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Top spots for stargazing

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 at the top spots for stargazing in our care.

Finding the best 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 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.

Planning your stargazing

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 11¾' 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.

Black Down, 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 you can see a myriad of stars sparkling in the skies overhead.Explore Black Down
Carding Mill Valley & Long Mynd, Shropshire
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.Stargaze at Carding Mill Valley & Long Mynd
A starry night sky above Cragside, Northumberland
A starry night sky above Cragside, Northumberland | © National Trust Images/John Millar
Carrick-a-Rede, County Antrim
The 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.Discover Carrick-a-Rede
Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland
Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is Europe’s largest area of protected night sky, making it the perfect place to admire the stars, with the famous Roman landmark in the foreground.See stars at Hadrian's Wall
Morden Hall Park, London
Morden Hall Park is a 125 acre oasis of dark skies on the edge of London. Get the tram to Phipps Bridge and you will find yourself right next to a big field that is perfect for stargazing.Take a trip to Morden Hall Park
Pembrokeshire, Wales
Home to several Dark Sky Discovery Sites, this is the perfect place to spend an evening under the stars. Many sites are on the coast, so you can sit and listen to the waves, and you might even see the Milky Way.Go stargazing in Pembrokeshire
Evening view of starry skies over Ullswater in winter, Lake District, Cumbria
An evening view of starry skies over Ullswater | © National Trust Images/Chee-Wai Lee
Trelissick, Cornwall
Beautifully positioned at the head of the Fal estuary, Trelissick Park commands panoramic views over the area. It is far enough away from the glow of nearby Truro to make this a great star gazing spot.Visit Trelissick
Wasdale, Cumbria
Surround yourself with the peace and quiet of the deserted lakes and focus on what you can see above. A stay at the Wasdale campsite turns this trip into the perfect weekend escape.Discover Wasdale
Visitors at the Christmas market at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.

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