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. Take a look at the top spots for stargazing at the places in our care.
Finding the best spots
Light pollution is a growing issue for amateur astronomers, but as many of our sites are far away from towns and streetlights, you can still get a clear view of the night sky.
Some of these spots have been named Dark Sky Discovery sites and are part of the Dark Sky Discovery network.
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. As one of our one of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾' activities, it's also a perfect outdoor activity for kids, especially from autumn when the sun begins to set earlier.
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.
Top places for stargazing
- 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 mass of stars sparkling in the sky overhead.Go stargazing at Black Down
- Carding Mill Valley on the Long Mynd, Shropshire
- A perfect spot for budding stargazers, the area at Carding Mill on the Long Mynd has Milky Way status as a Dark Sky Discovery Site, meaning it has minimal light pollution and the darkest skies. There are also several small car parks on the top of the Mynd.Go stargazing at Carding Mill Valley & Long Mynd
- Carnewas, Cornwall
- A Dark Sky Discovery Site, Carnewas offers panoramic views of the night sky. It's recommended that stargazers view the sky well away from the cliff edges – the grassy area next to the shop is the ideal spot.Go stargazing at Carnewas
- 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.Go stargazing at 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.Go stargazing at Hadrian's Wall
- Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry
- Take in the stars shining over the rugged headland at Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne. The sound of waves crashing below this hilltop location makes for a relaxing evening of stargazing.Go stargazing at Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
- Pembrokeshire, Wales
- Home to several Dark Sky Discovery Sites, Pembrokeshire 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
- Wasdale, Cumbria
- Surround yourself with the peace and quiet of the deserted lakes and focus on the sky above. A stay at the remote Wasdale campsite turns this trip into the perfect stargazing escape, away from bright city lights.Go stargazing at Wasdale
Stargazing is a magical way to bring science alive and experience the beauty of our natural world. Going stargazing is no. 27 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.
Discover more about stargazing in Wales. Home to a number of Dark Sky places, it is one of the best locations in the world to go stargazing.