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‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,’ wrote Oscar Wilde in Lady Windermere’s Fan. And now you can view the stars too, but hopefully while keeping out of the gutter.
The Dark Sky Observatory at the Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant in Wark, near Hexham, is launching a new range of star-gazing courses for a variety of age ranges and ability levels. The first of its kind in the UK, the Observatory was launched in March of this year. As well as being located in the grounds of a hotel, the Observatory is in the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe, on the cusp of Northumberland National Park.
Professional astronomer Roy Alexander leads the courses, which include ‘Astronomy for Absolute Beginners’, ‘Astrophotography’ and ‘Family Stargazing’. Participants will watch the stars, spot constellations and planets, and – if they’re lucky – see the famous Northern Lights.
The courses take place every weekend, with prices starting at just £15 per head (and discounts for family bookings), whether resident or not. The Observatory is wheelchair accessible, with mounted binoculars, a Celestron C11 OTA telescope on a EQ8 mount and smaller telescopes for beginners.
Bed and breakfast rates for the hotel start at just £115 for a double or £165 for a luxury eco-lodge.
For more information, visit battlesteads.com.