Dark Skies Galloway image

Astronomy Scotland & UK

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The UK now has a number of Dark Sky sites listed that give clear views or the stars and planets for Astronomy. There are 4 public observatories, all situated in Scotland and a large number of observatories in England, some of which can now be visited.


The UK's first Dark Skies Park is in the Galloway Forest southwest scotland. This is a huge scenic forest park with a number of places to set up your telescope for some of the best views from the UK. The website gives information on places to set up and events that are held there.
Website: www.forestry.gov.uk/darkskygalloway . Map . Reviews.

Galloway Astronomy Centre southwest Scotland 20 miles south of Newton Stewart
If you are just getting started in astronomy a visit to the Centre can give you a great start in the hobby, particularly if you take one of our courses. You can even try out our demonstration telescopes. Experience for yourself our friendly, informal hospitality and truly dark skies. Tel 01988 500 594.
. Newton Stewart Area information . Postcode DG8 8NE .

Galloway Astronomy Centre image

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory by Loch Doon in Ayrshire southwest Scotland
The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory opened in October 2012. The night skies here are some of the best - countless stars, the Milky Way stretching from horizon to horizon, shooting stars, planets, comets, and the Northern Lights are visible. The observatory is open to everyone. Phone 01292 551 118.
. Ayrshire Area information . Map .

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory image

Mills Observatory in Balgay Park, Dundee east central Scotland
The Mills Observatory is the only full-time public astronomical observatory in the UK. The observatory was built in 1935 of sandstone in a classical style with a distinctive dome. The dome houses a Victorian refracting telescope, small planetarium, and display areas. Over 10,000 people a visit the Observatory each year. Admission is FREE to the Observatory and displays. A small charge applies to group visits and for public Planetarium Shows. Tel 01382 435 967.
Website . wiki/page . Dundee Area information . Postcode DD2 2UB .

Mills Observatory Dundee image

Royal Observatory Edinburgh on Blackford Hill
The Observatory in Edinburgh was moved from its original building on Calton Hill to Blackford Hill in 1896, from the centre of Edinburgh to the south side where the skies were darker. After recent repairs, the observatory is now open for business again, welcoming group and school bookings. Our Public Astronomy Evenings are currently held weekly over the winter months. Tel 0131 668 8100.
www.roe.ac.uk . wiki/page . Area information . Postcode EH9 3HJ.

Royal Observatory Edinburgh image

Coats Observatory Paisley by Glasgow
The Coats Observatory is located in Oakshaw Street West, Paisley. The observatory was operated by the Paisley Philosophical Institution with the first telescope being a five inch refractor built by Thomas Cooke of York. An additional ten inch refracting telescope was purchased in 1898. During the winter months, the observatory is open for night sky telescope viewing depending on the weather. These sessions are free and there is no need to book. On clear nights, the telescope is trained on the moon, the planets and other interesting sights in the sky. Tel 0300 300 1210.
Website . wiki/page . Glasgow Area information . Postcode PA1 2DE .

Coats Observatory Paisley image

Airdrie Public Observatory Airdrie by Glasgow
The Airdrie Public Observatory was installed on the roof of the first purpose-built library building in 1896, the Airdrie Public Library. This is the smallest of four public observatories operating in the UK, all are situated in Scotland, as seen on this page. The Observatory has a number of smaller telescopes which can be used either at the observatory or can be moved to "dark sky" sites for observing sessions. Visits have to be made by appointment. Tel 01236 758 070.
Website . wiki/page . Glasgow Area information . Postcode ML6 0AG.

Airdrie Public Observatory image

England Observatories that can be visited

The Godlee Observatory Manchester
The Godlee Observatory is an old astronomical observatory situated in the centre of Manchester, in the University of Manchester's Sackville Street building. The observatory is now run by the Manchester Astronomical Society. Visitors are welcome at the public lectures and can use the equipment a few times to find out if they want to join the society. Tel 0161 306 4977.
Website . wiki/page . Area Information . Postcode M60 1QD.

The Godlee Observatory Manchester image

Hoober Observatory by Wentworth, South Yorkshire
J A Jones Hoober Observatory is a privately owned observatory owned and operated by Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society. The observatory is open to the public for evening viewing sessions during the winter months, for Solar observing on Sunday afternoons during the summer and for astronomical events e.g. meteor showers or lunar eclipses.
. wiki/page . Area Information . Postcode S62 7SH .

Hoober Observatory image

Kielder Observatory by Northumberland National Park, northeast England
The Kielder observatory is Northumberlands Number 1 visitor attraction. We .are eager to introduce some universal splendours to you all, from observing Jupiter to Uranus, gas clouds to quantum theory, we do it all here. Why not check out the calendar section and see if there is any event you would like to come along to see. Tel 07805 638 469.
Website . wiki/page . Area Information . Postcode NE48 1ER .

Kielder Observatory image

Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium by Sidmouth, East Devon
The Norman Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium has a public access optical observatory. The facility was operated by the University of Exeter between 1946 and 1987 then transferred to the East Devon District Council in 1988. A convention center for lectures and academic conferences was added in 2005. Tel 01395 579 941.
Website . wiki/page . Area Information . Postcode EX10 0NY .

Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium image

Sherwood Observatory by Mansfield, Notinghamshire
The Sherwood Observatory is an amateur astronomical observatory operated by the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society. The main dome houses a 0.61 m Newtonian Reflecting telescope. The club hosts society meetings and holds public open evenings. Tel 01623 552 276.
Website . wiki/page . Area Information . Postcode NG17 5LF .

Sherwood Observatory image

University of London Observatory Mill Hill, London
This is an astronomical teaching observatory at the University College London. The Observatory holds free public open evenings, normally fortnightly on Fridays during UCL term times. Visitors are given a short introductory lecture followed by a full tour of the telescopes and facilities. Tel 02035 495 807.
Website . wiki/page . Area Information . Postcode NW7 2QS .

University of London Observatory image

National Trust Dark Sky Sites in England, Ireland & Wales

Dark Sky Sites UK

Dark Sky Map

England Observatories

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