Grassholme Observatory is aimed at creating an accessible facility for visitors into and from the region to enjoy the iconic scenery and countryside and the superb Dark Skies of Upper Teesdale.
To ensure the success of the facility, we have teamed up with Gary Fildes – the founder and ex CEO of Kielder Observatory.
Phase 1 of the project has involved the refurbishment of the top floor of an existing building and the construction of our new purpose-built astronomical observatory. The site benefits from ease of access, local facilities, and ample car parking. Visitors will be able to enjoy the local pubs and B&Bs for accommodation and food and then head to the dark sky observatory where the team awaits.
The aim is to provide a long-lasting and sustainable facility, which will contribute to education for local schools and provide jobs. We aspire to preserve the local dark skies as was achieved in Northumberland in 2013, making the area a hot spot for all who love the sky. A similar approach here will have a huge economic impact on the tourism sector in this region, especially in the colder months when visitor numbers typically decrease.
With Gary’s experience and Northumbrian Water’s commitment to serving the community to ensure this facility becomes iconic and world-renowned in astronomical outreach.
The observatory aims to be open initially from Wednesday through to Sunday, weekly, offering late-night sessions on the weekends. Private and corporate events are also catered for.
We will be offering places for volunteers to help run the facility as well as the lead in delivery. If volunteering at Grassholme interests you then please get in touch via our contact form.
The Grassholme Observatory opened amid the world crisis of Covid-19. Undeterred, we battled hard to offer a glimmer of hope through our new innovative stargazing facility. On Sunday 1st August 2021 we reopened our doors and the journey began. Running up to six events per week, our team delivered some thrilling evenings under the stars and planets. Bookings increased, awareness built and our dream of delivering astronomical events to our guests started. We collected up some wonderful memories too with families visiting from all corners of the UK.