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
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.
Website . Area
Info . DG8
Scottish Dark Sky
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
Website . Area
Info . KA6
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
Info . DD2
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
Area Info .
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.
Area Info . PA1
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
. Wiki .
England Observatories that can be
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.
Info . M13
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.
Website . Wiki .
Info . S62
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.
Area Info . NE48
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.
Info . EX10
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.
Info . NG17
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.
Info . NW7