Astronomy in the South Downs

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Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Explore Nature

Join our professor to learn about stars and how they evolve into objects like pulsars – the ‘lighthouses’ of the universe - and black holes, with their incredible gravitational pull. You’ll learn amazing facts about the eight planets in our solar system plus the myriad now being found further away. We will discuss the various on-going studies seeking to discover whether or not life exists elsewhere in the universe. Enjoy free afternoons to explore the local area; our Discovery Points are full of ideas. Each evening (weather permitting), you’ll observe the night sky with an eight-inch telescope from the grounds of the house. The scope is powerful enough to see our nearest planets, including Saturn.

Holiday Highlights

  • Morning talks and discussions from your expert leader
  • Free afternoons to explore the local area independently
  • Discover and view objects in the night sky each evening, weather permitting

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • If applicable, all essential transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or another mode of transport, e.g. boat
  • If applicable, all entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). We invite everyone to afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.


On the first morning we learn about the different types of stars, how they evolve in to exotic objects like pulsars and black holes, and how they are arranged in galaxies. In the evening (weather permitting), we will observe the night sky from the grounds of the House.


On the second morning we will learn about planets, both in our solar system and the myriad of planets being found around other stars. We will discuss the various on-going studies to discover if life exists elsewhere in the universe.


Depart after a leisurely breakfast.


Abingworth Hall

Tucked away in the village of Thakeham at the foot of the South Downs, Abingworth Hall has stood in one form another since the 13th century. Gutted by fire, it was rebuilt in 1910 in its current distinctive style. As well as 27 en-suite rooms the house has all the ingredients you need for the perfect country house stay: three comfortable lounges with squishy sofas to kick back in, the largest of which opens onto an attractive conservatory and bar in which to dally, great food and super-comfy rooms to retire to. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking here; go for a lazy amble around the wildlife rich chalk Downlands to discover a colourful tapestry of historic villages, thatched cottages, pastoral landscapes and vibrant market towns. Highlights of your stay might include the Seven Sisters, the Glorious Goodwood estate, the Devil’s Dyke and Chanctonbury Ring, as well as Arundel and the National Trust property at Petworth. Take your pick.

 

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, which make use of every nook-and-cranny in the interesting architecture of this characterful house. With 27 bedrooms, Abingworth Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Classic and Premium Rooms to choose from. Clean and bright, with accent colours to offset the simple palette, the rooms are airy and light. Premium Rooms might have a feature wall or strong print wallpaper as well as pretty tiles in the ensuite bathroom.

All ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium' Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day strolling on the South Downs, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax in the large gardens and sit by the pretty pond, turn your hand to croquet or practice on the putting green. Ease through a couple of lengths of the heated outdoor pool if you’ve still got energy to burn. Hole up in the light-filled conservatory with pretty views of the gardens or retire to the Drawing Room with its wood-panelled walls, log burner, library of books to browse and comfy seats to sink in to; there’s a telescope for you to scour the night sky too. In the evening, take your seat in the bar or join fellow guests in the large ballroom for the evening activity.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Food at Abingworth Hall is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Abingworth Hall

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Getting to Abingworth Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

  • Warm clothing for night-time observation, including a hat and gloves
  • A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars
  • Small torch

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Explore Nature

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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