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8 brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

10th November 2016
Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

Venture out to these brilliant stargazing spots in Britain for a stunning natural light show. It’s a proven fact, everyone benefits from time spent in nature. Whether it’s climbing a lonely mountain, walking wild coastal paths or even hugging a tree, taking time out to reconnect with the great outdoors gives a boost of mental wellness.

But had you considered a stargazing fix? The UK now boasts over 150 dark sky sites – you don’t have to venture far to be awestruck by nature! So lie back on a blanket and lose yourself in infinite views of the universe at these brilliant stargazing spots.

Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

1. St Agnes and Chapel Porth, Cornwall

Journey down the far-flung tip of Cornwall to the small village of St Agnes. Take your pick of cosy pubs that line the quiet streets, before heading down towards the coast. Look up at the dark skies on Chapel Porth beach, or stop in at the small National Trust car park off Beacon Drive to gaze into the night.

Places to stay:

The Old Goathouse –  Crosscoombe, St Agnes

Rosehill Lodges –  Porthtowan, Cornwall

Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

2. Exmoor, North Devon

With exceptionally low levels of light pollution, Exmoor was recognised as the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe. Walk from Porlock Weir to Culbone in the day, venture deep into the National Park once darkness falls. Spy on constellations and asterisms, then once you tire of the Big Dipper, head to one of our Special Places.

Places to stay:

North Walk House – Lynton, Devon

The Oaks Hotel – Porlock, Somerset

Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

3. Galloway Forest Park, Scotland

For brilliant stargazing spots in Britain, steal up to Scotland where inky dark skies rule. Stray away from bustling cities to Galloway Forest Park and pick out the shine of the delicate planets far above. Bring binoculars and spot the moons of Jupiter, rings of Saturn and dusty craters of the moon from this huge green forest.

Places to stay:

Gardeners Cottage –  Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

Longshot Cottage –  Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

longshotcottage

4. Kielder, Northumberland

Walk the stunning countryside of Northumberland’s National Park, and walk the Bull Crag Peninsula beside Kielder Water. Rest in a Special Place until night falls, then head out to numerous stargazing spots. This is one of the darkest skies in England so be sure to take binoculars with you to the top lookout points around Kielder. If you want to get up close and personal to the galaxies, head to Kielder Observatory for brilliant educational events.

Places to stay:

The Pheasant Inn –  Stannersburn, Northumberland

Singdean –  Newcastleton, Scottish Borders

Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

5. Isle of Coll, Scotland

Scotland’s wild highlands and islands have so little light pollution they boast the most velvet of nights. Head to the Isle of Coll (also known as Dark Sky Island) to spot the elusive Northern Lights. Off the west coast of Scotland, this Hebridean island is over 30km from the nearest street lamp, meaning light pollution is pretty non-existent.

Places to stay (take ferry from Oban):

The Manor House –  Barguillean, Argyll & Bute

Sithean –  Oban, Argyll & Bute

Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

6. Sussex Downs National Park

The newest addition to the International Dark Sky Reserve, the South Downs are well-protected to ensure that the night sky is kept untouched from the glow of city lights. Walk to the Black Down and climb the Temple of the Winds – the highest point in the South Downs. Visit just before the full moon for optimum stargazing!

Places to stay:

The Swan Inn –  Godalming, Surrey

The Barn at Roundhurst –  Lurgashall, Sussex

Brilliant stargazing spots in Britain

7. Lake District

Head to the Lake District for brilliant walks by day, and electrifying night skies. Thousands flock to Grizedale Forest Park as you can easily see the Milky Way in all its glory with the naked eye. Climb Friar’s Crag in Keswick for fantastic views by day or night. It’s been dubbed as one of the most beautiful views in Europe by 19th-century art critic, John Ruskin, and when the sky lights up with thousands of stars at night, you’ll agree.

Places to stay:

The Royal Oak at Keswick –  Keswick, Cumbria

The Cottage in the Wood –  Keswick, Cumbria

thecottageinthewood

8. Leigh Woods, Bristol

You don’t have to travel deep into National Parks for dark skies. Many are surprisingly close to cities, such as Leigh Woods. Perched near the grand Clifton Suspension bridge in Bristol, walk by day through ancient trees to lookout points over the Avon Gorge. Return after sundown for gentle night-time strolls and peer up at the cobweb of constellations.

Places to stay:

Shed and Breakfast –  Ambra Vale South, Bristol

Failand Farm Cottage –  Failand, Bristol

shedandbreakfast

With a whole new world high above our heads when the sun goes down, leave the city lights far behind for some quiet contemplation beneath the stars. Grab some binoculars, wrap up warm and don’t forget your thermos!

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