Dark Skies in the Heart of Northumberland

Did you know that the rural areas of Northumberland, the National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park have the darkest skies in all of England?

It’s a sad fact that an estimated 85% of the UK has never seen a truly dark sky, gazed upon the Milky Way or experienced the sense of wonder that a clear night crackling with billions of stars can give. With the help of popular TV programmes like BBC’s Stargazing Live there is a growing interest in amateur astronomy and star gazing.

This video was produced for Northumberland National Park by Cain Scrimgeour (www.cainscrimgeour.co.uk). Camera Assistance by Gary Storey. Locations (in order of appearance):

Crammel Linn, Thirwall Castle, Thirwall Castle, Cawfields, Cuddy’s Crag Hadrian’s Wall, Sycamore Gap, Simonside, Winters Gibbet, Harwood Forest, Beanley, Davidson’s Linn, Ingram Valley, Auchope Mountain Hut, Kielder Observatory in Kielder Water and Forest Park

Northumberland National Park by Night Music – ‘Turbulence’ by Marc Burt. Used with permission.

To help tackle the issue of light pollution and to provide new opportunities for you to enjoy the night sky, the National Park Authority is embarking on an exciting journey.

The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) is the leading international organisation combating light pollution worldwide. The IDA awards the designations of ‘Dark Sky Reserve’ or Dark Sky Park’ to those wild and remote places that demonstrate an ability to conserve the dark skies above them and are committed to providing opportunities for the public to enjoy them.

Northumberland National Park Authority, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society were awarded the title of Northumberland Dark Sky Park in December 2013. This means nearly 1500 square kilometres of Northumberland has been designated an area to conserve and enjoy, making Northumberland, Europe’s largest Dark Sky Park.

Dark Sky Holidays

The Heart of Northumberland is the ideal place to stay to experience a night sky like no other! 

We have a huge range of accommodation available to choose from as well as specialist excursions and tours, with the darkest skies being found between September and March.

In the following accommodation guests can expect a good viewing site with controlled lighting on or close to the property with stargazing binoculars / telescope, reference books, chairs and rugs available.