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Our Observatory building has a fully retractable roof,
an adjacent warm room and a panoramic observation deck 

Who owns the North Pennines Observatory?

The North Pennines Observatory was conceived and developed by the North Pennines AONB Partnership for the community and paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Partnership's Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme.   It is hosted at Allenheads Contemporary Arts and ongoing operation and management on behalf of the community is the responsibility of Allen Valleys Enterprise Limited, a community benefit society.


The day-to-day running of the Observatory is managed by a board made up of representatives from the partner organisations.

The Observatory designers

The original design for observatory was the product of a competition run amongst architectural students based at Newcastle and Northumbria universities. Becky Wise, Katie Fisher and Noor Jan-Mohamed (pictured right) from Newcastle University created the winning design and X-Site architects managed the construction.


What resources does the Observatory have?

Main Telescopes

  • Sky Watcher Newtonian reflecting telescope, 254mm (10 inch) aperture, f/4.8, on an HEQ5 Synscan GOTO mount set in concrete
    This telescope was kindly donated by  astronomer and astro photographer Graham Relf from Rookhope
  • A portable 10" Dobsonian telescope on the circular base

Secondary Telescopes

  • A smaller Skywatcher refractor telescope
  • A smaller reflector telescope
Other Viewing Equipment
  • A Star Box of assorted binoculars

Portable Planetarium

  • We have a portable Emerald inflatable planetarium dome within which we can project night sky imagery

Booking the Observatory for a private event

The Observatory; the adjacent ACA classroom (able to accomodate up to 40 guests) plus, if required, our resident Star Guides as hosts; plus our Portable Planetarium; are all available to book for private skywatching events.  Contact Allen Valleys Enterprise to enquire about available dates and fees.

Who are our Supporting members

We are grateful to the growing list of Supporters for the Observatory.  To the right is one of our Supports and you can click on the on the link below to see all of the others

Featured Supporter

Copyright Allen Valleys Enterprise Limited 2017

The North Pennines Observatory is owned and operated by Allen Valleys Enterprise Limited, a volunteer-run Community Benefit Society

The Observatory runs events for members, open events for non-members and is available for private bookings

All enquiries about the Observatory should be directed to AVEL on the Allen Valley Landscape Partnership phone number: 01434 683517

Allen Valleys Enterprise Ltd Allendale Village Hall, Allendale, Northumberland NE47 9PR 

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