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Northumberland can expect a spike in “Astro Tourism” after it was announced that a large area of its beautiful countryside has been granted protected Dark Sky Park status by the Dark Skies Association. The award was given in recognition of the quality of Northumberland’s night’s sky, which has become a hotspot for stargazers and astrologists across the globe. The accolade makes this area of Northumberland one of the third biggest International Dark Sky Parks in the world, and the largest in Europe. But just what is it about Northumberland which makes it such a perfect spot for nocturnal sightseeing? Let’s find out!
The proposed site for Northumberland’s protected stretch of sky hangs above 1,500 square kilometres of pristine wilderness between Northumberland National Park and the Kielder Forest Park, close to Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Border. This region is famed for its isolated heathlands, lush river valleys and scarcity of urban areas, making it a prime spot to enjoy the uninterrupted dark sky which graces the area.
This new ‘dark zone’ will be called the Northumberland International Dark Sky – or NDSP for short! – and visitors to this newly formed attraction can look forward to a breath-taking medley of starry nights and an enchanting nocturnal environment. Some of the best places to see Northumberland’s stars include the Cawfields Picnic Site on Hadrian’s Wall as well as the Kielder Water Observatory and Astronomical Society, a large public observatory which has attracted over 50,000 visitors in the last five years.
But it isn’t just these places that offer spectacular night-time panoramas. Other locations are expected to pop up throughout Northumberland that are specifically intended for those in search of an almighty great view of the twilight heavens!
From the rapturous beauty of Holy Island, to the imposing ramparts of Bamburgh Castle, you’ll never be far from the nearest twinkling collection of stars in Northumberland. So if you fancy yourself as a star-spotting astro tourist, why not book one of our holiday cottages in Northumberland? We’ve a great range of cosy cottages that would provide the ideal base for a cosmic cottage holiday, so choose yours today and look forward to a wonderful getaway beneath the Northumberland stars!
Alternatively, read more about where to find the best stargazing spots, here.