Dark skies

1,500 square kilometres of Northumberland has been designated an area to conserve and enjoy, making Northumberland, Europe's largest Dark Sky Park and Kielder Forest the third largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the world.


Kielder Forest is famous for the impressive Kielder Observatory. 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.

Northern Lights

The skies above Northumberland are perfectly dark and clear in the winter months making them a great place to see the Northern Lights. Using their official title, Aurora Borealis is a natural light display caused by charged particles colliding in the Earth's atmosphere and is seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemisphere.


Locals and visitors regularly make the pilgrimage to the Northumberland National Park or the coast to catch a glimpse of this incredible phenomenon and flood social media with their fantastic photos. Try the website 'Hidden Northumberland' to see what we mean.



Did you know?

It is estimated that 85% of the UK population has never seen a truly dark sky or experienced the sense of wonder that a clear night filled with billions of stars can give! At Kielder, the skies can be so dark that the Milky Way and even the planet Jupiter can cast shadows, a phenomena many have never seen. From kielderobservatory.org

© 2019 NHS Foundation Trusts in the North East and North Cumbria