Early 2014

What’s been in the news recently about the Northumberland National Park that has got everyone talking? The recently bestowed Dark Sky status of course, awarded on December 9th 2013, Gold Tier to the combined areas of the Northumberland National Park and Keilder Water and Forest Park (the Northumberland Dark Sky Park). It is the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe covering nearly 1,500 square kilometres of breathtaking scenery between Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish border – including Firwood. We always knew we had magnificent skies above us, something our guests comment on a lot, but now it’s official!

Milky Way Ingram

The photo (thanks to Couquet Valley Images)above was taken in January in the Breamish Valley a few miles away from Firwood on a star gazing event we went to put on by NASTRO and shows the Milky Way, which over 80% of people have never seen. It was a great night ( a bit chilly but we were well covered) and this gives you a good idea of what you can see from the carpark of the B&B!

Ingram stargazing enh small

There is a very lovely video taken in the NNP, well worth a look. Why not come and take your own though? We have at Firwood a selection of equipment to help you star gaze, including binoculars, tripod ( good for watching the birds on the feeders and the Red Squirrels in the trees during the day as well) and a Dobsonian telescope! We are very beginners ourselves but we have star guides and a very good book to help to identify what you are seeing. Sometimes I think, just looking is enough.. Mike will have to be a bit quicker though, putting out the telescope a few nights ago, a shooting star whizzed across the sky behind him. ‘Where? Where?’ He said. Too late, long gone!! Mike has plans of his own. He has identified a part of the garden that should be ideal for watching the night sky, or indeed the birds during the day and is devising an observation platform. I’ll keep you informed!

I am always proud of Northumberland. Where else is there such diversity of landscapes and the possibilities for whatever it is you want to do in one county? Star gazing, wildlife, castles, museums, magnificent beaches, wild hills and mountains, quiet lanes for cycling and the lack of population for chilling. Oh yes, Northumberland National Park is officially England’s most tranquil location.

Beth

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A nip and a punch! Good gracious, it's December, where on earth did the year go?? One moment it was the height of s… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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