We’ve been lucky to see the northern lights on 3 out of 4 hunting trips and with a few dark sky reserves in the UK, just a couple of hours drive from home, we thought we’d give aurora and stargazing closer to home a try.
We booked overnight at Twice Brewed Inn for their aurora and stargazing experience. Stopping off at the lovely Northumbrian town of Hexham on the way, we had a quick lunch and a walk around the spectacular abbey. We even saw Matt Baker recording a new TV show in the town!
We were very warmly welcomed and our room was comfortable. I appreciated the hospitality tray with proper size mugs, not tiny tea cups. The view from the bed was beautiful! The little inn also brews its own beer and has stargazing cabins for that extra but of adventure! I mean, let’s be honest, the brewery is the inn’s bread and butter but the main draw for us was the sky.
Breakfast the next morning was equally enjoyable. The buffet was pleasingly laid out and it was great to see fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries as well as pineapple and melon on offer. There was a great selection of fresh juices too, from apple, cranberry to grapefruit.
The cooked breakfast was really good quality. I tend to avoid sausage on hotel breakfasts as the quality can often be questionable, but it was lovely. My only quibble is the yolk in the egg wasn’t runny.
Although the sky was cloudy and it was snowing, Wil and Thea were throughly entertaining and informative. Wil’s knowledge and guidance on seeing auroras will certainly come in handy for us in the future. The planetarium narrated by Rupert Grint was just on the right level to entertain adults and children. The whole experience was excellent.
Although we couldn’t see the sky, I cannot fault the experience and will certainly come again (hopefully when the sky is clear). The whole thing was so well executed that seeing stars would have been a bonus and that’s testament to the great team and the effort they’ve put in to creating a great experience.
Date of trip: March 2023
Price paid: £99 per person for 1 night including breakfast, 3 course dinner and the aurora talk.
Cash back: £10 from hotels.com via Topcashback (plus 1 reward night credit)