Autumn: 18 - 23 October 2017
Bookings open 29 March.
Spring: 14 - 19 March 2018 (bookings open late October)
Kielder Star Camp is staged annually in spring and autumn in the darkest part of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. People come from around the country and camp on Kielder Campsite (although some prefer to stay in B and Bs, lodges and hotels) and bring telescopes if they have them. Many come for all five days, others a minimum of two. These events don't offer any formal instruction for beginners, but many observers are happy to share their views with others. People do their own thing and mingle and marvel under the sometimes clear night sky. Whether you are a veteran or a novice who are welcome to join us. Each event also features a main day at nearby Kielder Castle featuring free astro talks and astro car boot sale.
Here's a review of the 2016 spring event.
Kevin Baxter, Kielder Star Camp, March 2017,
Questions and Answers
Q I’d like to book tickets for your event
We don't issue tickets - to take part people book a pitch on the Kielder Campsite.
Q I’m a newbie and would like to have experts on hand to help me.
Star Camp offers no formal instruction. It's a friendly gathering of like-minded people. The campsite does run a People's Star Camp (generally weekend before the Autumn event and with tuition) and Kielder Observatory (not connected with Star Camp) runs public events. Both have websites.
Q Do you provide telescopes?
No we don't...people bring along their own scopes, binoculars or come to enjoy naked eye stargazing.
How dark is Kielder?
By English standards very dark. According to the CPRE, Northumberland has more dark sky than any other county in England. There is a slight glow on the southern horizon from Tyneside, but this drops out on dry nights and visually is not too noticeable. Thanks to the award of dark sky status in December 2013 the starry sky is now protected. It is the darkest venue for any English star party with average light meter readings on good nights of 21.7.