Guest blog: North East Family Fun

Posted 1 Oct 15, written by Samantha Rickelton

Why is Northumberland the best place to enjoy the dark skies?

The skies above Kielder Forest and Northumberland National Park are said to be the darkest skies in England. In fact, they are now Europe's largest Dark Sky Park thanks to their special 'dark sky' status which has been awarded by the International Dark Skies Association.

It is crazy to think that about 85% of the population have never seen a truly dark sky and that most people will only see a handful of stars in the orange glow of the sky. Where as in Northumberland, you can actually see up to 2000 stars in one go with your naked eye! Wow!

Now that the nights are getting darker, why not make the most of it and enjoy the fabulous dark skies we have available right here in Northumberland. I can't imagine anything more magical and inspiring than experiencing the wonder of our universe with your family. It doesn't even need to cost anything, just wrap up warm, pack a hot drink and binoculars and head out to the countryside to experience this amazing show for yourself.

Image courtesy of Visit Northumberland

If you do wish to make use of some expert guidance, Kielder Observatory runs a programme of events throughout the year. Their family astronomy evenings are very popular and must be pre-booked as they usually sell out. They include a guided tour of the observatory, an introduction into using powerful telescopes and a tour of the planets, galaxies and stars in the skies above. All aimed towards the whole family and demonstrating that anybody can be an astronomer. Certainly beats a night in front of X factor!

Our top 5 places to view the dark skies:

• Kielder Observatory
• Northumberland National Park Visitor Centre
• Elsdon Village Hall and Green
• Kielder Castle Visitor Centre
• Ingram Village Hall

Image courtesy of Visit Northumberland

We would love to hear your suggestions for the best places to experience dark skies in Northumberland.

This post comes courtesy of North East Family Fun.

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