March 8-10 2019 sees the return of Wigtown Book Festival’s high successful Big Bang Weekend and this year’s theme is ‘The Universe in a Nutshell’, celebrating 10 years of the Dark Skies Park.

There are a number of fascinating events from Friday through to Sunday, which will explore man (and woman’s!) attempts to understand the cosmos.  These include a mobile planetarium where you can learn about the stars before it gets dark, Virgin Spaceman – Nigel Henbest, an astronaut with Virgin Galactic programme who will give a behind the scenes insight into his astronaut training, Dr Alastair Tait, who discusses the idea of life on Mars and how future missions to the red planet might reveal alien existence and a creative writing and science workshop with science educator, poet and playwright, Carolyn Yates.

There are a few options if you want to get out and about – Darkness and Stars at Glentrool Village with Dark Skies Park ranger, Elizabeth Tindal and artist and Dark Sky researcher, Natalie Marr or for something during the day, Elizabeth Tindal will be leading a tidal walk and will explain the astronomy behind the tides and seasons, revealing how the forces of the sun and the moon affect the creatures who live in this estuary.

Elizabeth Tindal – Dark Skies Park Ranger

If that weekend doesn’t suit, why not book a one-to-one evening with the Dark Skies Park ranger, Elizabeth Tindal. Elizabeth can rendezvous with you at your Corsewall holiday cottage, set up a safe campfire and help you find your way around the stars and constellations such as the plough, north star, summer triangle, Cygnus, Cassiopeia or Orion and you can learn a few of the stories about the stars, how far away they are, why they sparkle and why they are different colours.  Early spring is still an ideal time to star gaze as there is still sufficient darkness to see the stars properly.

Looking at the Moon

We still have availability at our luxury 4-star holiday cottages in Dumfries and Galloway for the Big Bang weekend at High Clachan Farmhouse (8), with prices from £230 fothree-nightight stay for two people or Home Farm Cottage (5) for £290 for a three night stay for 5 people.