You know where to spend your evenings gazing at the stars and how to keep busy during the day, but where are the best places to stay? Luxurious lodges with hot tubs under the stars, and cosy, log burner cottages on the coast are what Northumberland does best, with something to suit every taste and budget.
Make the most of your visit to Battlesteads with an overnight stay in one of its 22 en-suite bedrooms and eco lodges. Renowned for its focus on sustainability, the hotel was crowned the winner of the Visit England Awards for Excellence Gold for Sustainable Tourism Business 2017. Its prime location on the edge of the Northumberland National Park makes it perfect for exploring the rugged scenery of the North East, seeing world-class historical sites such as Hadrian’s Wall and, of course, experiencing the biggest Dark Sky Park in Europe.
Battlesteads Observatory is the star attraction – awarded Designated Dark Sky Site status and sitting on the edge of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, it benefits from astoundingly clear skies. On a good night, the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye and you may even sight the magical Northern Lights. The observatory’s expert astronomy team can guide you through the night sky, with a wide range of events and courses running throughout the year that are suitable for all ages and levels of stargazer.
The restaurant’s locally-produced menu is another highlight and head chef Eddie Shilton uses suppliers just a minute’s walk from the hotel, along with fruit, vegetables and herbs grown on-site in Battlesteads’ own kitchen garden. Succulent local steaks, sustainable seafood and tempting desserts, including the hotel’s signature whisky & marmalade bread and butter pudding, can all be savoured when you stay here.
If being surrounded by nature sounds like your idea of heaven, then Kielder Waterside lodges are the accommodation you need for your stargazing break. The woodland lodges, nestled away in the heart of Kielder Forest, bring a touch of luxury to the great outdoors. They have been designed to reflect the thick woodland that surrounds them, and their contemporary style alongside their stunning forest location gives them an irresistibly rustic and ‘stripped back’ feeling. Some lodges even have a private hot tub, so you can admire the dazzling stars above from the comfort of a bubbling Jacuzzi (maybe even with a beer or a glass of wine in-hand).
The lodges are an ideal base for exploring Kielder Water & Forest Park’s rare wildlife, 250 square miles of idyllic landscape and its astounding collection of open-air, visual artworks. For friends, for fun, for romantic getaways, for adventure, for discovery, for making memories, for starry nights and for adrenaline-fuelled days, Kielder Waterside has an experience for everyone.
Northumbria Coast and Country Cottages boast over 500 holiday homes. Scattered along the magnificent Heritage Coastline and across the breath-taking National Park and Cheviot Hills, their self-catering cottages sit in some of the best areas for keeping your eyes on the skies and doing some star spotting.
Spacious kitchens, beautifully decorated living areas, log burners and awe-inspiring views are common features of many of the cottages. Each one has its own individual décor, so you can find the right fit for your family or group based on location and style. From a cottage in spell-binding Bamburgh to a bungalow in the spiritual village of Alnmouth, you can position yourself within easy access of castles, coast and dark skies vantage points. Look out for the Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, which have been known to light up the night’s sky over Northumberland’s coastline.