Star-gazing on the menu for guests at Battlesteads

02 March 2015 by
Star-gazing on the menu for guests at Battlesteads

Battlesteads in Wark, Northumberland, is believed to be the first hotel in the UK to offer guests the experience of an observatory any time of the night.

Due to launch later this month, the observatory is located in the hotel grounds, which sits at the edge of Northumberland National Park, which is the largest area in Europe with Dark Sky Park status.

The observatory, which can accommodate up to 25 budding or seasoned astronomers, will be accessible throughout the night to guests staying in one of five newly constructed eco-lodges at the 17-bedroom hotel, which was named Green Hotel of the Year at the Hotel Cateys in 2011.

Facing south, it offers a Celestron C11 OTA on a EQ8 mount and a set of 25 x 100 mounted binoculars specifically for guests with wheelchairs.

Richard Slade, owner of Battlesteads, described astro-tourism as an emerging and growing leisure market. "With such a world-class environment for studying the stars on our doorstep it made sense to embrace this and add to the many reasons to visit Battlesteads and the county of Northumberland."

Professional astronomer and teacher, Roy Alexander, is to run courses, from £15, at the observatory for varying levels of stargazers.

The observatory has been constructed and developed in line with Battlesteads' ongoing green credentials, using sustainable materials and powered by the hotel's 36 solar panels.

Hotel Cateys 2011 - Green Hotel of the Year >>

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