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Our resident astronomers, astrophotographers & guests have been busy taking some great new photos at the Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory. Check out the Observatory Gallery to see what they have been up to. 

If you are interested in astrophotography why not check out one of our upcoming astrophotography events.

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Eco-friendly Northumberland hotel and restaurant Batlesteads has strengthened its international travel trade relations as it joins a new collection of National Park experiences.

Battlesteads has been successful in applying to be one of the exclusive experiences in The English National Park Experience Collection. This brand-new collection of bookable experiences tells the stories of England’s National Parks and their people, to attract new visitors from overseas.

Located on the edge of Northumberland National Park, Battlesteads is the only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, which has been awarded Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site status, meaning it’s one of the best places in the country to see the stars.

Part of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, the largest protected area of night sky in Europe, Battlesteads Observatory offers stargazing experiences for astronomers of all abilities, from getting to know your telescope to aurora hunting and astrophotography.

Katie Meyrick-Scott, general manager of Battlesteads, said: "We're delighted to be joining The English National Park Experience Collection, which brings together more than 60 of the best experiences across nine of England’s National Parks. This new initiative will help us reach a much wider overseas audience and help to support Northumberland’s thriving year-round tourism industry."



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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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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Award-winning Northumberland hotel and restaurant Battlesteads, near Wark, is inviting visitors to discover Britain’s brilliant dark skies at its Dark Sky Observatory during the National Parks Dark Skies Festival.

Taking place from Saturday 18 to Sunday 26 February, the National Parks Dark Skies Festival is now in its second year and aims to encourage more people to discover the fantastic stargazing opportunities in Britain.

Battlesteads, the only hotel in the UK with an on-site observatory, is offering budding astrologers the chance to enjoy a two or three-night break at the hotel, with tickets to the observatory and the hotel’s famous 8-course local produce tasting menu, from just £95 per room, per night.

The observatory is a Designated Dark Sky Discovery Site, meaning it’s one of the few places in the UK free enough from light pollution to see the Milky Way with the naked eye or even watch the Northern Lights.

Events and courses take place at the observatory throughout the year, from ‘get to know your telescope’ sessions to aurora hunting and deep sky astro-photography, with something for all levels of stargazer.

Katie Meyrick-Scott, general manager of Battlesteads Hotel said: "Since opening our observatory in 2015, we’ve been offering guests the chance to discover the beauty of Northumberland’s dark skies, which offer some of the best stargazing in the country. Our exclusive two and three-night packages, including bed and breakfast, observatory tickets and 8-course tasting menu, are available throughout the week of the National Parks Dark Skies Festival and throughout March."

Two night's bed and breakfast with an 8-course tasting menu on the first night and observatory tickets to use on the second night start from £95 per person, based on two sharing. A three-night package is available from £137.50 per person.

Both packages can be upgraded to accommodation in one of Battlesteads’ five new luxury eco lodges for £30 per room per night, and matched wines can be added to the tasting menu for £25 per person.

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