Stargazing Weekends


Following the huge success of the last twelve Stargazing breaks and an eclipse special hosted by Astronomer Steve Owens we are delighted to announce a new 2016 date

4th & 5th March 2016 – 2 night package – £229pp Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



Thanks again for superb weekend! The welcome from the staff was so warm, Douglas was an excellent host who made the group “gel” by bringing us into the comfortable lounge and helping us to relax over drinks and canapes served by his charming young staff. The food was excellent. (I really liked the fresh selection of vegetables…not often you get that with a meal now a days. )Everything was tasty and well prepared and presented. The bed was comfortable,the room clean and -as an added bonus, the Star weekend was great fun if not star filled!
Going out in the dark was worthwhile even if stars were few. Steve Owens’ contribution was just right. We liked how he joined in with the guests at meals etc and held the group together.He has a gift of being able to convey his knowledge in terms easy to understand.His lecture with slides was really informative and interesting as was the enthusiasm he put into answering our every question or listening to our accounts of minor brushes with stars!!  JB


Arrive in your own time on Friday in readiness for a welcome drink and canapes at 6.30pm in the Burns room. Meet your hosts Douglas McDavid and Chris Walker along with Steve Owens your Astronomer for the weekend.

Dinner will be served at 7pm after which coffee will be served in the Conference room where Steve will introduce the weekend program and give a short talk on Stargazing, the Universe and Constellations. Depending on the weather forecast you will either be taking a walk to the harbour in Kirkcudbright or heading out to our secret location on a mini bus. Warm attire is essential as you may be outside for at least an hour. Hot chocolate will be provided once we reach the Dark Sky Park.

Saturday is a day of leisure, explore Kirkcudbright or the wider region around. Enjoy a game of Golf, a brisk walk or just sit curled up with a book in front of one of our fires.

Meet again at 6.30pm in the Burns Room prior to Dinner at 7pm. Steve will be continuing his talk on Space, the Universe, Galaxies and Constellations and dependent on the weather again you will be either staying local or heading out to the Dark Sky Park.

A leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning before departure with a promise to return.

Price inclusive of Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Transport to and from the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park and all talks and lectures from Steve Owens.

£229 per person. No single supplement for single rooms.

Read Steve Owens’s Dark sky blog here

Want to head out on your own ?

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In conjunction with the Selkirk Arms, Nick Robertson of 4×4 Treks Galloway can provide introductions to the Dark Sky, usually involving a trip to one of the remote dark places in Galloway, where the Dark Sky can be experienced at its best. You will be picked up from the Selkirk Arms after an early dinner and be transported in his 4×4, or you can drive your own 4×4, over local minor roads and dirt tracks to a great place to see the Dark Sky. You’ll look at the sky using the naked eye and high powered binoculars, also discuss the solar system, the sun and its planets, our galaxy, our place in it and its place in space.

Our Dark Sky trips will normally leave the hotel at a time suitable after sunset, returning around 2.5 to 3 hours later. You’ll be back in time for a warming night cap in the bar at the hotel. The charge will be £115 per experience, so if there are two of you, the price is £57.50 per person or if you form a group of 4 then it will only cost you £28:75 per person. Should you wish to have a longer trip, perhaps because you are an experienced astronomer or an astrophotographer and wish to spend more of the night out under the sky Nick is happy to extend the trip and explore more locations @ £45 for each hour in addition to the basic £115 charge.

In the event that the forecast for that evening is not looking good, Nick is prepared to accept a cancellation at no cost, so long as you agree to cancel before leaving his home, 1.5 hours before meeting time at the Selkirk Arms.

Nick Robertson is a Biosphere Dark Sky Ranger appointed and trained by the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere to operate in The Forestry Commission Scotland operated Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park and more widely in the Biosphere. He is fully authorised by the Forestry Commission to access the Dark Sky Park in his 4×4 vehicles and insured to carry up to 6 passengers.

For further information please contact the hotel reception or Nick direct if your are planning ahead.

Nick also offers a super 4×4 experience during daylight hours taking you to areas of Galloway you cannot see from the public road.

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See & Do