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Summer star gazing walk at Black Down


On a clear night you can see some 4,000 stars sparkling in our universe. Perfect for families and anyone unfamiliar with astronomy, this walk will introduce you to star gazing at Black Down, the highest point in Sussex.

Sweeping skies make Black Down an ideal spot for observing stars

Don't forget to print off a copy of our star gazing guide to take with you and find out what’s in the sky this month.

Wide open skies at Black Down make for perfect stargazing opportunities
Wide open skies at Black Down make for perfect stargazing opportunities National Trust Images / John Miller


Map route for summer star gazing walk at Black Down
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Tennyson's Lane car park, grid ref: SU921308


From the car park on Tennyson's Lane at point 1, take the main stone surfaced track out onto Black Down (there is a second car park further up this track). Head up on the main track and through the gate, past a notice board. Continue up the track, through a gully and past a bench with day time views over the weald to the east.


Continue along the main path, ignoring paths to your left and right, and past some small ponds on your right at point 2. Away from the light pollution of nearby towns, Black Downs sweeping skies and unspoilt views make it an ideal spot for observing the stars.

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Carry on along main path to a small grassy triangle with a birch tree, then turn left and follow this path to a bench at point 3. This is a particularly good point for star gazing, with views to the west over the Milland Bowl and beyond to the South Downs. Also listen out for nightjars here, churring on the open heath.

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Head a further 65 feet (20m) or so along the main path and then turn left. Ignore the first turn to the left and then turn right at a crossroads to the Beech Hanger Woodland at point 4. Turn sharp left for the path back to the car park.

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A bat flying towards a branch
Pipistrelle bats roost in holes in old trees and feed at night Bat Conservation Trust / Hugh Clark


Take the main path back northwards towards the car park.


Tennyson's Lane car park, grid ref: SU921308

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Summer star gazing walk at Black Down


Paths are fairly level, and generally wide and clear, but be aware that the terrain off the paths can be very uneven, with tree stumps and old stone digging pits.
Please keep dogs under close control at all times, especially during bird nesting season.
Choose a clear night, and take binoculars and a torch to follow in Galileo Galilei's footsteps...and don't forget to download our star gazing guide.
Summer star gazing walk at Black Down

Contact us

Summer star gazing walk at Black Down

How to get here

Black Down National Trust, Tennyson's Lane, Haslemere, West Sussex, GU27 3AG
By train

Haslemere station is on the mainline from London Waterloo to Portsmouth.

By road
Head out of Haslemere on the B2131, turn right up Haste Hill, follow this onto Tennyson's Lane and head south-west until you come to the main National Trust car park.
By foot
Black Down is on The Serpent Trail and Sussex Border long distance footpaths.
By bicycle
Numerous bridleways cross the site, which is about a 30 minute bicycle ride from Haslemere.
Summer star gazing walk at Black Down

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome under close control