Northumberland Dark Skies Festival

Home to England’s first and largest Dark Sky Park (certified by the International Dark Sky Association), Northumberland is now home to its very own Dark Skies Festival.

From 12th February to 21st February 2021, the Northumberland Dark Skies Festival will be hosted by various Dark Skies enthusiasts from some of our most well-known experience providers based in Northumberland.

The Northumberland Dark Skies Festival has a wide range of events and activities to see and do; from fireside chats with local astronomers to night sky guides and interactive live streams.

Due to the current national restrictions regarding Covid-19 in England, the Northumberland Dark Skies Festival will now take place online, but we hope you will be inspired to visit Northumberland International Dark Sky Park in the near future and experience Northumberland’s darkest skies under the cold crisp air at one of the many venues dotted around Northumberland.

For now, as we stay at home, there are lots of ways you can get involved with dark skies from the comfort of your sofa, including the annual CPRE Star Count and Kielder Observatory’s astrophotography art project – Escape Velocity (funded by Northumberland County Council) which will take place during the Dark Skies Festival and will encourage children to take photographs of the dark skies using mobile phones.

Battlesteads Observatory

Battlesteads Observatory, in the picturesque village of Wark, will play host to several moon watch and astronomy for beginners events. 

Starry skies above the Battlesteads Observatory

Kielder Observatory

Kielder Observatory, in the beautiful landscape of Kielder Water and Forest Park, will be hosting 14 events throughout the week on a variety of topics from the aurora to dark matter to exoplanets. Events sell out very quickly so book here! 

Star Trails above Kielder Observatory

Stonehaugh Observatory

Stonehaugh Observatory is the newest addition to the Northumberland star scape and will be hosting a few “bubble” events throughout the week. 

Stonehaugh Star Pavillion

Twice Brewed Observatory

Twice Brewed Observatory, on Hadrian’s Wall, will host several family stargazing events throughout the week. 

The Twice Brewed Public House at night

Interested in Astronomy?

The North East is home to many welcoming astronomy societies, Follow the links below to visit their Facebook Public Groups and Pages:

NASTRO [Northumberland Astronomical Society]

Newcastle upon Tyne Astronomical Society

Sunderland Astronomical Society

Festival Partners

Northumberland Dark Skies Festival 2021 is organised by a partnership: Battlesteads Observatory, Kielder Observatory, Stonehaugh Observatory, Twice Brewed Observatory, and Northumberland National Park.

We hope that 2021 will be the first of many annual Northumberland Dark Skies Festivals to come.