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
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 .
Click on the Postcodes for Maps and Reviews.
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 8NE
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 re-open.
Website . Area Info . KA6 7PZ
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
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
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 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
Wiki . Area Info . M13 9PL
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 . Area Info . S62 7SH
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
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
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
Web . Wiki . Area Info . NG17 5LF
University of London
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