Stargazing with Premier Cottages
Winter is the ideal time for a stargazing break. Premier Cottages picks six properties in locations that offer more than their fair share of stellar vistas and star filled nights.
7th November 2018: Winter is the ideal time for a star gazing break. Premier Cottages (www.premiercottages.co.uk) picks six properties in locations that offer more than their fair share of stellar vistas and star filled nights.
Coulscott House, Devon
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and just half a mile from Europe’s first designated International Dark Sky Reserve, Coulscott House’s surroundings are magical both day and night. On a clear evening, the sky of the Exmoor National Park delivers astronomical sights visible to the naked eye, and the house itself is a quarter of a mile from any other property, so star gazing can be enjoyed from the comfort of its private hot tub. There is also a shared indoor heated pool, children’s play areas and an animal enclosure with alpacas, wallabies, goats and more. A seven-night stay in The Georgian House for nine guests starts from £1400. (www.premiercottages.co.uk or call 01271 883339)
Pollaughan Cottages, Cornwall
The Roseland Peninsula is perfect for viewing the night skies, thanks to its rural location. Pollaughan Cottages offer guests the chance to take in the constellations from 22 acres of Cornish countryside or from the privacy of their cottage garden. The cottages are located on a farm and children will love feeding the animals and collecting eggs for breakfast. Nearby there are sandy beaches and plenty of coastal walks. Stargazing sessions can also be booked at the Roseland Observatory, just 25 minutes away.
Pollaughan Cottages has three properties, which sleep between four and six guests. Guests are welcomed with a Prosecco hamper and cream tea on arrival. A seven-night stay at sleeps four Fallow Cottage starts from £970 (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 01872 580150)
Beacon Hill Farm, Northumberland
The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is one of Europe’s largest areas of protected night sky and also one of the darkest, making it an amazing spot for stargazing. Just on the border of the park, Beacon Hill Farm has its own observatory, featuring a Celestron C8-AXLT (AVX) OTA and comfortable seating for up to eight people.
The 350 acre estate also boasts a swimming pool and spa featuring: a steam room, Laconium Therapy Room and The Orangery – a room with a heated floor, steam loungers and 180 degree views through floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the countryside. Tennis courts, a games room and Harry Potter woodland trail are also available. A three night weekend break in Beech Cottage, sleeping six, starts from £525. A three night weekend stay in Ash Cottage, sleeping four, starts from £417 (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 01670 780900)
Set high on Winster Moor, far from any light pollution, are Blakelow Farm Cottages. Guests staying here are encouraged to view the stars with a simple telescope and night sky maps to help with their viewing. Also, just a few miles from the farm, Minninglow is one of three designated dark sky sites in the Peak District and features astronomy interpretation panels to help people explore the skies.
Slightly further away is the Wirksworth StarDisc, a 21st century stone circle and celestial amphitheatre created by Aidan Shingler. Carved into black granite is a star chart that mirrors the northern hemisphere’s night sky. The surface of the stone circle is inscribed with the constellations, their names, and a depiction of the Milky Way. After dark, the star chart, which spans 12m, is illuminated by low level lighting, powered by the Sun. A three night stay for two in Candle Cottage starts from £395. (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 01629 650814)
Nestling in peaceful countryside on the Norfolk/Suffolk border Tindall barn, is an ideal place to enjoy the stunning dark, star filled skies. Seething Observatory, just a mile along the road, features public events with telescope viewing, talks and refreshments.
Tindall Barn stands by itself in the countryside and is frequently visited by marsh harriers, barn and tawny owls, kites, kestrels and hares. It has superb walks from the door.
It is also well situated to explore the Norfolk and Suffolk coast, the Norfolk Broads and the Cathedral City of Norwich (within 30 minutes by car). A three-night weekend stay at Tindall Barn for six guests costs from £438 and a week’s stay from £625. (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 01508 518217)
Kernock Cottages, Cornwall
Located in a “dark skies’ area in the Lynher Valley, Kernock Cottages’ private hot tubs provide the perfect spot for studying the constellations. Set in 25 acres of mature gardens, woodland, paddocks and fields, the four stylish detached cottages offer accommodation that is both child and dog-friendly. They are also ideally situated for exploring both Cornwall and Devon, and for rainy days guests have complimentary access to the China Fleet Country Club, which has a pool and spa.
A three-night weekend stay for two guests in The Coach House starts from £390, a three-night weekend break for four guests in the Tree Barn from £510. (www.premiercottages.co.uk, 01579 350435)
Contact: Liz Blakeborough
Tel: 07813 089347 / 0117 924 0868
Contact: Sarah Bushell
Tel: 0117 924 0868