Oct 16 2015

Northumberland’s dark skies to light up for special events

northumberland dark sky photography events

Cawfields dark sky event. Credit: Cain Scrimgeour

The stunning Dark Skies of Northumberland National Park are set to play host to two special meteor-watching and astro-photography events.

The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre has organised two events within the National Park in coming weeks to satisfy both families and star-gazing enthusiasts alike.

Walltown Quarry will provide the setting for the first event on the evening of Wednesday 21st October when the Orionids meteor shower is expected to be visible.

Weather permitting, it is hoped the ‘Orionids Meteor Shower Show’ will offer star-gazers the chance to see some of the most spectacular shooting stars in the night sky.

Rising from low in the east, the Orion constellation will look amazing in the black dark sky of Europe’s Largest Dark Sky Park.

Tickets cost just £5 plus booking fee and include a free drink. The event, which starts at 7.30pm, can be booked at

On Friday 13th November, The Sill has organised the ‘Catch a Falling Star! Astro-photography Workshop’ at Ingram’s Dark Sky Discovery Site in the Breamish Valley.

The workshop will be delivered by local astro-photographer Ian Glendinning and will offer budding photographers the opportunity to fine-tune their skills behind the camera by sharing useful techniques and top tips to ensure everyone captures the star-clustered skies above.

Those taking part will have to bring their own photographic equipment to use during the workshop, which is suitable for those aged 10 years and older. Tickets cost £15 plus booking fee. To book, visit

Duncan Wise, Visitor Development Manager for Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “We are lucky to have some of the darkest skies in England in the Park. These two special events will open up the wonder of our skies to people throughout the region and beyond. We hope that the Sill will help direct visitors to places that seem out of reach and encourage people from all walks of life to enjoy the natural heritage of Northumberland. We look forward to organising many more activities as we move closer to The Sill opening in 2017.”

The meteor shower and astro-photography events are a part of The Sill’s activity programme. When it opens in summer 2017, The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre will become the UK’s first dedicated landscape discovery centre. Located at Once Brewed, the site of the current National Park centre in the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, it will offer an all-weather and year-round facility with hostel accommodation, retail facilities and a café.

The Sill is led by Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England & Wales) and has been supported by a range of funders. Earlier in 2015, The Sill received a £7.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and has also been supported through funding from Northumberland County Council, the North East Rural Growth Network and a range of philanthropic donors

For more information about The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre, visit , find The Sill on Facebook or follow The Sill on Twitter @thesillproject