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Did you know that an estimated 85% of people in the UK have never experienced the breathtaking beauty of a truly dark sky?
Here at the Pheasant Inn on the edge of Kielder Water and Forest Park, our skies have been awarded Gold Tier Dark Sky Park status by the International Dark Skies Association. That makes us the biggest Dark Sky Park area of protected night sky in Europe, and if you step out of the Pheasant Inn and look upwards you are looking at what is now officially named Northumberland Dark Sky Park.
We feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country. On an average night we might see between 1,500 and 2,000 stars, and on a clear night we can sometimes even see the Milky Way.
The Hexham Courant, the Journal and other regional newspapers and magazines have been full of the news that Kielder Observatory has launched a bid to launch an £8.5m Astronomy Village project that will include a 60 seat planetarium, glass topped pods, a telescope with a one metre wide aperture accessible to wheelchair users, and an accommodation block for visiting astronomers.
The observatory draws around 25,000 visitors a year, from professional and amateur astronomers to couples and families with children, and some of them travel thousands of miles to admire our beautiful Northumberland skies.
We are only a 10-minute drive away from the observatory and lots of visitors choose to stay overnight in our comfortably-furnished Northumberland B&B accommodation. We’re glad to go the extra mile for our stargazing visitors, for instance providing early dining for those leaving for the observatory between 5.30 and 6 pm.
Northumberland Dark Sky Park is now officially one of the best places to stargaze in the whole of Europe. And after an evening spent wondering at the majesty of the galaxy, many of our visitors tell us there are few things nicer than sinking into one of our comfy beds and dreaming of the hearty Northumberland breakfast that awaits them in the morning.
"Good people, good place, good food, good beer."
visitor from London
"An old English pub with modern accommodation in an idyllic spot. Good food, friendly staff ...need I say more? Fitness Centre? The great outdoors!"
visitor from Somerset
"The Kershaws' cooking is fresh, generous and flavoursome, producing wholesome traditional English fare."
The Pub Guide