sexton whisky

With staycations set to boom in 2021, The Sexton has partnered with Travel Matters to create an eccentric twist on the classic British staycation. Starting at £1,830 for two tickets, the seven-day tour will see holidaymakers take in three of the darkest locations across the UK, providing the perfect conditions for moonlit tourism and night-time inspired cocktails.

Destination: Darkness is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that satisfies the most restless of spirits with an unconventional holiday designed by an unconventional single malt. Swapping sandy beaches and summer sun for the most glorious vistas of shooting stars and moonlight in the most beautiful dark sports around the UK. This is a trip created only for the most curious amongst us, because The Sexton knows darkness is where curiosity comes alive and magical things happen.

Toasting the beginning of this extraordinary adventure with nocturnal-themed cocktails at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, holidaymakers will be whisked to Kielder Forest in Northumberland, the darkest location in the UK where those brave enough to embrace the night-time and all the mystical things that happen in the dark,  will be treated to a spectacle beyond their wildest imaginations.

Guests will start off spending three nights at Langley Castle, a luxurious 13th century property. Here, activities include a visit to Kielder Observatory located in Europe’s second largest dark sky protected reserve. Revellers will be treated to a unique stargazing experience-cum-cocktail masterclass led by an experienced team of astronomers who will provide a bespoke guided tour to the Universe while leading guests on a unique cocktail experience inspired by the stars.

From Northumberland, travellers will then head to Wales, and the Snowdonia Dark Sky Reserve where holidaymakers can enjoy some of the UK’s least polluted skies. Covering over 18% of Wales’s land area, travellers will spend the next two nights in the charming village of Bews-y-Coed – the gateway to Snowdonia. Staying in one of the Royal Oak Hotel’s highly coveted four-poster bedrooms, the town provides the ideal base to discover the mountains and coasts of beautiful North Wales, providing amazing night-time views of this stunning skyscape.

As night turns to day, those looking to retreat from the Sun will be treated to a guided tour of Llechwedd Deep Mine. Sending guests 500 feet down into the belly of Llechwedd’s imposing mountain, the experience will transport you back 160 years to experience the sights and sounds of complete darkness.

From North to West Wales, holidaymakers will be chauffeured to their final destination in the Brecon Beacons. Nestled at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain, at the very heart of the Black Mountain Range, is Gliffaes Country House – a fitting accommodation for the final evening of the trip.

Those booking the trip will spend their final evening doing a spot of bat watching and searching for the elusive Greater Horseshoe Bat, one of the rarest breeds in the UK, before returning to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich from whence this greatest of adventures hath begun.

For those unable to take this once-in-a-lifetime trip, never fear, The Sexton has created ‘Moon Safari’, a cocktail inspired by astrology of the night skies. The cocktail includes The Sexton Single Malt, amaro and orange ginger ale.  This concoction is a perfect accompaniment to stargazing, whether it be from one of the UK’s dark sports or from the confines of your back garden… Looking up at the sky has never tasted so good!

The Sexton will also make a limited number of cocktail kits inspired by Destination: Darkness available to win on social media. The kit, including all the ingredients to create two ‘Moon Safari’ cocktails will be available to followers of The Sexton’s Instagram account. To win, followers simply tag who they would take with them for this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Karen Simmonds, Founder at Travel Matters said: “We’ve all spent the last twelve months sitting at home planning our next great adventure; but with limited travel options abroad, Destination: Darkness is a bespoke once-in-a-lifetime holiday that will be the envy of all your friends, providing those Instagram-ready moments which will rival any country that lures you to discovering the untouched and unexplored.”

Ellie Macdonald, Astronomer at Kielder Observatory said: “Hidden away atop a hill in the most remote part of the North East of England, Kielder Observatory opens its doors, and its telescopes, to the public every night. As darkness pushes in, bright stars pierce the sky until, before you know it, the sky is awash with them. A sea of stars stretching horizon-to-horizon. 

At Kielder we firmly believe that we see best when darkness finally sets in. Here you can see more than the world, you can see the Universe.”

For more information on The Sexton or to find out more about Destination: Darkness, please visit The Sexton Whiskey Instagram page. To book your spot on this once-in-a-lifetime trip please visit:

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