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A stargazing journey with a difference

There’s a prolonged stretch travel in a UK that runs from a longest healthy lake in England – Windermere – to a largest manmade lake in northern Europe – Kielder Water. Overshadowed by Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk, seductiveness in a track never unequivocally appears to have collected movement given it was determined in 1999. Any hunt for it online constantly takes we to a book published in a same year, with a foreword by Sir Chris Bonington no less, nonetheless no apparent first-hand comment of people indeed covering a 166-mile route. Amazon has no reviews for that book and even a Wikipedia page dedicated to a Lake to Lake Walk has been taken down. Yet, notwithstanding all this, it takes we by some of a many unspoilt and fantastic panorama in a British Isles, tighten to a limit between England and Scotland.

Unfortunately, my rather chaotic report during a impulse doesn’t concede me to try this track on foot, nonetheless when Hyundai recently invited me to exam expostulate a Santa Fe Premium SE 4WD 7-Seat 2.2 CRDi A/T, from my home in a Lake District on a outing to Kielder Forest, this supposing me with a event to make a tour between a dual lakes, despite along a somewhat opposite march to a one summarized in a walk.

My initial stop was during a automobile park tighten to Crag Lough, nearby Once Brewed, where we met with obvious adventurer and Hyundai envoy Andy Torbet. Andy is good association and a rise of knowledge; he is an consultant cavern diver and unchanging BBC presenter (he’s worked on a BBC’s implausible Coast series), as good as a medium nonetheless achieved traveller (he’s one of a few people to have climbed one of a Needles off a Isle of Wight). Thanks to a assistance of a Calvert Trust who set adult some ropes for us in advance, we were given a event to stand a integrate of routes together. we have unequivocally small knowledge when it comes to climbing, mostly singular to belaying children adult and down indoor climbing walls during kids’ birthday parties, so this was a rather daunting charge for me. The steer of a Crag Lough – that I’d upheld and dignified many times before nonetheless never unequivocally looked during from a climbing viewpoint – didn’t unequivocally palliate my concerns. The crags do occupy an halcyon setting, though, with a lake tighten to their bottom and Hadrian’s Wall sitting on a top.

Lough Crag from afar

I belayed initial for Andy who done easy work of a crags (to a indicate that we struggled to feed a wire by fast adequate for him during first!) and afterwards it was my spin to have a go. The initial track wasn’t too bad, and afterwards we had to abseil behind down; a final time we remember abseiling was on a Avon Gorge behind in my propagandize days and behind afterwards we totally ‘bottled it’, not carrying a certainty to gaunt behind enough, so this was going to be only as tough a tender for me as removing adult had been. Thankfully, all those birthday parties had helped me to know climbing a small some-more and to this time have a bit some-more trust in a equipment.


Andy climbing

Next, we attempted a somewhat some-more formidable crag and again Andy went adult with analogous ease. This one we found most some-more severe and, when we was about 3 buliding of a approach up, we only couldn’t work out how to keep going. we was suggested from successive to pierce opposite a rocks on a right, nonetheless that only looked to be a totally prosaic rockface with no binds whatsoever, until we eventually worked out that we indispensable to dump behind down a integrate of metres and work my approach opposite from there. After removing ‘stuck’ for a few minutes, we eventually done it to a tip and abseiled behind down. Although substantially not during all technical, this was unequivocally during a tip finish of my comfort section and singular climbing ability, so we was relieved to get by it!

Lough Crag closer up

From Crag Lough, we got into a particular Santa Fes and gathering to a Northumberland encampment of Bellingham where we met adult with other drivers and were given a event to go on an off-road pushing tour by Kielder along several marks not customarily open to a public, and see what a cars were means of.

Driving by Kielder

Kielder Water and Forest Park was strictly recognized by VisitEngland as a best tourism knowledge in a nation in 2013 and a track took us over several slight bridges and along all demeanour of marks and trails, putting a cars through most worse conditions than they would routinely face on normal roads. The belligerent was mostly dry given it followed a balmy spell of weather, and so a vehicles rubbed a turf though any problems whatsoever.

As we neared a destination, a roads turned some-more to lax gravel, throwing adult clouds of dirt as we picked adult a bit some-more speed. The automobile is means of a tip speed of 118mph and 0-62mph in 10.1 seconds, nonetheless unequivocally shines by on a total fuel economy of 41.5 miles per gallon – not bad for a automobile weighing around 2 tonnes.

Gravel highway by Kielder

This prolonged sand road eventually led us to the Hyundai Tipi Camp that we reached only before dusk. A transparent sky and a meteor showering foresee bode good for a night ahead: Kielder Water and Forest Park – along with a Northumberland National Park – is a third biggest area in a star with stable dim sky standing (and a largest in Europe), and so within a stay a series of absolute telescopes were set adult so we could observe a night sky.

Setting adult a telescopes

We were also good looked after with a robust stay dish and a toasty glow to assistance us keep comfortable as a heat fast plummeted and day solemnly incited to night.

Not your normal stay food

One of a telescopes was destined during a moon and authorised us to demeanour during it with an implausible turn of detail. The following is only a shot taken on my iPhone by a lens of a telescope, nonetheless hopefully gives we some thought of a turn of fact that we were treated to.

The moon with an iPhone

Later that night, and into a early hours of a morning, we spent a time during Kielder Observatory watching sharpened stars from a Lyra meteor showering (debris from comet Thatcher, apparently, for those of we who know some-more about astronomy than we do!) and generally marvelling during a scale of a universe.

Kielder Observatory

There are no windows during this open look-out – only dual telescopes housed in towers that open adult to a skies, related by a embellished observation  area. Highlights for me were being means to see a red charge on Jupiter (the charge alone is about 3.5 times a distance of Earth and has been distracted for during slightest 300 years), saying a rings around Saturn over a billion kilometres away, and simply gazing during a sky with a exposed eye as meteorites flashed by.

We were there for hours nonetheless a time seemed to fly by and we eventually returned to stay during around 2am. It was a cold night nonetheless any tipi was versed with a correct bed, as good as a possess stove and chimney, so a good night’s nap was assured. Andy indeed slept in his Santa Fe; with a seats down, there is plenty space for a bed in a behind of a automobile and with a breathtaking sunroof that spans both a front and back of a car, what improved approach could there be to watch a night sky as we deposit asleep?!

Hyundai tipi stay during night

The successive morning, we discussed a prior dusk over a bacon sandwich. we don’t consider there were any particuarly zealous astronomers among us nonetheless a night’s record had had us all converted and wanting to see and learn more, any of us we consider sensitively considering when we competence be means to successive revisit Kielder.

Hyundai tipi camp

To finish my tour from Windermere to Kielder Water, we called during a lake before my lapse to Cumbria. The lake was built about 40 years ago to safeguard that rising final for H2O from a sepulchral UK attention were met, but a successive decrease and larger efficiency meant a strange intentions came in for substantial critique during a time. Instead, currently it serves as England’s largest hydro-electric energy plant as good as a renouned site of recreation, attracting over 300,000 visitors any year.

Hyundai Santa Fe during Kielder Water

Disclosure: This outing was sponsored by Hyundai UK.

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