We chose a perfect night for our star gazing evening with Elizabeth Tindal – Dark Skies Park Ranger. There was barely a cloud in the sky – so great conditions for star spotting and by 6.30pm the stars were starting to twinkle.
We served up hot chocolate for guests on arrival, with marshmallows and there was also a squirty cream option for those that like the full Monty. The fire raisers had got our new Indian fire pit going, so it was glowing hot by the time everyone arrived – just right for toasting marshmallows.
Having warmed up with a hot drink and marshmallows, we started our star gazing, quickly locating, with Elizabeth’s expert guidance, Orion’s Belt, the Dog Star, the Plough, Cassiopeia Jupiter and the North Star. We learnt about how many light years certain stars were from us – it seemed almost incomprehensible to discover that one was 2,000 years distant from planet earth.
Graham, who was staying in High Clachan Farmhouse, had downloaded a clever app, which enabled us to track the International Space Station and we watched it whizz past at 7.46pm precisely.
After all the excitement of waving furiously to Major Tim Peake, Elizabeth cleverly diverted all the children’s attention away from feeling the cold by making up a mixture for ‘damper bread’.
We wrapped the dough round the end of sticks and set about toasting them on the fire. We knew when it was ready as it became easy to pull off the sticks.
Then children had the choice of filling the bread with squeezy chocolate spread, jam or honey – or a blend of all three!
Elizabeth rounded off the evening with looking through her powerful ground mounted binoculars at the moon – where we she helped us to identify the Sea of Tranquillity, the spot where Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.
It was wonderfully clear.
Elizabeth asked one or two children to describe the evening in three words – our Alice chose: ‘dark, cold and yummy’. For me, ‘fascinating, bright and fun’ sums up an excellent star gazing evening at Corsewall Estate Holiday Holidays.
We’re planning another event with Elizabeth Tindal during the summer half term possibly along a mud theme to tie in with International Mud Day!