St. Cuthbert's House

northumbrian bed and breakfast

Dark Skies & Stargazing

Northumberland is home to the largest Gold-Tier International Dark Sky Park in Europe, a designation conferred in December 2013.  But almost any part of this most-sparsely populated County in England gives awesome displays of the night sky.  And many places along the coast are just perfect.

We took this 'selfie' whilst watching the Aurora Borealis - the 'northern lights' from the beach at Bamburgh (sorry it's not a more pro shot!) 

There can be no doubt at all that Northumberland is the best place in England to enjoy the splendour of the heavens!

Most of the UK's population lives in 'light polluted' urban areas. Northumberland's vast, wide-open and superbly dark skies always bring comments from visitors, unnaccustomed to and unprepared for the majesty before their eyes.  You can expect to see up to 2,000 stars in the sky at any one time here in Northumberland.

The Milky Way can't be seen from urban areas, and most UK residents have never seen it.  But here, it can be seen in all its glory, looking like an elongated glow set amongst the stars. With binoculars we can see its 'arms' stretch out from a bright central core. It's mind-bending to reflect that this is 2.5 million light years away!

Our mid-summer nights don't get properly dark - another thing which prompts many comments!  So from early May to late July the sky is often dramatic and very beautiful - but you won't see many stars.  At other times of year, only the weather and the moon impact on our stargazing.  The moon will always make the fainter stars hard to see, and so the 'new moon' period marked in our diaries is the best time of all.

Here is a lovely time-lapse video commissioned by the Northumberland National Park Authority, to support the succesful Dark-Sky Park bid, which shows what's in store...

We do have a number of street-lights here in the village and around St Cuthbert's House, so it's best to head for a really dark spot to relax and view the night sky - such as from the beach, or a quiet spot just outside the village.  But it's a short  journey well worth making, in order to be transported into another world... 

We can lend you a pair of binoculars and a blanket or two if you like, and send you off with a hot flask!

There are tons of knowledgeable resources around the internet on this subject.  Here are just a few:

Sky Week – regularly updated digest of what's in the sky. www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance

Pocket Universe – plenty of features and star maps. http://pocketuniverse.info/

ISS Detector and ISS Spotter – both will alert you when the ISS is due to pass overhead.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.runar.issdetector

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/iss-spotter/id523486350?mt=8

Stellarium – interactive planetarium programme. Easy to use and shows the night sky realistically. Free and available for Windows and Mac. www.stellarium.org/en_GB/

 

  • Saturday March 18 - Krista Detor and band

    Saturday March 18 - Krista Detor and band

    We're absolutely delighted to welcome Krista back to SCH, having heard her here in  2013 and 2015.  She brings intelligent and always-beautiful music, and a performance which is mature and measured. An evening with Krista is so much more than simply listening to music...

    Her solo albums have reached national and international prominence, including number one on the Euro AmericanaChart and placement within the top 10 of the US Folk and Independent Music charts. She has performed with such notable artists as Suzanne Vega, Joan Armatrading and Louden Wainwright, among others. Her choral works have been commissioned by several choirs.

    A returning guest lecturer at Stanford University, Detor works with students in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. Her album, 'Chocolate Paper Suties' is now ‘required reading for the literature course.

  • Clare votes us her No 1!

    Clare votes us her No 1!

    We've been enjoying reading Clare Balding's new book recently. She stayed with us here at St Cuthbert's House a while ago, but we were really taken aback when folks began to call to tell us that she mentions her stay at St Cuthbert's House in the book! Here's what she says, on page 201:
    'St Cuthbert's House went instantly to the top of my 'best ever B&Bs' list. I would describe it as a luxury small hotel with a family feel, but that might not fit on the signs.' Aw, thanks Clare!

  • Want to see what's so special about Northumberland?

    Want to see what's so special about Northumberland?

    Some time ago, we began work with our local Tourism Association to produce a video showing some of the things which make this area so very special.  Now the video is complete, and we are deeply grateful to the remarkable young film-maker Cain Scrimgeour for working patiently with us across the seasons, to create something very, very beautiful. This is 7 minutes long, and we urge you to settle back and watch...

  • Visit England Awards 2016 - Guest Accommodation AND Sustainable Tourism!

    Visit England Awards 2016 - Guest Accommodation AND Sustainable Tourism!

    Visit England Awards 2016 - Guest Accommodation AND Sustainable Tourism!

    At the 2016 Visit England Awards - the 'Tourism Oscars' - we were honoured to be amongst the medals in TWO categories - both Guest Accommodation of the Year and also Sustainable Tourism Business of the Year.

    We want you to have a wonderful experience of this amazing area, but we also passionately believe that your visit should make our rural community a better place to live and work for local people, too.  We’re delighted that our determination to provide an unforgettable guest experience which also builds our local economy, has brought us these national Awards in two categories, and to be considered amongst the best in the whole country!

    Here's Jeff & Jill, together with daughters Hannah & Abi, pictured receiving their Awards at the glittering ceremony at the Winter gardens in Blackpool in March 2016.

  • Quite a haul in 2015!

    Quite a haul in 2015!

    2015 has been a very special year for us here at St Cuthbert's House. 

    We won a Silver Award at the National VisitEngland Awards ceremony, and TWO Gold Awards at the North-East Tourism Awards! 

    We were also honoured with a special 'RoSE' Award from VisitEngland in 'Recognition of Service Excellence', and the 'Editor's Choice' Award from the Good Hotel Guide.  Quite a haul!

    The main reason we put SCH forward for these VisitEngland Awards in particular, is to assure you that we are serious about striving for the very highest standards, to ensure you enoy your stay. 

  • Peter & Kathy recommend St Cuthbert's House

    Peter & Kathy recommend St Cuthbert's House

    Peter & Kathy told us that they'd really enjoyed their first stay at SCH, and so we asked them to tell you why...

    Reassure yourself - watch their one-minute video..

  • Check out our Tripadvisor Reviews

    Check out our Tripadvisor Reviews

    Check out our Tripadvisor Reviews, to find out what other guests have said about their stay.  But please - always book direct via our Book Online page to avoid fees.

    We're pleased to be included as founder members of the Tripadvisor 'Hall of Fame' - where entry is only available to businesses which have won Tripadvisor's coveted 'Certificate of Excellence' for five consecutive years.

  • Our Price Guarantee

    Our Price Guarantee

    You will ALWAYS receive the best possible price by booking direct with us - either by calling us on 01665 720456 or by following the Book Now menu item!  Beware that some large agencies charge you more - and they also take a large slice of commission from small independents like us.  Show your support for small businesses by booking DIRECT!

Make a Booking

Ready to Book? You can check availability and book online right now using our Online Booking tool.

Or you can call us on 01665 720456 to book, too. If you don't see the availability you need in the Online Booking tool, it's always worth giving us a call to check.

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Contact Us & Stay In Touch

If you have any questions, please call us on 01665 720456 or send us an email or a booking enquiry.

And please sign up for our e-Newsletters below! We send our St Cuthbert's House newsletter about four times per year. It's filled with interesting SCH news, and Special Offers for subscribers.

And if you'd like to keep in touch about upcoming house-concerts and be the first to know who's coming, then please tick that box too! We send a house-concerts newsletter most months to keep you up to date on the musical front.

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Copyright © 2017 St Cuthberts House. All Rights Reserved.
St Cuthbert's House, 192 Main St, Seahouses, Northumberland NE68 7UB (00 44) (0)1665 720456