Do Look Up!

It’s true! The Andromeda Galaxy is hurtling towards us at 25,000 miles per hour!, but don’t worry, it won’t collide with our galaxy, the Milky Way for another 4 billion years. In the meantime, why not just enjoy the view by attending some of the events included in this year’s programme for the Northumberland Dark Skies Festival in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, England’s first and largest Dark Sky Park.

The Northumberland Dark Skies Festival will take place between 12th – 28th February and comprises events from all five observatories in Northumberland: Battlesteads, Kielder, Stonehaugh, Twice Brewed & Allenheads. There will be a wide variety of things to see and do – from beginner events for families, to more specialised astrophotography workshops on how to photograph the Aurora.

Coinciding with the Festival, the National Park Authority will be hosting its own Northumberland Dark Skies exhibition at The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre, between the 19th February and late April 2022. The free exhibition is aimed at families with children (8 – 11) and beginners with little or no knowledge of astronomy and will include a gallery of night-time landscape photography, displays on what to see in the night sky and how to conserve our dark skies, with hands-on activities and a showcase of telescopes and meteorites on display.

Once again, the CPRE Star Count will take place between the 26th February – 6th March, an opportunity for us all to count how many stars we can see in the constellation of Orion from our own back yard, to help monitor the effect of light pollution on our dark skies.

We will continue to update this page with new events and full details on offer.  We hope you will be inspired to visit Northumberland International Dark Sky Park in the near future and experience our incredible dark skies at one of the many amazing observatories and venues dotted around Northumberland.

Visit our What’s On Page to discover exciting Dark Skies Festival events taking place during the festival.

Northumberland Internation Dark Sky Park logo


Discover our Dark Skies

See the beauty of Northumberland's dark skies in this incredible video.


Discover more about the exciting range of Northumberland Observatories; perfect to soaking in our incredible dark skies.

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 pub under a blanket of stars at night

North Pennines Observatory @ ACA

The North Pennines Observatory is now being run by ACA, Allenheads Contemporary Arts, at the The Old School House Allenheads.  With panoramic views over the remote landscape and breath-taking views up to the southern skies they offer memorable stargazing experiences.

A photograph of the North Pennines Observatory

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 2022 is organised by a partnership: Battlesteads Observatory, Kielder Observatory, Stonehaugh Observatory, Twice Brewed Observatory, and Northumberland National Park.