Author Topic: Eddington Lodge  (Read 1481 times)

charles

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Eddington Lodge
« on: January 24, 2015, 06:11:22 PM »
My wife and I have just come back from a 3 night stay at Eddington Lodge. This is a small holiday complex a few miles north of  Bude in North Cornwall that offers 3 attractive wooden holiday lodges with access to a couple of 20" Dobs mounted in pods - basic observatories with roll off roofs. The website here-
 http://www.eddington-lodge.co.uk/
gives a fair impression of the set up. The lodges are new, attractive, and well insulated - a good place to warm up before and after observing! We were lucky enough to have 1 completely, and a second partly, clear nights out of 3, so I had plenty of opportunities to try the Dobs out. The site itself is very dark. Two small flies in the ointment; the very  minor road the property is on has a fair amount of traffic on it in the early evening, but this dies away after 8pm or so. And there is a farm 1/2 mile or so to the north that does some work at night with a couple of bright unshielded lights, which was tiresome. But the sky overhead was quite wonderful. The pods are a compromise allowing ease of use - setting up is just unlock the door and roof, slide back the latter, take the shields from the  finder and main mirror, and off you go. But this also meant that you couldn't get lower than about 20deg above the horizon  in any direction, nor very far beyond the vertical in the direction of the rolled off roof, so it was good to have both Dobs available.
But the scopes themselves were excellent; good optics; well balanced; not sensitive to varying eyepiece weights; good finders. Dewing of the diagonal became a problem after a couple of hours (damp night; no breeze)  but not before I had a pretty good tour of the usual sights.
Everything was brighter of course, but for me the stand outs were the detail I could see under high power in M1; ditto M81; the brightness of the Rosette Nebula; and seeing the 5th (but not the 6th!) member of the Trapezium. I tried (but failed!) to see the Horsehead Nebula (so I'll give up trying with my 12"). And M33, on a night where it was very obvious in binoculars, was quite hard to track down. More distant, fainter galaxies, on the other hand, were very easy!
There is plenty to enjoy in the daytime with the coast just a few miles away, and Tintagel, Boscastle, and Clovelly within easy reach.
Overall, a great experience. It is a new venture for the helpful young couple running the outfit, and I hope it works out for them.