Top spots for stargazing

Night sky

Big open skies are a defining feature of the countryside and on a clear night you can see some 4,000 stars sparkling in our universe all year round. Take a look below at our suggestions for great stargazing spots.

Light pollution is a growing issue for amateur astronomers, but with many of our sites far away from towns and streetlights you can still get a wonderfully clear view of the night sky.

Some of these spots have recently been awarded Dark Sky Discovery status and are now part of the Dark Sky Discovery network, an online map of all the fantastic places that more and more people have easy access to for a good view of the night sky.

Stargazing is best done before the moon is full, so it might be worth looking at the next new moon dates before you book your trip. It's a perfect outdoor activity for kids, especially from autumn when the sun begins to set earlier. It's also one of our 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ activities.

Remember safety first - check the weather forecast before you go and make sure you know how you're going to get home. Don't stray far from the path and always keep a torch handy.

Cwm Llwch

Brecon Beacons, Powys 

Brecon Beacons became the country's first International Dark Sky Reserve in 2012. There are many places in this majestic, mountain landscape where you’ll get superb views of the night sky.

The view across the Shropshire Hills from Long Mynd

Carding Mill Valley & Long Mynd, Shropshire 

Carding Mill Valley & Long Mynd is a perfect spot for budding stargazers. The area has Milky Way status as a Dark Sky site, meaning it has minimal light pollution and beautifully dark skies. There are a number of small car parks on the top of the Mynd.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Carrick-a-Rede, County Antrim 

The Carrick-a-Rede and Larrybane site was granted ‘Dark Sky Discovery’ status in 2014 and is currently one of only two sites in Northern Ireland, the other being Oxford Island on the shores of Lough Neagh.

Sunset at Brancaster Beach in Norfolk

Norfolk Coast, Norfolk  

Walking at night in places far from light pollution can reward you with stunning views of the stars. With points of easy access and the back drop of the North Sea the Norfolk Coast is no exception.

Views of Wastwater and Nether Wasdale

Wasdale, Cumbria  

By day Wasdale offers unlimited outdoor adventures but by night the open skies proves best for stargazing. Surround yourself with the peace and quiet of the deserted lakes and focus on what you can see above. A night or two at the Wasdale campsite turns this trip into the perfect weekend escape.

Wicken Fen Sunset

Stargazing in London and the South East 

The South East has several great spots for stargazing, including a 125-acre park on the edge of London. Wrap up warm and see what you can discover about the night sky.

Stary skies at Lacock Abbey

Stargazing in the South West 

From Cornwall to Stonehenge, the South West offers hundreds of opportunities to get away from the bright city lights and discover the night sky.