To make the most of the gorgeous weather we had this weekend a few of us decided to get in our cars and head 40 minutes north to the beautiful Druridge Bay.
After stopping off at the shops for supplies (barbecue, burgers, fruity cider and marshmallows) we soon found our secret spot (just right after the turning for Red Row in case you want to go too!) it was already half 7, but still beautifully warm and best of all, we had the whole beach to ourselves!
After a game of football (boys vs girls) and a quick run to the shore to dip our toes in the (freezing cold) sea, we fired up the barbecues while the boys went hunting for firewood.
See the huge stone boulders all along the beach in my photo above? Those were England’s first defences against invasions during the second world war. It would prevent any enemies tanks reaching the villages and towns atop the sand dunes and only haunting stumps of these once high barriers remain. I remember trying to climb up them when I was little and them being too high, now they’re almost gone! Still, they make excellent countertops for barbecues and sheltered craters to hold our fire.
After our feast of steak, sausages and plenty of melted cheese, we grabbed our blankets and huddled around fire while we put our telescope together. Admittedly, I neither know or understand a lot about space, but it absolutely fascinates me. Seeing the stars somewhere like this without any light pollution is truly breathtaking and something everybody has to experience! The fact that we had a powerful telescope means you see 100x more. I remember how awestruck I was the first time I looked at the moon through the telescope and saw its enormous craters and the sea of tranquility.
It took forever to get dark, in fact if wasn’t until half 12/1am that we all lay on our blankets and sleeping bags on the sand dune and looked up at the stars. Every time we go stargazing everybody seems to see a shooting star except me, but not tonight! I just caught a quick glimpse of a flash as the star flew across the sky (or fell out of the atmosphere, whatever the scientific term is). It sounds so silly, but your eyes play tricks on you. There’s hundreds of stars in one little patch of sky, and the longer you stare at them they look like they’re wobbling. We saw Orion’s Belt, the Big Dipper and a UFO! …just kidding. Something really bright flashed across the sky for a second before disappearing forever though, maybe it was the space station?
Before we knew it, it was 2am! Definitely time for bed. So the five of us packed up our stuff and clambered back up the enormous sand dune in search of the cars (but not before sliding back down a few times and not being able to climb back up for laughing). It was a magical night and definitely something we should do more often!
What did you get up to this scorching weekend? Know of any good stargazing spots?!