The Northumberland Night Sky

Looking for the dark side? For superb stellar vistas? Have an inkling for a twinkling? You can catch your own celestial glory right here in Northumberland.

One of the most spectacular sights on Earth is the night sky – the brightest stars from the billions in our Milky Way, the glitter dust of meteors, the wonder of our planetary neighbours, Venus, Jupiter, the glow of other galaxies and the feeling of wonder and awe…..

Light pollution, however, means few of us experience this free glory. Certainly this was true for me. After almost twenty years of living in the centre of the Capital, I had lost that wonderful connection with the universe. The amount of light pollution meant I rarely ever saw past the bright lights of the City and I had almost forgotten the magical memories of my childhood ‘star stalking’ nights in Northumberland.

Nine years ago, when I returned to Northumberland it was early September when I moved into my new house. I delighted in the long days and light nights, utterly contented by the pastel skies and coastal views. But when the nights drew in and the days became shorter I found myself spellbound by the big open skies and clear nights where I could see hundreds of stars sparkling above me, right from my own garden!

Stargazing became a ritual for me, a time for relaxation and contemplation. I quickly decided that I wanted a room with a glass roof to enjoy this spectacle from the comfort of my own home. I was also lucky enough to be gifted a telescope at the time the new orangery was finished complete with glass lantern roof to enjoy star filled nights. The best part about stargazing is that other than your own two eyes and a clear night you don’t NEED anything else at all.

The skies across Northumberland are dark and deep and according to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), the star-studded skies above Kielder Water & Forest Park and the Northumberland National Park are the darkest in England.

You don’t have to be an expert astronomer to stargaze, you just need the weather on your side and a comfortable place to lie back and look up. Enjoy a star spangled evening, either alone, with friends or with the children. It can be a lot of fun to stargaze as a family.

The most important thing that you can do for your child is to help them to appreciate the beauty of the night sky, and to help them become children who look up and wonder.

We all have places that mean something special to us. Come join us and enjoy the dark months here in Northumberland.

Our thanks to Darryn Wade for the stunning photograph.

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