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Top UK spots to see the Northern Lights

Starry night sky over Cragside, Northumberland
Starry night sky over Cragside, Northumberland | © National Trust Images/John Millar

If you’ve always wanted to tick the Northern Lights off your bucket list, you don’t have to head to the Arctic. There are several places in the UK where this natural phenomenon has been known to occur, even as far south as Pembrokeshire. Here’s our guide to the best places in our care where you have a more likely chance of glimpsing the aurora if the conditions are right.

Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons), South Wales
From time to time you might be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park. The area is designated an International Dark Sky Reserve, making it a great location to try and spot the natural phenomenon.Visit Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve
Derwentwater, Cumbria
Often called the 'Queen of the Lakes', Derwentwater's crowning glory has to be the Northern Lights displays that occasionally appear over the water. Even if you’re not lucky enough to see the aurora, it’s still a beautiful spot for some stargazing on a clear night.Visit Derwentwater
Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
Part of the former grand estate at Stackpole, Broad Haven beach in Pembrokeshire is an ideal Dark Sky Discovery spot for watching the night sky. The car park above the beach provides a great vantage point – and the Northern Lights have been seen here in the past.Visit Stackpole
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
Carneddau, Eryri (Snowdonia)
Experience the wildest scenery that Eryri (Snowdonia) has to offer in its 21,000 acres of mountainous terrain, including the famous mountain Tryfan where Edmund Hilary trained for his ascent of Everest. If you’re lucky enough to get the right conditions, Carneddau is a spectacular place to catch the aurora.Visit Carneddau
Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland
Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is Europe’s largest area of protected night sky. In fact, it boasts the darkest skies in England, making it ideal for stargazing. The Northern Lights have previously been seen shimmering over Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall, so it’s worth keeping this spot in mind.Visit Sycamore Gap
Mam Tor, Peak District
The summit of Mam Tor is one of the most dramatic viewpoints in the Peak District. From the top you get a 360 degree view – perfect for seeing the stars. The Northern Lights have also been known to appear here on rare occasions.Visit Mam Tor
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