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This pub opened its own observatory

The observatory, fit with an automatic sliding roof and an outdoor viewing platform, can fit up to eight people at one time.

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Landlord Alan Boddington at his observatory at the Poltimore Inn. (SWNS)

By Lauren Beavis via SWNS

A pub based on open moorland with stunning skies has opened its own observatory - so drinkers can enjoy a pint and a gaze at the stars.

The observatory, equipped with two new generation telescopes, is fitted below the beer garden of The Poltimore Inn, North Molton, England.

Alan Boddington, landlord and enthusiastic star gazer, says it has been a long-held dream of his.

Landlord Alan Boddington at his observatory at the Poltimore Inn. (SWNS)
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He said: “We are very excited to hold the official opening of our new observatory.

“This has been many years in the planning, and we are finally ready to welcome visitors to the pub’s own observatory.

"Exmoor is one of the best places in the country for viewing the night sky, it is an International Dark Sky Reserve and we are thrilled to be able to offer this facility to our guests.”

The observatory, fit with an automatic sliding roof and an outdoor viewing platform, can fit up to eight people at one time.

Alan, who has been fascinated by space and the dark skies since he was a child, is hoping that the observatory will bring an interest in star gazing and space science for younger people too.

“It was my uncle who first interested me in star gazing, and we used to sit on top of a coal bunker looking at the moon through a brass telescope", he explained.

"I want to encourage young people to look up into the night skies and get that sense of excitement and wonder that I remember as a child, and which I still have.

"We hope it will help to promote enthusiasm for star gazing, and to this end we will be working closely with local schools and other organizations including Exmoor National Park."

Landlord Alan Boddington at his observatory at the Poltimore Inn. (SWNS).

To mark the special event, the pub will be holding an Open Evening on Saturday, May 14 to introduce the new purpose-built observatory to South-West based astronomical societies.

Alan said: “We are delighted to welcome Jo Richardson FRAS to the Observatory Open Evening,” says Alan.

“She is one of only six current ESERO-UK Space Ambassadors, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and founder of the UK based space educationalist company, Space Detectives.

"On this special event we will also be playing host to space and astronomy enthusiasts from astronomy societies including Bath, Wells and Mendip, The Somerset Levels, Tiverton and North Devon.

"Anyone else interested in ‘space watching’ is also very welcome to join us. Please contact the pub for more information and details on how to get involved.”

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