Saturday 6th August  - Monday 8th August 2016


£220 per person sharing a double or twin room. 
A very limited amount of single rooms are available for £20 extra.


London is a densely populated and light polluted urban area. Here, stars are barely visible due to the orange glow. Nothumberland’s International Dark Skies Park was opened in late 2013, at 572 square miles it is Europe’s largest area of protected night sky.


There, your eyes can feast on up to 2,000 stars at any one time; the furthest object you can see with your naked eye is the Andromeda Galaxy – a vast island of stars very similar to our own Milky Way. The Milky Way cannot be seen from built up areas. In fact, 80% of us have never seen it. But in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, you can see it in all its glory. Use binoculars and you will see its arms stretch out on both sides from a bright central core. This amazing object is 2.5 million light years away!  


On this very special weekend trip, we are lucky enough to have our own private astronomy and stargazing event at the incredible Kielder Observatory, within the Dark Skies Park. During this three hour event, experts will introduce us to the wonders of the universe, before guiding us through the observatory, introducing us to the large aperture telescopes and giving guidance on how best to use them. If the skies are clear we will observe objects including distant galaxies, nebulae and star clusters whilst gazing at the glittering stars of the Milky Way from the observation deck.


The daytimes will be filled with wonder too! On the journey up to North Cumbria on Saturday, we will stop at beautiful and historic Stratford-Upon-Avon, famous for being the birthplace and final resting place of Shakespeare. Explore the tudor town and riverside, grab some lunch and maybe check out Shakespeare’s Birthplace Museum before we continue on our journey.


We will stay for two nights in a fantastic hotel in the heart of the North Cumbrian countryside. The Gilsand Hall Hotel dates back to the 1800s and sits in 140 acres of gardens and woodland. Dinner and breakfast are included in the cost of the trip, and the hotel has a comfortable bar with entertainment every night.


On the Sunday you are welcome to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, or you could choose to join me for a hike along Hadrian’s Wall path to the ancient ruin of Lanercost Priory . After dinner at the hotel, our coach will deliver us to Kielder Observatory for the highlight of the trip, our private stargazing event.


On the homeward trip on Monday, we will stop at Ullswater in the stunning Lake District National Park, where you can choose to take a 65 min cruise down the length of the lake to Glenridding. The scenery here is breathtaking! After a short break in this pretty village we will head back to London.



Departure/Drop off point


Outside Union Car Park, Harrington Road, South Kensington


From South Kensington Station, exit via the left hand stairs when you come through the ticket barriers. Turn right and cross at the traffic lights. Walk up Harrington Road, between the optician and the NatWest bank. You will pass the big grey Ampersand Hotel on your right. Keep walking until you come to the wooden fence on the left, this is Union Car Park. We will meet you on the pavement by the phone box.


Departure time*


8.00am - Saturday 6th Aug


Return time*


8.00pm - Monday 8th Aug




Sat 6th August:

8am - Depart London South Kensington SW7

10.30 - arrive Stratford-Upon-Avon Windsor Street CV37 6NL

13.00 - Depart Stratford. One hour break at services on route 

18.30 - Arrive Gilsland Hall Hotel,  Gilsand, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 7AR


Sun 7th August:

11am – 5pm walk on the Hadrian's Wall Footpath with a visit to Lanercost Priory (about 2hrs walking each way), return to the hotel in time for dinner (approx 6-6.30pm)

7pm - depart for Kielder Observatory for private event

11.30pm - Depart Kielder Observatory

1am (Mon) - Arrive Gilsland Hotel


Mon 8th August:

10am - check out and depart hotel after breakfast

11.30am - arrive Pooley Bridge Pier for 65 min cruise on Ullswater Lake to Glenridding. 

2pm - Depart Glenridding. One hour break at services on journey 

8pm - Arrive London South Kensington





Return coach travel from London, 2 nights dinner, bed & breakfast in the Gilsland Hall Hotel, private event at the Kielder Observatory, the services of a tour guide 



Not included


Tickets to attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon, entry to Lanercost Priory (£4.60), tickets for Ullswater Steamers (although a group discount will be arranged, approx. £9 per person), other food & drink, gratuities



*Timings are approximate and the schedule is subject to change when required. Please check your booking confirmation for any changes to departure time. Your tour guide will confirm times to be back at the coach at each stop, the schedule above is a guideline only. See our website for full terms & conditions.


© Abbey Tours UK Ltd. 2016