The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark has some of England’s darkest night skies. In fact the area is recognised as the darkest mainland AONBs in the country! Here you can see thousand upon thousand of stars, marvel at the Milky Way and revel at the mysteries of the universe – all you need is a clear night and to look up!
The Observatory at Allenheads in the dark heart of the North Pennines is an excellent resource enabling visitors and local people to take full advantage of being in this fabulous dark sky area. Somewhere to meet regularly to discover the night sky and gaze at our remarkable local ‘darkscape’.
The North Pennines Observatory @ ACA was conceived and developed by the North Pennines AONB Partnership for the community and was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the AONB Partnership’s Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme. It is hosted at Allenheads Contemporary Arts (ACA) and ongoing operation and management on behalf of the community is the responsibility of Allen Valleys Enterprise Limited, a community benefit society.
The Observatory is not open to casual, unannounced visits by the public. It is only accessible by members and guests booked into organised events.
It is located at Allenheads Contemporary Arts at the Old Schoolhouse overlooking the village of Allenheads (at the head on the East Allen Valley) in the North Pennines. More information on access and location here.
The best way to get involved is to become a supporter of the Observatory. You can do this is three ways: become a Supporting Member; become a Corporate Supporter; or join the North Pennines Astronomy Society.
Alternatively you can come to publicised events hosted at the Observatory – see the Events calendar for details.
Images (top to bottom) – The Milky Way from Allenheads and Stars, stars both (c) Gary Lintern. North Pennines Observatory @ ACA at night (c) Allenheads Contemporary Arts
Find out more
Visit www.NorthPennObservatory.org.uk to find out more about the Observatory – events, access, membership and more.