Bellingham Camp & Caravan Club Site
Bellingham, Hexham, NE48 2HR
Join us for a weekend of stargazing within the newest and largest Gold Tier Dark Skies park in Europe. The weekend will include talks given by the Starmakers Stargazing Events astronomers, night sky observing with the help of the experts and their telescopes, with free hot drinks and a log-burning stove (if needed) available in our refuge. We may bring Kielder Observatory astronomers down to join us on the Saturday, or another guest speaker. Note that the experts are staying on site and are available to ask advice from all day, including helping you with use of your own telescopes if you bring one.
The Geminids meteor shower is on too. It peaks on the 13th Dec (100-120 meteors per hour) but should still be strong on the 15th. Get ready for some bright shooting stars if you gaze patiently at the night sky! We have chosen the date of this Star Camp to correspond with the Geminids event which has been enjoyed by Club members at 2 previous December camps (could not hold it in mid-Dec in 2016 due to full moon). We have chosen a date where moonlight is minimal and we will be able to see as much as possible – galaxies, nebula, planets and more!
December offers some of the clearest skies of the year and we have been lucky two years running (2014 and 2015), though Dec 2016 proved cloudy until the Sunday night when most campers had left! Our first Spring Star Camp in March 2016 was also clear on one of the 2 nights! Hence we have a good record so far. We have scored 21.9 on the dark sky index – you will not believe that there are so many stars!
You could consider booking extra nights to increase chances of a clear sky. Why not consider being here for the peak of the Geminids? You might want to book extra stargazing at Kielder Observatory (note this sells out months in advance, especially Fri-Sun nights!), a 40 min slow drive away. However, we are likely to have a Kielder Observatory astronomer give a talk here.
People enjoy our events despite the clarity of the skies as the talks are well worth it for stunning imagery and information.
No refund if skies are not clear as the experts are still on site regardless, as are drinks, mulled wine etc!
Red torchlight only and black-out lights in vans please.
Note that our stargazing events are extremely popular and we have a capacity of 25-30
Please contact us to book pitches (Added charge per pitch: 1 night, £9; 2 nights, £14)
Please note that this event has already taken place on 15/12/2017
Robert Ince Stargazing Events is organising this event
Please contact Robert Ince Stargazing Events directly for more details regarding this event or, if appropriate, contact the event venue.
The below chart shows if and when the skies will be at their darkest during this event. Moonlight is shown in light yellow and the Sun's twilight in light blue. Midnight on the date shown is shown as a white line with sunset to the left and sunrise the next morning to the right. A black background with stars shows the best times for stargazing.
Fri 15th Dec
Sat 16th Dec
Sun 17th Dec
Local light pollution
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.