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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: forestry.gov.uk . Map/Reviews

Click on the Postcodes for Maps and Reviews.

Galloway Astronomy

Galloway Astronomy Centre
Southwest Scotland 20 miles south of Newton Stewart. If you are just starting in astronomy, a visit to the Centre can give a great start, particularly if you take one of our courses or try out our demonstration telescopes. Experience our friendly, informal hospitality and truly dark skies. Tel 01988 500 594.
. Area Info . DG8 8NE

Scottish Dark Sky

Scottish Dark Sky Observatory
By Loch Doon in Ayrshire southwest Scotland. Opened in October 2012 with the night skies here some of the best with countless stars, the Milky Way, shooting stars, planets, comets, and the Northern Lights are visible. Open to everyone. Phone 01292 551 118. Closed in 2021 due to fire, see the website about when it will re-open.
. Area Info . KA6 7PZ

Mills Observatory

Mills Observatory
In Balgay Park, Dundee east central Scotland. The only full time public astronomical observatory in the UK built in 1935. The dome houses a Victorian refracting telescope and small planetarium. Admission is FREE to the Observatory and displays with a small charge for group visits and public Planetarium Shows. Tel 01382 435 967.
Web . Wiki . Area Info . DD2 2UB

Royal Observatory
Edinburgh on Blackford Hill. The Observatory was moved from its original building on Calton Hill in the city centre to Blackford Hill in 1896, on the city south side where the skies were darker. The observatory welcomes group and school bookings. Public Astronomy Evenings are held weekly over the winter months. Tel 0131 668 8100.
Website . Wiki . Area Info . EH9 3HJ

Coats Observatory
Paisley by Glasgow. Operated by the Paisley Philosophical Institution with their first telescope being a five inch refractor. A ten inch refracting telescope was added in 1898. During the winter months, the observatory is open for telescope viewing, depending on the weather. Free with clear nights the telescope is trained on the moon, planets and other interesting sights. Tel 0300 300 1210.
Wiki . Area Info . PA1 2DE

Airdrie Public Observatory
Airdrie by Glasgow. This Observatory was installed on the roof of the Airdrie Public Library in 1896. This is the smallest of four public observatories operating in the UK with a number of smaller telescopes that can be used at the observatory or at "dark sky" sites for observing sessions. Visits by appointment. Tel 01236 758 070.
Website . Wiki . ML6 0AG

England Observatories that can be visited

The Godlee Observatory
Manchester. An old astronomical observatory in the centre of Manchester, in the University of Manchester's Sackville Street building. The observatory is run by the Manchester Astronomical Society with visitors welcome at the public lectures where they can use the equipment a few times to find out if they want to join the society. Tel 0161 306 4977.
Wiki . Area Info . M13 9PL

Hoober Observatory
By Wentworth, South Yorkshire. J A Jones Hoober Observatory is a privately owned observatory operated by Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society, open to the public for evening viewing sessions during the winter months, for Solar observing on Sunday afternoons during summer, and astronomical events such as meteor showers or lunar eclipses.
. Wiki . Area Info . S62 7SH


Kielder Observatory
By Northumberland National Park, northeast England. Northumberlands Number 1 visitor attraction with universal splendours to all, from observing Jupiter to Uranus, gas clouds and quantum theory. The website lists events you may like to come along to see. Tel 07805 638 469.
Web . Wiki . Area Info . NE48 1EJ


Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium
By Sidmouth, East Devon. The Norman Lockyer Observatory and Planetarium has a public optical observatory. The facility has been operated by the East Devon District Council since 1988. A convention center for lectures and academic conferences was added in 2005. Tel 01395 579 941.
Web . Wiki . Area Info . EX10 0NY


Sherwood Observatory
By Mansfield, Notinghamshire. An amateur astronomical observatory operated by the Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society with the main dome housing a 0.61 m Newtonian Reflecting telescope. The club holds society meetings and public open evenings. Tel 01623 552 276.
Web . Wiki . Area Info . NG17 5LF

University of London

University of London Observatory
Mill Hill, London. An astronomical teaching observatory at the University College London with free public open evenings, normally fortnightly on Fridays during term times. Visitors undergo a short introductory lecture then a full tour of the telescopes and facilities. Tel 02035 495 807.
Web . Wiki . Area Info . NW7 2QS

National Trust Dark Sky Sites in England, Ireland & Wales

Dark Sky Sites UK

Dark Sky Map

England Observatories

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