Almost 90% of people in the UK can’t see the Milky Way from their homes. But you if you are in Northumberland on Saturday 6 October you can make up for lost time.
The Forestry Commission and Sunderland Astronomical Society are staging a special event to spot this celestial wonder above 62,000 hectare Kielder Water & Forest Park.
Thanks to the beauty spot’s magnificent dark skies, it is one of the best places in England to view the object.
Stargazers will deploy powerful telescopes at Kielder Castle, sharing stunning views of star clusters and galaxies and also take novices on a whistle-stop tour of the constellations. Ranger Malte Iden explained: “Light pollution snubs out the beauty of the stars, but Kielder Water & Forest Park is one of Britain’s darkest sports, perfect to admire the heavens. Wonders like the Milky Way take your breath.”
The event gets underway at 7pm and booking is required on 01434 250209. The cost is £6 per person and £5 for children. Bring binoculars if you have them and wrap up warm. The Duke’s Pantry café will be open before and during the event for food and drinks.
Kielder Observatory has emerged as a top visitor attraction and the five night Kielder Forest Star Camp in mid-October is once again sold out. Meanwhile, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Northumberland National Park Authority and Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society are bidding to have 400 square miles of Northumberland designated for the quality of its starry sky and to help combat light pollution.