Star Gazing at Kielder Forest UK Continued:


After a family meeting we decided (that is the wife and kids decided) to go and do something we hadn’t done before. A boat trip to the Farne Islands to see the Sea- birds , Sealions and Puffins.

The algorithm for this decision came about something like this:

ME. ” Lets go Star Gazing to Kielder Forest ! We can see the natural beauty of the countryside, take a walk through the forest, have a nice picnic and then, later on, go to the observatory and do some Seriuos Star Gazing”

Kids (daughter 22 son 28) ” Lets see the Puffins !”

Beautiful puffin
Puffin at Farne Islands
Wifey: ” it’s a long way (about an hour and half drive), you have to book well in advance if you want to get in on the all day experience of Astronomy talks and star gazing and then there is the hour and half drive back home. There’s no point in going  all that way if we can’t get in is there love ?”

Me: ” Well YES !!! There might be a cancellation 😄👍” I say in a pleading kind of way.

Kids: “let’s see the Sealions !”

Super Sealions
Sea lions at Farne Islands

Wifey: ” No. The kids are right love. No point going all that way if we can’t get in.”

Now I don’t know if it’s just me but reading between the lines here I am sensing that, maybe, only one member of this family REALLY WANTED TO GO TO KIELDER FOREST ?😱😥😭😭

Our previous adventures to Northumberland had included a trip to the town of Seahouses but we had never managed to get on the boats to the islands because A. They were all booked up or B. The boats were not going out because the Sea was too rough and choppy.
However on this occasion it was a beautiful sunny morning. We had got to Seahouses about 11,00 and the Sea was as calm as a mule pond . We booked our tickets and waited for the boat.

We got on the St Cuthbert with about thirty other passengers and a number of various canines. The whole trip takes about two hours the captain announced. Great. I need a Wee!!!

I have to say the trip was amazing! Getting close up views of the Sealions was the highlight for me. Getting a not so close up view of a few Puffins was cool too. Funny looking little critters. Luckily I had the foresight to take my 20 x 50 DPS OLYMPUS Binoculars with me as did one other passenger I noticed. These are great Stargazing Binoculars. He had exactly the same pair as me. We both got Extra closeup views of the wonderful sights on the Farne Islands.

On the way back inland I looked up to the sky and saw the Waxing Half Moon in clear blue daylight. Through my Bins it looked great. I could judge the depth and size with the close up view through my Bins. I couldn’t get a good picture of the Moon however my twitter friend David Blanchflower, also from Newcastle, gave me permission to use his pic of the Moon that same day.

 Moon in Northumberland
Daylight Moon in Northumberland

Thank you David Blanchflower.

Your pics every day on twitter are a joy to behold.

Anyhow, we get back on land after a, quite lovely, sea trip and partake in a Cream Tea for Lunch. Yum yum!

“Right lets go to Kielder. ” I proclaim.             Kielder Forest national park is one of the major dark sky sites in the UK. It’s great for viewing the Stars, Planets and The Milky Way.

” No let’s not.” Says Wifey. “We’re going to Berwick on Tweed”

We get in the car and after about 30 minutes or so arrive at the quaint old town. It is a walled  Town famous for

1. Being the last town before you get to Scotland.

2. It’s very famous for being the place where The Painter Lowrie was born.

That’s all I can say about Berwick on Tweed really…….😱

My wife has never been to Scotland before and it just so happens that Lamberton was the next town north from Berwick on Tweed and it lies 3.6 miles just across the boarder in Scotland. So, guess where we went next? Yep. That’s right. 10 minutes up the road to cross the Scottish Boarder, do a U’ey  and then back again.

The Boarder of Scotland
Reaching the Scottish boarder.
Just so wifey could say  She had driven to SCOTLAND 👍😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆

Now all of this adventuring from New Biggin by the Sea to Seahouses then onto Berwick on Tweed and finally to Scotland is roughly about 57 miles and a total of about an hour and 10 mins drive all told. Coincidently, the drive from New Biggin by the Sea to Kielder Forest National Park is……approximately 58 miles and an hour and 20 minutes drive…..😱😱😱😱😱

On a serious note. Wifey was quite right. There was not a lot of point going all that way to Kielder Forest if we couldn’t get into the observatory.

But there was, it seems, a whole lot of point driving all the way to bloody Scotland for less than 2 minutes and driving back again !!!!!

Astronomy Help

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