Local Astronomical Societies

Sunderland Astronomical Society

A selection of photos taken by members of the Sunderland Astronomical Society

Almost since its inception the focus of Sunderland Astronomical Society has been on Astronomical outreach. Its facility at the Washington Wetlands is ideal, providing both lecture space and location for its two main Observatories.

The site meets the needs of its outreach events, in particular many visits from local youth groups. The Society supports many other local events, in late 2022 this included a 'Solar Event' at North Tyneside’s Northumberland Park which also hosts a Night time event in the Autumn. The Society runs a schedule of talks, for both membership and general public, on every third Sunday of the month.

Recent investments include the purchase of a new Ioptron CEM 120 mount upon which is mounted a 150mm Skywatcher Esprit apochromatic refractor. The Society has also added a 12.5-inch 'Heritage' Newtonian beautifully installed in a purpose-built wooden OTA and Dobsonian mount. Not to be left behind technically, the Society has also purchased a ZWO 'Seestar S50' for use at its outreach events.

The Society meets every Thursday and Sunday evening at the Wetlands, also open to members of the general public who are interested in looking through the Society's telescopes.


Newcastle Astronomical Society

A selection of photos taken by members of the Newcastle Astronomical Society

The Newcastle Astronomical Society meets once a month between September and May each year. Meetings are held in the Summerhill Pavilion, Newcastle. Meetings are open to the public. Talks and tutorials are given during each meeting and, if the weather permits, the evening ends with a chance to observe the skies over Newcastle.


Durham Astronomical Society

A selection of photos taken by members of the Durham Astronomical Society

The society is a group of enthusiastic amateur astronomers who are keen observers. Meetings are held once a month between September and June at the Botanic Garden, Durham.

Meetings are open to the public. Each event focuses on a different aspect of astronomy with talks and informal workshops. Members frequently meet up to observe the night sky.

The society supports the Wynyard Planetarium and Observatory at Wynyard Woodland Park, helping to arrange observing events and activities for young and old.


Northumberland Astronomical Society

A selection of photos taken by members of the Northmberland Astronomical Society

Northumerland Astronomical Society (NASTRO) is a friendly, active group of professional and amateur astronomers from the North East of England. The Society aims to promote astronomy and science education and host regular meetings and observing sessions at their Hauxley Observatory, located at Hauxley Nature Reserve.

They host bi-monthly meetings and offer regular training sessions and lectures as well as our well-established beginners course in astronomy.


Kielder Observatory

Wooden building shown at night time. The long exposure view of the night sky shows 1000s of star and the band of dark and light patches from the Milky Way

Credit: Kielder Observatory

Kielder Observatory is based in the heart of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, a top of Black Fell in Kielder Forest. For 15 years we have been welcoming visitors to spend their evenings with us, exploring some of the darkest skies in Europe, providing infinite inspiration for all.

Our events are delivered by a team of Astronomers and Science Communicators who are experts in astronomy. They tackle big topics in a way that makes astronomy and science accessible and exciting. We work with lots of different communities to give everyone access to astronomy. We run a significant education outreach programme, working with over 45000 school pupils from primary to secondary age over the last couple of years.

We are open to the public almost every night of the year, running over 700 events to cater for different needs and interests. Tickets for these events sell out well in advance, so we always recommend booking.


Twice Brewed Observatory Planetarium

Light house at night time with coloured lights scattering around the sky

Photo taken by Wil Cheung

Astronomers based at the Twice Brewed Inn and Planetarium run stargazing events throughout the year. Located at Bardon Mill. Hexham is within the protected Dark Sky Park. The venue benefits from minimal light pollution, meaning you’ll have a clear view of the Milky Way arching across the sky and see thousands more stars than can normally be spotted from our towns and cities.

Ticket prices vary so check their website for details.