Five most beautiful stargazing spots in the UK
Stargazing is indisputably the oldest scientific hobby on earth. The invention of the telescope makes stargazers not to require any special apparatus but their own eyes and a clear view of sky to enjoy the beautiful sky. Stargazing doesn’t start just as a favourite pursuit, for many people. However, it is a natural response to an inborn desire to many people – to reach out to the stars.
Spending a night under the stars with a group of friends or a special someone can make for an unforgettable evening. There’s a kind of intimacy that can only be found when contemplating the vastness of the universe. For centuries man has looked to the stars and there is no place where more stars have fallen to earth than the United Kingdom. If you’re hoping to see a few stars then you’re in good company.
Use this list of top places to see the stars and you’re sure to find a few constellations of your own.
The Brecon Beacons
Visit the Brecon Beacons and you’ll soon realise how much the area has to offer. The views of crystal clear skies and the Milky Way and bright nebulas will wow you. A general tip is to try a night without moonlight so you can see the meteors and the Milky Way. In 2012 Brecon Beacons became just the fifth destination in the world and the first in Wales to be accredited to be an International Dark Sky Reserve. Watch the amazing Brecon Beacons Dark Sky video by photographer Michael Sinclair.
Galloway Forest Park
Scotland has some of the darkest skies in Europe and Galloway is Scotland’s first Dark Sky Park, one of the best places to stargaze in Europe. Few people live within the Forest Park that the nights really are inky black making it an excellent place to visit for those who like nature as it gives one of the fascinating views with a 200 mile of the coast line and the farmlands around it. This is definitely paradise for all of those outdoor lovers with over 7,000 stars and planets are visible with the naked eye from the Forest Park, and the bright band of the Milky Way is usually easy to see arching across the sky.
South Downs national park, Hampshire
The South Downs is known as one of the best Britain’s National Parks in 2010. Confirmed as a National Park in 2009, the stunning landscape of the South Downs stretches from Winchester and Petersfield in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex. There are visible bronze-level skies here in the park; the park became an international dark sky reserve in May 2016, which means you can see the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way. There are seven stargazing hotspots: Birling Gap, Iping Common, Butser Hill, Old Winchester Hill, Devil’s Dyke, Ditchling Beacon and Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium.
Have you ever seen Mars, Venus or Mercury? Sure, through a telescope, but have you seen them with your naked eye? At the Kielder Observatory has one of the darkest skies in the world and you can see all those and more. They dangle in space, inline next to the forest track that leads to the observatory. You would probably find yourself very surprised to run across these celestial beings spinning in the fingers of the wind.
Exmoor National Park
This park is located in Devon and Somerset in the South West Country and offers visitor’s wilderness and tranquillity in 267 square miles of rural landscape. On the edge of Exmoor do not miss the historic Dunster castle and its subtropical gardens, set on a hill it offers fantastic views across Exmoor.
Just as gazing at the morning sun for a few minutes is a great source of Vitamin D and other positive nutrients, looking and gazing at the night sky seems to relax and even clears the mind. There is a quaint serenity when gazing at the moon and the stars.