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carastro

Possible future Astro Camp in dark skies in Cornwall

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Some friends of mine are selling up and planning to buy a place in Cornwall with some land so they can have a camping field.

I suggested to them that they consider getting one in a dark site, and keeping some weeks per year/month exclusively for Astronomy and they think this is a good idea as they are interested in Astronomy though they don't actively do it themselves.

I suggested keeping once a month exclusively for Astronomy (near a new Moon), and told them that they will need to provide Hook up, as well as toilets and showers.

I thought I would test the water and see how many people would be interested in this and whether a monthly Astro camp is too frequent, and maybe just a quarterly camp would be better.

Would be interested in your responses.

Carole

Edited by carastro

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To far for me carole , but sounds a great idea .

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I've never had much of an appetite for camping when the skies are best for observing..ie when its flippin cold!..but I do take my hat off to those that attend the star parties at these times of the year.

I know the summer months are rather restrictive when it comes to anything astronomy related...but if I were going to camp with the intention of observing/imaging I would prefer to do it between May and September...

Edited by SteveA

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I'll always vote for cornwall, hoping to get the tent,scope and fishing gear to tintagel very soon as I need a pasty and pint fix:D

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Well at least Cornwall does get a bit more proper darkness in the summertime being at the South end of the UK.

Even if not actually attending an astro event, knowing that somewhere has dark skies is always a plus when I'm looking for a camp site for a family break. Maybe the best option is to make it astro friendly with minimal non-intrusive lighting and finding somewhere with a good horizon, particularly southerly views.

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I'd be very interested, although I wouldn't be able to do monthly (more's the pity!)

Proper Cornish Pasty....... mmmmmmmmmm!

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I love cornwall and would happily camp at a dark sky site a couple of times a year. Think quarters might be best i would of thought. Spring, Autumn, Winter and Summer i would guess. I know summer is not ideal for observing but for visual its still o.k and theres so much more to see in cornwall beside. I would definately be up for it.

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The "proper cornish" are big old dinosaurs from pengellan in tintagel, I'm sure they could feed armies for months on just one paaaaasty lol. If only they did bacon n egg pastys, but then full english is what the King Arthurs Arms does v.well. (Ps I'm not a cornish/tintagel tourist board member, just a tourist who is v.well known there)

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The only thing i would say is that Cornwall is a fair trek from most places (even Devon) so they might have problems getting people over the winter.

Im sure most people living in the area will already know a suitable dark site.

In the Summer i think that they would be fully booked with people on Holiday.

Saying that Astro Adventures have carved themselves a nice niche

How big a bit of land are they looking at ?

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How big a bit of land are they looking at ?

That I don't know, will chat to them further in the near future, especially after getting responses here.

Carole

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Me and 4 others would be interested :D (although we live a fair old way away, we'd travel!)

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Thanks for your replies every-one, obviously the more interest there is the more convinced our friends will be to do this.

I am thinking maybe four times a year might be better and not to clash with Kelling and other astro-camps if we know the dates in advance.

Plus the idea above of making it astro-friendly is also a good idea so Astronomers can turn up any-time and not be faced with bright lights.

Will keep this thread running for a while to judge the feedback, it's going to be a while in the future anyway.

Carole

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I'd be interested Carole. I'm from Cornwall and it's only a short drive for me as long as it's not during grockle season.

Edited by JonH

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It's certainly a great idea.

In Feb I spent a very happy week at 'Astoadventures' in N Devon and when the clouds beggared-orf the sky was stunning.

Your friends could do worse than look at their business model (2 wood cabin chalets, 2 obsies) which is comfortable accommodation plus loads of available aperture! The beauty of their set-up is that their Astro kit is there whether you want or not :D

I haven't Astro-camped before and would be very keen to find out what equipment is best. Specific obsy tents are very expensive. Having seen your lovely website I believe you have a wind-shield arrangement, is that correct Carole?

Also some advice about seasonal camping... Brrrrrrrr :headbang:

Edited by Brumtaffy

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If they had a piece of land that was suitable for an Astro week or two at various times of the year then great. However a business that is aimed a somewhat specialist section may not last long.

Campers will often want a few conveniences fairly close. From a campers point of view a 200yd walk to a Sainsurys/Tesco super store would be pretty good. Being on or close to a main road with good access into the campsite and out to other places is also good. Close enough to a small town/village with a couple of pubs to walk to is another.

None of which my be Astronomy plus points.

If you/they look at it from a business perspective the view is somewhat different.

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I believe you have a wind-shield arrangement, is that correct Carole?

Yes I've got a wind shield construction which attaches to the side of my tent, I have made a ground sheet for it and have half made a roof for it, just waiting for the better weather to finish it off. It means I can sit in the tent with my laptop and the set up is protected from the wind.

I am not sure whether I will be able to use it at SGL7 as it was designed to attach to the tent for stability and I am sharing a caravan on this occasion.

I think my friends will be opening the campsite for holiday makers all other weeks, I just suggested they reserve a few weeks for Astronomers as I know campsites like this are pretty impossible to find. Camping with non astronomers always means lots of lights to contend with.

Carole

Edited by carastro

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Indeed, our needs are somewhat 'niche' !

I'd love to see more pics of how your tent extension/wind-shield works out Carole :)

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Yes, I think your friends need a balanced business approach. As much as I would like the World to rotate around me (as it would also make setting up an Eq mount easier :)) you've got to recognise that astronomers won't be a huge slice of the cashflow at most times.

Granted, if you pick a spot well and attract a star party it can be quite a lucrative event (I'm sure Lucksall must be quite pleased at filling the site over a weekend outside school hols) but don't let them choose a site based on astronomy suitability if it doesn't tick other boxes.

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