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New star gazing courses on the horizon at Battlesteads’ on-site observatory 

Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant in Wark, near Hexham, has added a range of new star gazing courses to its observatory line-up. From ‘Astronomy for Absolute Beginners’, ‘Astrophotography’ and ‘Family Stargazing’, there’s now a course to suit every ability level and every age.

Launched in March 2015, Battlesteads' Dark Sky Observatory is the first and only observatory to be located within the grounds of a hotel in the UK. Sitting at the edge of the Northumberland National Park, the largest protected Dark Sky Park in Europe, it offers an unrivalled vantage point to admire the county’s dramatic night-time sky under the guided eye of professional astronomer and teacher, Roy Alexander.

Learn how to scan the skies for shooting stars, planets and major constellations, get to grips with how to use a telescope and hunt down the awesome Aurora Borealis. Courses take place every weekend and are priced from £15 per adult and £49 for a family of four (based on two adults and two children).

Battlesteads’ observatory is equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes, including a Celestron C11 OTA on a EQ8 mount for those in the know, an enormous set of 25 x 100 mounted binoculars specifically for guests with wheelchairs, plus a range of smaller telescopes targeted at true beginners. Courses are open to residents and visitors of the hotel. Rooms start from £115 for a double rising to £165 for one of the hotel’s five luxury eco lodges, based on two people sharing and including full English breakfast. 

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