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Planning an astronomy based holiday in UK


orions_boot
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Hi all

I have planned and executed all sorts of holidays all over the world but never astronomy.  I would appreciate any input to help me work out the best time to visit the area I have my eye on.

 I am looking at Kielder area specifically a village called Falstone.  Considerations I believe should be around the moon phase - so looking for a new moon?  And not too far in to the spring/summer - is this about right?  Looking at a moon calendar w/c March 13th or April 12th 2021 for 10-14 days could be ideal.  Is this a good time of year for stargazing?  I have checked accessibility at the accommodation and there is a ground floor converted barn so easy enough to wheel in and out a 10" dob.

Is there anything else I should consider or even another area that could be better than Kielder?  

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The location looks good.  I’d aim for a holiday during the winter GMT period, maybe even Jan/Dec for longer nights.

 

definitely aim for a new moon period, avoiding anything over a 50% moon. Although, depending on if you are a night owl or early riser, the moon may be below the horizon at your preferred viewing time.

 

use an Astro app such as Stellarium to plan your visit by playing with the date/time to see what is visible at the time of your visit and be aware of the location of any buildings/trees that might block your view 🙂

 

and have a Plan B in case it’s just cloudy - it looks like good hiking country if all else fails...

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Falston village will be a good base to establish yourself for a dark sky vacation. It is also just away from the forestry therefore should be less prone to mist. Friends have a cottage nearby at Donkley Wood, stopped over there with a telescope in the past, often will encounter clear skies whereas due west at Kielder village could be misty, ensconced more within the forest region. Not so far from Falston beyond the dam, is a popular carpark for stargazing; Elf Kirk, whilst I know it, I had planned to venture there for a night, yet not made it so far. The village is small and will be dark and is accessible for venturing to other areas during daytime. 

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On 12/12/2020 at 18:09, orions_boot said:

Hi all

I have planned and executed all sorts of holidays all over the world but never astronomy.  I would appreciate any input to help me work out the best time to visit the area I have my eye on.

 I am looking at Kielder area specifically a village called Falstone.  Considerations I believe should be around the moon phase - so looking for a new moon?  And not too far in to the spring/summer - is this about right?  Looking at a moon calendar w/c March 13th or April 12th 2021 for 10-14 days could be ideal.  Is this a good time of year for stargazing?  I have checked accessibility at the accommodation and there is a ground floor converted barn so easy enough to wheel in and out a 10" dob.

Is there anything else I should consider or even another area that could be better than Kielder?  

I stayed on the edge of the village of Bellingham in Sept. Just outside Kielder park, but easy access, also at night. Super for other activities too.

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The accomadation at AstroAdventures is fairly basic but cozy. They have some telescopes for guest use including a 50cm dobsonian and an imaging setup. There is alos Eddington Lodge neraby whihc I think has a much more glamping style of lodge. They also have quite large telescopes to use but I have not been there.

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13 hours ago, icpn said:

There is alos Eddington Lodge

I had a tour of the Eddington Lodge when I was holidaying nearby.  They have two large dobs in their own roll off roof obsy and a dome with dedicated imaging rig. Three very comfortable and spacious two bedroom lodges. And having observed nearby, I can  confirm the skies are extremely good (Bortle 2 - 3). Highly recommend. 

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