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What is Kielder Observatory?

Kielder Observatory is a Science Venue in Northumberland that Eric Knows makes easy to find.

The venue is in a dark skies area and hosts events allowing the public to learn about the science of astronomy. Also, the observatory resides in the beautiful Northumberland forest for minimum light pollution, making celestial objects as visible as possible.

The observatory is open on an event-by-event basis, visitors book whichever event they wish to attend and show up then. For instance, these events range from explaining universal theories to late night events wholly dedicated to observing celestial objects. Using the telescopes are the priority of all events! Kielder Observatory’s website has details on the events are and how to book them.

Furthermore, during the 3-hour sessions, Kielder Observatory provides a hot drink (either hot chocolate, tea or coffee) to visitors included in the ticket price to keep everyone warm! Moreover, there is a small shop selling astronomically-themed sweets as well as mugs and hats.

Accessibility

As for accessibility, Kielder Observatory has made efforts to make their venue as accessible as they can despite its primarily scientific purpose. For example, almost the entire site is level and there is an accessible toilet and parking spaces. Furthermore, the observatory also allows guide and assistance dogs onto the site. Their access statement has details on all these features for visitors to look over prior to their visit.

Their website also has a 360° virtual tour, why not take a look at their accessibility arrangements? Click here to take a peek!

How to get there

Kielder Observatory, being in the remote Northumberland forest, is easiest to access via car. Further, the nearest postcode is NE48 1EJ, but since the observatory has no postcode itself, it is rather difficult to find using Sat Navs. However, the observatory is clearly signposted on the main C200 road. Also worth mentioning, the access track going to the observatory is only opened 30 minutes before events start.

Kielder Observatory’s website has further details on getting there, including a program that provides customised driving directions from your postcode.

Q Are assistance/guide dogs permitted on to the site?

While no pets are allowed onto the site, guide and assistance dogs are permitted.

Q How much time should I give to myself to get there?

It is recommended that you give time to yourself to find the access track to the observatory. This is because the observatory itself doesn't have a postcode, making it hard to find. The access track is opened 30 minutes before the event.
Furthermore, it is advised that you arrive 15 minutes before the event starts.

Q What should I bring?

>Your ticket
>A torch (ideally red light) as the way from the car park to the observatory is very dark.
>Warm clothes for the remote Northumberland weather
>Insect repellent in summer

Q Is the site accessible to wheelchair users?

If you are a wheelchair user Kielder Observatory insists that you contact them to inform them prior to the event.
The site has numerous features which allow wheelchair users to enjoy it:
>The entire observatory is level besides one of the three telescope rooms
>An accessible composting toilet
>Wheelchair users can be dropped off right at the observatory entrance as the space between it and the car park is not tarmacked

Q Are concessionary tickets available?

Yes, there are concessionary tickets available to:
>Individuals who are registered disabled
>Individuals aged 65 or above
>Individuals aged under 16 (also applies to under 2s in a pram/pushchair due to limited classroom space)
>Children under 2 are free if carried in a sling or in person

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