When You Arrive
The observatory has two sets of gates which are opened for events shortly before they start (approx 30 minutes to 1 hour before the event start time). If you arrive to find a locked gate please park in the nearby car park and await a member of staff. The door to the observatory itself is opened approx 10 minutes before each event is due to start.
If you have booked with us (you will need to have booked in advance!) please bring along your booking form/receipt as it will help our volunteers check you in when you arrive — if you do not have your booking form don’t worry as we’ll be able to confirm your booking at the observatory entrance.
Any visit to Kielder is a real adventure, the drive up through the spectacular countryside plays host to over 50% of the entire red squirrel population in the UK with deer, owls and other birds of prey frequently spotted… The drive up the track alone will leave you breathless with excitement!
The observatory track is about 2 miles of forest road with a speed limit of 15 mph. The track is readily passable with care by all vehicles (including camper-vans) however may be unsuitable for low-suspension sports cars. It takes about 10 minutes to drive up the track from the main road to the observatory.
Please be aware that the track up to the observatory is an off road track and in winter time, snow and ice can make driving condtions difficult. If we feel conditions have become too difficult for normal 2 wheel drive vehicles, we hire in specialist off road vehicles to ferry you up the track, allowing you to leave your car parked safely in the lower car park near to the main road.
At Kielder we want you to enjoy the night sky at its best--and that means curbing white light. If you have a red light torch please bring this along, if not then a white light torch is fine. However please bear in mind it takes up to 45 minutes for your eyes to become fully dark adapted, but that can be lost in a fraction of a second by a carelessly pointed torch or car head light. To make sure we all stay happily in the dark, the following simple rules will apply.
- Strictly no laser pointers.
- Please don't blind other guests with powerful head torches - please keep torches pointing down
- For our part, we will ensure that any white light observatory lighting is switched off or masked apart from where need be to comply with health and safety regulations. At Kielder we take light pollution seriously. We will marshal the observatory and politely enforce these simple rules.
Our observatory is a registered charity. Your visit to us is what helps keep us going, so from all of us here at Kielder Observatory, we thank you.
On site we have a toilet, a log fire for those cold winter nights to keep you warm, and our team will offer you a range of hot beverages including our world famous “Kielder Hot Chocolate”, along with sweet snacks which all have an astronomical theme.
Sat Nav users beware! The observatory itself does not have a postcode therefore the following postcode can be used to get you to Kielder Village. If you follow your sat nav to this destination you will arrive at Kielder Castle and will possibly get lost in the village! Please stay on the main road and look for the signpost to "Kielder Skyspace and Observatory", zoom in on our map which clearly shows this.