Dark Sky Discovery site

  • Events /
  • Dark Sky Discovery site

Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre is an accredited Dark Sky Discovery site, part of the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership, and the first site accredited in North-West England. This is a network of national, local astronomy and environmental organisations which aims to:

  • Engage people from diverse backgrounds with the night sky;
  • Encourage positive attitudes towards science and technology;
  • Support the development of dark sky places, awareness and tourism;
  • Develop a national network of dark sky communicators;
  • Create long-lasting organisational partnerships in this area.

For details of other Dark Sky Discovery sites and star-gazing venues see Gostargazing.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has approved Low Gillerthwaite as a Dark Sky Discovery Site and the development of the team has been supported by STFC Grants and training.

Dark Sky Discovery Events 

Details of the next Dark Sky event will be posted here.  

If you intend to visit one of our events please contact our Managing Warden, Ellen, on 01946-861229 or via email to warden@lgfc.org.uk, this helps us with catering numbers. You can also book bednights in our self-catering, hostel accommodation with Ellen. Remember to bring a sleeping bag, provisions, stout footwear and please wrap up warm. If this is your first visit to LGFC, please read these additional notes.


Dark Sky Discovery - Further Information

To see an Astronomical Calendar for 2023 go to https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/sights-to-see.html

The Dark Sky Discovery England funders are:-


Dark Sky discovery sites are seen as being the best locations from which to observe the natural beauty of our night sky, one of nature's principle wonders. There are very few of these around the country and Gillerthwaite is the accredited Dark Sky venue in Cumbria for North West England. Its lack of municipal lighting in a mountainous setting enables the most spectacular night sky sights in a light pollution free zone.

The Dark Sky project was inspired by the successful Dark Sky Scotland partnership which has been in operation since 2009 at Galloway Forest Park. The main funders of the Dark Sky Discovery project for England are Natural England's Access to Nature programme together with the STFC - The Science and Technology Facilities Council. 

Most of us live in a permanent sodium glare where starlight cannot compete with the terrestrial haze which isolates us from one of nature's principle wonders. It's estimated that seventy percent of us have never seen the Milky Way. Here at Low Gillerthwaite, we are endowed with the most spectacular night skies in England and weather permitting, we can see it as an endless, illuminated band of countless, twinkling stars across our night sky.

All this can help facilitate existing learning opportunities for young people in particular to appreciate the wonders of the universe and our place in it. It also benefits the local community, astronomical societies and many others including photographers, poets and dreamers through night sky observation.

See an article in The Ecologist about LGFC Dark Sky.



  • Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre,
    Ennerdale, Cleator,
    Cumbria, CA23 3AX
  • Tel : 01946 861229
  • Email : warden@lgfc.org.uk
  • Grid Ref : NY139141
  • Latitude : 54.5148 (N)
  • Longitude : -3.3313 (W)

Click image to enlarge it

 View of Orion from LGFCOrion from LGFC

Example of a star umbrella

Louis & Felix from Wigton, Cumbria

The STFC Starlab in the barn (2019)

Starlab inside barn

Ennerdale Lake and Angler's Crag on a still, clear evening

Ennerdale evening