Strolling, stargazing and stunning views.
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 2
A weekend of walking and socialising in Northumberland. You’re going to be star struck this weekend (literally) as we’re combining great walking with a spot of astro tourism in the heart of Northumberland’s Dark Skies Park.
With official gold-tier recognition by the International Dark Sky Association, Northumberland is one of the best places in England for stargazing.
So, with stunning walks around Hadrian’s Wall, we’ve compiled an itinerary that also includes an evening spent at Kielder’s Observatory for an out-of-this-world adventure.
In a nutshell:
- Feel invigorated having walked through some fine scenic and historic landscape including following a section of Hadrian’s Wall.
- Be amazed at the wonder of the dark skies at Kielder’s Observatory.
- Tuck in to some great tasting food prepared for you.
About the Area:
Northumberland Dark Sky Reserve
Northumberland is fantastic for exploring, both during the day time and at night. The National Park is the 3rd largest protected Dark Sky reserve in the world.
In the heart of the stunning Kielder Forest is the observatory which makes it a perfect place to watch in wonder as the magic of our dark sky comes into view.
On a clear night you can stand and stare from the observation deck at a sky filled with billions of stars and the Milky Way arching overhead. Inside, powerful telescopes and knowledgeable astronomists open up a world of planets, galaxies and star clusters.
During the day, there’s an infinite number of beautiful walks with the heritage of Hadrian’s Wall adding a further layer of interest alongside awe-inspiring scenery.
We’re on-hand to welcome and settle you in, and then it’s just a simple case of congregating in the lounge, probably with a glass in-hand, and chatting to other members of the group before we enjoy a welcome dinner.
This morning its time to head out for a gentle and relaxing walk, from our venue we have easy access to explore some of the finest scenery in Northumberland. This walk will be around 6-9 miles and all along easy forest tracks.
Although a little shorter than our normal Saturday walk we will still enjoy a great day out. Then its back to the Calvert Centre for an early evening meal and the chance to relax or enjoy a quick snooze.
It’s then time to go stargazing at Kielder Observatory (NB: entry to the Observatory is included in the price of this weekend). After an enlightening talk on astronomy, we’re treated to a tour of the Observatory before getting a chance to peek at the stars through the powerful telescopes.
Amazing gazing will be in the offing if we have clear skies when you can expect to see distant galaxies, the Milky Way and star clusters.
With experts on-hand there is plenty of time to ask questions, have a go at the big telescopes and marvel at the stars. They also serve a rather cracking hot chocolate.
After a well deserved and leisurely breakfast we leave the centre and head out to further explore the spectacular Kielder Forest. This will be a gentle walk of roughly 4-6 miles. Walk over, we had to the nearest pub for our obligatory Sunday lunch as a fitting end to the weekend’s events.
Good to know:
Please note for our Stargazing trips we have moved to a new location.
Calvert Trust Kielder
Kielder Water & Forest Park
For our new Stargazing weekends we will be staying with the Calvert Trust in Kielder. The Calvert Trust enables disabled adults and children, together with their families and friends, to achieve their potential through the challenge of outdoor adventure in the countryside. You can read more about this charity here…
If you have attending one of our regular weekends then please note this trip will be a bit different as we are staying in the outdoor centre and they will be providing all the meals.
Good to know:
- This venue has a bar and only alcohol purchased on site may be consumed.
- The venue has a hydro therapy pool which is available for us to use after the walk. Please bring swimwear if you wish to join us for a dip.
- Travel on the trip is not included, this means we will need to car share to the observatory and to the start locations of the daily walks.
- Please don’t forget your head torch and ideally this should have a red light setting.
- Please note there is no mobile phone signal and limited wifi at this venue.
How many walk options are offered?
For this trip there will be just one walk on offer and this will be a gentle and easy walk in the local area.
Kielder Water & Forest Park
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What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018