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Shooting star season is almost upon us, and award-winning Northumberland hotel Battlesteads is celebrating with the return of its popular Shooting Star Suppers.

The only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Wark will be hosting a series of events starting on Monday 8 October, to coincide with successive meteor showers over the coming months.

Starting at 9pm, the Shooting Star Suppers are suitable for ages 14+ and begin with a light supper of sandwiches and soup in the Battlesteads Restaurant before heading to the observatory – a Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site – for a tour and talk.

Battlesteads' expert astronomy team, led by Roy Alexander, will be on hand to explain the origins of shooting stars, meteors, comets, asteroids, and will teach you how to collect micrometeorites in your own back garden.

Then guests will settle down to watch the celestial fireworks shows, which typically peak after midnight. For any guests who would like to learn more about how to capture shooting stars with a DSLR camera, the Battlesteads team will be on hand to give you some top tips, and the observatory will be kept warm and cosy with free hot drinks – although wrapping up warm and bringing a blanket is recommended.

Shooting Star Suppers will take place on Monday 8 October, Sunday 21 October, Monday 5 November, Saturday 17 November, Thursday 13 December, Friday 21 December and Thursday 3 January; when the Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Leonids, Geminids, Ursids and Quadrantids meteor showers are at their respective peaks.

The Draconids meteor shower on 8 October produces about 10 meteors per hour and it is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner. This year will be a particularly good time to see the shower, as there will no moonlight, and it can be seen earlier in the evening than most.

Shooting Star Suppers at Battlesteads Observatory start from £27.50pp with concessions available. Overnight stays at Battlesteads Hotel can be added from £50pp on a bed & breakfast basis.

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Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Northumberland is setting the standard for energy saving and environmental responsibility in hotels, after recording a carbon footprint five times lower than the industry average.

The award-winning eco hotel has been tracking its energy usage and carbon footprint since 2012, and in that time has reduced its carbon footprint from 24.64kg CO2 per room night to just 5.85kg CO2 per room night in 2017.

Carbon footprint is measured by the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the accepted standard for the hospitality industry, which has set the benchmark for hotels at 31.1kg CO2 per room night – more than five times greater than Battlesteads' figures for 2017.

Owner of Battlesteads, Richard Slade, said: "Since switching to a 100% green energy supplier Ecotricity in January 2014, we’ve been able to significantly reduce our carbon footprint despite increasing our occupancy. Initiatives such as having a biomass boiler, producing solar energy on-site, being very selective with our suppliers and constantly looking for new ways to save energy are helping us to pave the way for a new generation of environmentally-conscious, sustainable hotels."

Will Guyatt, Head of Communications, Ecotricity, added: "We’re proud to be powering Battlesteads – Richard and his team are helping make Britain a greener place, and do a great job spreading the word about renewable power from the wind and sun to both hotel visitors and the wider hospitality industry."

The software Battlesteads uses to record carbon footprint, ConServe, is designed specifically for the hospitality industry and allows businesses to monitor, interpret and improve their environmental performance, while tracking progress of any initiatives introduced to improve their eco-friendliness.

Diana Prince-Parrott from ConServe said: "ConServe allows users to easily identify inefficiencies in operations through a correlation of consumption to industry metrics, such as room nights or food covers, through a comparison against automatically-sourced local weather information or through a review of site consumption outside its operating hours. The use of the platform is accompanied by Considerate Hoteliers' reporting and account management service that makes even easier for clients to track trends in performance and monitor consumption, emission and cost data. 

"Not only is Battlesteads’ carbon footprint less than a fifth of the industry average, but it is also the lowest figure recorded from Considerate Hoteliers’ portfolio of ConServe users – they are setting a fantastic standard for the industry."

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It's not just beer lovers who are eagerly awaiting the return of the Battlesteads Beer Festival – this year there’s something for everyone with an extensive selection of ciders and gins also joining the line-up.

Hosted by Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant and now in its eighth year, the Battlesteads Beer Festival is a three-day celebration of the finest brews from Northumberland, the UK and across the world.

Running from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July, the event is set to attract hundreds of visitors to the pub in Wark, Northumberland.

This year will see the return of the popular Battlesteads Gin Bar, where guests can enjoy a refreshing summer tipple. This year's selection of gins will include Boe Violet, Gin Ting, Hepple, Hadrian’s Wall Gin, Cuckoo Sunshine, Peaky Blinder Spiced and Empress 1908.

On the main bar, ciders including Moonshine, Blueberry, Rhubarb and Devon Cyder will be on offer, along with 24 different beers from locally brewed golden ales and black porters to Belgian IPAs and German pilsners.

There will be live entertainment every day, with local bands including The Mudskippers, The Culprits, Jason Arnup, and Marty Craggs and Trevor Sewell.

General manager of Battlesteads Katie Meyrick-Scott said: "The Battlesteads Beer Festival is without a doubt the highlight of our year and has become a firm favourite with both locals and guests visiting from further afield. We love holding an event like this that brings all the local community together, and once again all of the proceeds will be donated to the Great North Air Ambulance – a worthy charity we are proud to support."

Admission to the beer festival is free on Thursday (6pm-11pm) and Sunday (12pm until the beer runs out). On Friday and Saturday tickets are £4 (12pm – 11pm). A free transport service from Hexham is also available on Friday and Saturday.

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Beer-lovers of the North East rejoice – the Battlesteads Beer Festival is returning for its 8th year, with its most well-stocked bar to date.

The annual four-day festival hosted by Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant is a celebration of the best drinks the North East has to offer, from ales, lagers and stouts to gins and ciders.

Running from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July, the event is set to attract hundreds of visitors to the pub in Wark, Northumberland, to sample beers from across the region, as well as around the world.

This year will also see the return of the popular Battlesteads Gin Bar, where guests can enjoy a refreshing summer tipple as an alternative to the beer.

There will be live entertainment every day, with local bands including The Mudskippers, The Culprits, Jason Arrup, and Marty Craggs and Trevor Sewell.

General manager of Battlesteads Katie Meyrick-Scott said: "The Battlesteads Beer Festival is without a doubt the highlight of our year and has become a firm favourite with both locals and guests visiting from further afield. We love holding an event like this that brings all the local community together, and once again all of the proceeds will be donated to the Great North Air Ambulance – a worthy charity we are proud to support."

Admission to the beer festival is free on Thursday (6pm-11pm) and Sunday (12pm until the beer runs out). On Friday and Saturday tickets are £4 (12pm – 11pm). A free transport service from Hexham is also available on Friday and Saturday.

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Astronomy author and regular contributor to BBC Sky at Night magazine Steve Tonkin will be hosting two exclusive astronomy events at Battlesteads Hotel, Restaurant & Observatory this April.

Steve will be joining Battlesteads’ observatory team to host the special stargazing evenings on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April, which will be an unmissable experience for stargazers of all abilities.

Author of the Sir Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series book 'Binocular Astronomy', Steve will be giving a different talk on each evening, with Saturday’s talk being a light-hearted look at 'Ten Ways the Universe Tries to Kill You' and Sunday’s being 'Stargazing with Binoculars'.

The astronomy evenings are suitable for guests aged 14 and over, from complete beginners to experienced astronomers, with equipment included for a hands-on experience.

Katie Meyrick-Scott, general manager of Battlesteads Hotel, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Steve to Battlesteads for what will be a once-in-a-blue-moon experience. Steve tours the country giving fantastically insightful and entertaining talks, and we can’t wait for him to come and share his experiences with our observatory guests."

Tickets to each evening with Steve Tonkin are £32.50pp, £25 for concessions and from £82.50 for families. The events will start at 8.30pm and finish at around 11pm.

Guests travelling from further afield can book an overnight stay at Battlesteads Hotel from £75pp B&B (two sharing).

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Battlesteads Hotel, Restaurant & Observatory has announced new dates for its 'Introduction to Astrophotography' two-night breaks in March and April.

Following a flurry of bookings for the first breaks planned in January and February, the award-winning eco-hotel in Northumberland, which is the only hotel in the country with an on-site observatory, has added new dates in March and April to provide expert tuition and a hands-on experience of the art of astrophotography.

Attendees of the two-day course will be able to get to grips with specialist cameras and master their astronomic skills, while enjoying the warm and welcoming hospitality of Battlesteads Hotel.

A dedicated Dark Sky Discovery Site, Battlesteads enjoys some of the darkest night skies in the country, where on a clear night the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye.

The 'Introduction to Astrophotography' packages include two nights' accommodation with breakfast, a five-course tasting menu on the first night and three-course dinner on the second night, attendance of a dark sky event in the observatory on the first night, a photography course on the second day covering long exposure photography, image processing and how to use specialist astrophotography cameras, with the final evening spent putting the skills into practice at the observatory, with the expert tutors on hand to help.

Introduction to Astrophotography breaks at Battesteads start from £215 per person, and are available on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April, and Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May.

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