The Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory, is an accessible, public astronomical observatory offering talks, activities, drop in sessions, stargazing and Astro courses to suit anyone from the absolute beginner to the professional.
Located at a Dark Sky Discovery Site in Wark and under very dark skies, the observatory offers the perfect compromise between the beautiful majesty of dark skies and the facilities offered by a 21st Century Countryside Village location:
- Luxury Astro Accommodation just metres away.
- Superb meals and snacks available, specialising in sustainable, locally sourced food.
- Free hot drinks and water available in the observatory Warm Room.
- Full mains electricity and wifi internet for all your Astro Equipment and Devices (laptops,tablets, smartphones).
- The road is open whatever the weather – even in midwinter snow, and we have plumbing!
|Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory is a venue for ...|
|Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory, Hexham(Group Attraction)|
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Restaurant / Cafe on site
davestripe, Riding Mill, United Kingdom
A great 'add-on' to a meal in the Battlesteads Hotel in Wark, well worth a visit. This new visitor attraction features a small indoor centre with projections of the night sky (and coffee) and a level outdoor space (essential in the dark!) for observing stars, as well as a powerful telescope. The guide was enthusiastic, very knowledgeable and always ready to answer questions. Although the sky was cloudy - so not the best for stargazing - we still saw enough to encourage a return visit. If you're visiting wrap up warm!!
Booked this as a treat for my husband's birthday. Was gorgeously clear when we arrived. Went overcast however we had a talk and people asked different questions. Once it cleared again we saw amazing things with the naked eye, binoculars and through the three telescopes. Was really looking forward to this event and wasn't disappointed. Will definitely return! A must for interested stargazers.
I was blown away!
suetinson, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Very informative talk which was about two hours long. Spent sometime outside where you could view various planets, stars and galaxy through the telescope and the moon through binoculars. The observatory is heated and free hot drinks are available. I was blown away by how clear the stars and constellations were and we got to see our nearest galaxy Andromeda. The presenter Chris was able to get facts over in a very understandable style and for a novice like me it was pitched just right. I will be buying a pair of binoculars ASAP and will head out to my nearest dark sky. Don’t miss this opportunity it’s well worth a visit.
Stars at night
fairdealHartlepoolUk, Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Great time looking at stars with an expert with telescopes and binoculars provided. In the grounds of Battlesteads Hotel where you can have a drink/ meal before your time in the observatory.
Don't go on a cloudy night...
bstrvl55711, Dallas, Texas
So this is a prepay/reservation type of event. Not cheap for 2 hours, but appeared (based on other reviews) to be worth it. When we left for the day I asked if it would be happening that night due to the weather forecast. Was then told it ran "rain or shine". I didn't know how, but okay. Anyway show up that night and it is a full house. Was informed we would just have a lecture and no stargazing. No chance for a refund. Okay. Well the "lecture" seemed to be impromptu, and included watching youtube videos (not originals but someone else's videos I could have watched at home) and viewing a "free program" that shows the stars. Again things I can do at home. Everyone was falling asleep. Note that this is a group that was interested in the tpic enough to pay for this, and yet were not impressed. I was not happy. They should have refunded the fee and offered the "lecture" to encourage us to return another day. I mean, if the weather is too bad for a fishing trip, they don't keep the money. This was ridiculous.
Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory replied: We regret that your evening at the observatory did not go as you would have hoped and only wish you had mentioned this on the evening in question, instead of after the event. We are disappointed that we failed to make the night enjoyable for you, which is our main aim. To address some of your specific concerns, The events take place whatever the weather and if star gazing is not possible the talk is designed to give a light but informative introduction to the night sky, which we hope will help, should you get a chance in the future to observe the night sky from a dark sky site. Our guests are of mixed ability with different levels of enthusiasm so the talk assumes no prior knowledge. The visual aids used such as the short youtube video and the planetarium software are deliberately taken from those freely available, to enable the guests to access them later for themselves should they wish to. We see our aim is to make guests aware of these resources and provide information on how to access them.