Seeing stars at Black Down, West Sussex

Trees silhouetted against the skyline at Black Down, South Downs, West Sussex

Situated on the highest point of the South Downs, Black Down's sweeping skies make it an ideal spot for observing the stars on a clear night.

During the summer months the whirring call of the nightjar can be heard on the open heath, while pipistrelle bats roost in the hill's Beech Hanger. A variety of rare species are now returning to the area, following the restoration of the heathland.

Terrain and safety: Paths are fairly level once at the car park. Footpaths are generally wide, clear and level, but be aware that 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, and be aware of cattle grazing.

Location: Tennyson's Lane car park. Grid ref: SU921308.

See the summer stargazing Black Down walk route