lucky to have totally clear skies. The staff are so enthusiastic and knowledgable. Make sure you wrap up well as it is very cold up there even in September.