Top 5 Places for Stargazing in the North Pennines and Alston Moor

by | Activities, Attractions

This article is part of our Discover Alston series. You can find more articles here

 

Top Dark Skies Spots on Alston Moor and the North Pennines AONB

If you’re a stargazing enthusiast, Alston Moor in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a must-visit destination. Known for its exceptionally dark skies, this region offers some of the best opportunities for stargazing in the North Pennines. Here are the top five places to experience the night sky, with Salvin House Alston as the perfect base for your adventures.

1. Mark Close Farmhouse

 

Stargazing on Alston Moor at Mark Close Farmhouse, offering clear views of the Milky Way and other celestial wonders."

Experience the stunning night skies at Mark Close Farmhouse, a top spot for stargazing on Alston Moor. Enjoy clear views of the Milky Way and other celestial phenomena in a low light pollution environment.

Located just outside Alston, Mark Close Farmhouse is renowned for its stunning night skies. The low levels of light pollution make it an ideal spot for both amateur and professional astronomers. This location offers clear views of the Milky Way and other celestial wonders, making it a favorite among those who enjoy stargazing in the North Pennines​.

  • Ideal for observing the Milky Way due to minimal light pollution.
  • Great for both amateur and professional astronomers.
  • Offers unobstructed views of various celestial bodies.

2. Grassholme Reservoir

Stargazing on Alston Moor at Grassholme Reservoir, a Dark Sky Discovery Site perfect for celestial observations.

Grassholme Reservoir, designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, provides an excellent location for stargazing on Alston Moor. Participate in organized events and enjoy the high-quality night skies.

Designated as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, Grassholme Reservoir is recognised for its high-quality night skies. Access for stargazing is typically available during organized events, providing a structured and informative experience under the stars. This site is perfect for those looking to combine stargazing with a scenic day out near the water, a true highlight of stargazing in the North Pennines.

  • Dark Sky Discovery Site with excellent night sky quality.
  • Organized events offer guided stargazing sessions.
  • Scenic location near the reservoir enhances the experience.

3. Bowlees Visitor Centre

Stargazing on Alston Moor at Bowlees Visitor Centre, featuring minimal light pollution and excellent facilities for family-friendly star watching.

Bowlees Visitor Centre offers fantastic facilities for stargazing on Alston Moor. Its minimal light pollution makes it ideal for both novice and experienced astronomers to enjoy a family-friendly night under the stars.

Another Dark Sky Discovery Site, Bowlees Visitor Centre offers excellent facilities and is a great spot for both novice and seasoned astronomers. The center is situated in a location that minimizes light pollution, ensuring an unobstructed view of the stars. It’s an excellent spot for a family-friendly night of stargazing in the North Pennines​.

  • Family-friendly stargazing events and facilities.
  • Minimal light pollution for clear star views.
  • Suitable for both novice and experienced stargazers.

4. Kielder Observatory

Stargazing on Alston Moor at Kielder Observatory, renowned for educational programs and state-of-the-art telescopes.

Drive a bit further to Kielder Observatory, where stargazing on Alston Moor meets advanced educational programs and state-of-the-art telescopes. This immersive experience is perfect for astronomy enthusiasts.

While a bit further afield, Kielder Observatory is worth the drive. Located in Northumberland National Park, it is renowned for its educational programs and state-of-the-art telescopes. Kielder offers an immersive experience with expert guides who can help you navigate the night sky, making it an exceptional spot for stargazing in the North Pennines​.

  • State-of-the-art telescopes and facilities.
  • Educational programs with expert guides.
  • Immersive stargazing experience in a national park setting.

5. Burnhope Reservoir

Stargazing on Alston Moor at Burnhope Reservoir, a tranquil spot perfect for observing constellations and the Northern Lights.

Enjoy a peaceful night of stargazing on Alston Moor at Burnhope Reservoir. This remote location offers open skies ideal for observing constellations and occasionally, the Northern Lights.

Closer to Alston, Burnhope Reservoir provides a tranquil setting for stargazing. The open skies and remote location make it a prime spot for observing the constellations and, on occasion, the Northern Lights. This site is perfect for a peaceful evening of stargazing in the North Pennines​.

  • Remote location with open skies ideal for stargazing.
  • Occasionally offers views of the Northern Lights.
  • Tranquil setting for a peaceful stargazing experience.

North Pennines Stargazing Festival

Stargazing on Alston Moor during the North Pennines Stargazing Festival, featuring over 30 events including guided sessions and workshops.

Don’t miss the North Pennines Stargazing Festival, a premier event for stargazing on Alston Moor. With over 30 events, guided sessions, and workshops, it’s the perfect way to explore the night skies.

Don’t miss the North Pennines Stargazing Festival, held annually from late October to early November. This festival celebrates the region’s dark skies with over 30 events, including guided stargazing sessions, workshops, and family-friendly activities. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn from expert astronomers and enjoy the nocturnal beauty of stargazing in the North Pennines.

  • Over 30 events celebrating the dark skies of the North Pennines.
  • Guided stargazing sessions and workshops.
  • Family-friendly activities and expert astronomer guidance.

Salvin House Alston: Stargazing in the North Pennines

Located in the heart of Alston Moor, Salvin House Alston is the ideal base for your stargazing adventures. This charming accommodation offers comfortable lodging and easy access to the top stargazing sites in the area. After a night under the stars, you can relax in the cozy ambiance of Salvin House, ready for another day of exploring the best spots for stargazing in the North Pennines.

Whether you’re an experienced astronomer or a curious novice, Alston Moor and the North Pennines AONB offer some of the best stargazing experiences in the UK. Plan your visit, bring your telescope, and prepare to be amazed by the night sky. Stargazing in the North Pennines is an unforgettable experience that connects you with the wonders of the universe.

Rob

Rob

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