'Comets and Curry' themed weekend away 19-20 Nov 2016

An extragalactic expedition (well almost)

(Posted 25 January 2016 and updated 30 April 2016 and again with report 21 November 2016)


*** A report of the weekend away can be found by clicking this link ***


(Update 15 August 2016 following recce)

On the weekend of 12-13 August, I attended a themed evening event at the Herstmonceux Observatory on the "Perseid" meteor shower.   I walked there on the Saturday from Eastbourne (19 miles) and back to Bexhill on the Sunday (18 miles).   I stayed overnight at the Bader Centre.   I can confirm the event was a real success - some photos are attached to give you an idea of the sights along the way.

I saw Saturn, Mars, a globular cluster, one Perseid and heard a meteor's dying gasp.   So if (and it's a big IF) the weather is equally clear in November, there will be plenty to see.   And even if it's not, there will still be curry to enjoy and lots of interesting equipment to look at.   But don't expect to be in bed before midnight, if you want to see everything.

Here are GPX files of the routes there and back:

Saturday (Eastbourne to Herstmonceux):

Sunday (Herstmonceux to Bexhill):

Zoomable interactive map (click to open):


Please note, if you're coming on the event:

  1. We will probably cut out the Beachy Head extension on Saturday's walk, reducing the walk to 15 miles instead of 19
  2. On the Saturday, bring a packed lunch
  3. On the Sunday we will have a pub lunch at the White Hart, Catsfield.   The menu is attached:
  4. We will travel OUT to Easbourne and BACK from Bexhill.   It's probably cheapest to get a return ticket to Bexhill but check online before buying tickets to see what the best deal is
  5. On the Sunday, it is possible to finish the walk after lunch and take a train back to London from Battle rather than walking on to Bexhill.   This will save about 6 miles of walking.   If you want to do this, please book appropriate rail tickets in advance, as it is likely to be expensive to do so on the day.


Tas Combe, near Willingdon


The Bader Centre, where we will be staying (owned by Queen's University, Canada)


The Royal Greenwich Observatory at Herstmonceux


The Thompson 26" refracting telescope


Herstmonceux Castle (where we have breakfast)


At the start of the 1066 Country Walk - Bexhill Link, near Battle




 Looking ahead to November, we are organising a themed mini-weekend away for LDWA London members.  The trip is CONFIRMED but there are still a limited number of spaces available left if you would like to come.

The theme for the weekend is highly appropriate for a walking club - it's astronomy.   So here's the plan:

  • Saturday 19 November (am) train to Eastbourne
  • Sat 19 (late am / pm) 15-20 mile walk to Herstmonceux
  • Sat 19 (evening) "Comets and Curry" themed evening at the Royal Greenwich Observatory
  • Sat 19 - Sun 20 (overnight) accommodation at the Bader International Study Centre (10 mins walk from the observatory)
  • Sun 20 (am) breakfast in Herstmonceux castle (5 mins from the Bader Centre)
  • Sun 20 (late am / pm) 15-20 mile walk back to Eastbourne (by a different route)
  • Sun 20 (evening) train back to London

RGO Herstmonceux

 The Royal Greenwich Observatory at Herstmonceux


Herstmonceux castle 



You can find more details of the curry and comets evening by clicking here
And you can find more about the Bader Centre by clicking here

This is a pretty rare opportunity as the open evenings at the observatory aren't held that often, and also we've only managed to negotiate accommodation at the nearby Bader Centre because my (Adam) son happens to be studying at the moment at Queen's university in Canada, which owns it.

The total cost will be about £120 which includes the return train fare, one night's B&B, curry evening meal at the Observatory, and a tour and talk about the "Taurid" meteor shower at the Observatory.  If it's a clear night (and that is a big "if") there may also be the opportunity to look through some of the telescopes as well.   NB a vegetarian option will also be available.

So if you think you would be interested, please could you let me (Adam) know by email to  london.walks@ldwa.org.uk or by reply to this email.   If you need more info, drop me a note and I'll do my best to help.
Please note, I'd need rapid payment in full (except for the train), and the number of places is be limited.