Northumberland StarFest

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Northumberland Starfest – 2022 February 25th to 27th

StarFest is 3 days and 2 nights of family astronomy fun at Brown Rigg Lodges

Brown Rigg Lodges is a luxury lodge accommodation, situated in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park.

The timetable of events is show below, and all activities are family friendly.

Astronomy for Absolute Beginners

The basics for a great night of stargazing.  Ideas and advice for naked eye, binocular and telescope astronomy.  This covers everything at a basic level: latest astronomy and space news, equipment, the moon, planets and galaxies, the northern lights, basic apps, dark sky discovery sites and weather.

4 Things to Look for & Stargazing Apps

The astronomer will take you on a virtual tour of some simple objects to spot in the night sky, including 4 “need to know” stargazing treats and how to see them naked eye, with binoculars and telescopes.  We’ll also take some time to delve a little deeper into phone apps and PC software, and if you’ve got a telescope you need help with, then at the end of the sessions we’ll help you get started.

Build Your Own Spectroscope

Rainbows are pretty but they also give us lots of scientific information about light.  In true “Blue Peter” style we will show you how to construct a simple version of a scientific device to analyse starlight and artificial light.  (which you can take away with you).

Get to Know your Telescope

A hands-on activity session that you can either bring your own telescope to, OR tinker with some of ours.  We will have a solar scope, refractor, and reflector for you to investigate and our astronomers will also help and guide you to set up your own.  Additionally, we’ll have several pairs of binoculars for you to investigate and our team would be happy to give you friendly advice on buying your first telescope!

Rocket Building and Launching

Build and launch a pop-bottle water rocket!  We will spend the morning building rockets which we’ll then launch (whatever the weather) and there will be prizes (meteorites and tektites) for things like the highest rockets and the best designs.  Please bring your own empty pop bottles, coat and towel essential!


    • What time should I arrive on Friday 25th February 2022?
      You are welcome to arrive between 1600 and 17:00. Once settled in we will serve an evening meal around 17.00
    • What time does StarFest finish?
      14:00 on Sunday 27th November 2022.
    • Allergies/food intolerance/gluten free?
      Please let us know on the booking form if you have any allergies or intolerances. We will be in touch nearer the time to check any dietary requirements
    • What happens if we can`t travel due to a Government lockdown?
      If we are unable to fulfil the event due to a Government lockdown we can either transfer your tickets to a future event or we will offer you a full refund
    • What ages are the activities suitable for?
      All activities are suitable for ages 8 to 108. Younger children are also welcome. Children will need to be supervised by at least 1 adult.
      All activities follow Government guidance to be covid-safe
    • What will we do if it is cloudy?
      Whilst it is unlikely to be completely cloudy for your whole stay, we have plenty of fun activities, talks and workshops to keep you entertained.  We also have a museum quality meteorite collection which we will be pleased to show you, and which you can handle, investigate and marvel at!
    • Is there anything special I need to bring?
      • As the Northumbrian nights can get quite cold, warm clothing including gloves, hat, scarf/buff and thick socks are essential.
      • Red light torches, (essential.)
      • A low backed chair, or picnic blanket  (Ideal for naked eye stargazing, but not essential).
      • Though not essential you may wish to bring with you if you have them; a telescope, a pair of binoculars camera, tripod and an outdoor chair
      • You may also like to load your mobile phone with some astronomical apps such as ‘Stellarium’, Sky Map, ISS Detector, Aurora Watch UK and Star Walk prior to the event.


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2-nights’ accommodation in one of Brown Rigg’s luxury Lodges or Guest Rooms:

  • You will stay in one of Brown Rigg’s well equipped and comfortable Lodges or Guest Rooms;
  • All bedrooms sleep 2 people. You will only share a bedroom with someone from your family or group.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout your stay, comprising:

  • Breakfast on days 2 and 3,
  • Lunch on days 2 and 3,
  • Dinner on days 1 and 2,
  • Hot drink and snack during night-time stargazing sessions.

Click this link for further information on meals served at Starfest

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  • Accommodation


    Lodges and rooms in the guest house are available.

    Brown Rigg Lodges
  • Food


    Brown Rigg Lodges are primarily self-catering, but yummy food options will include a Saturday Night StarBQ (weather permitting), and pizzas with lots of toppings. (Vegetarian options available.) To find out about more food options, message us using the link below.

    Food Choices
  • Astronomy


    There will be stargazing on Friday and Saturday nights and many family friendly activities during the days, Friday to Sunday.

    Activities & Events