UK Star Gazing
There are many remote locations around the British Isles that allow us to see the night sky in its full glory, especially in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. However, the top ten star-gazing locations, as suggested by the Guardian Newspaper, are as follows:
- Kielder Forest, Northumberland
England's largest forest, and home to the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe. Stargazers should visit the Kielder Observatory.
- Galloway Forest, Scotland
The darkest area in mainland Britain, and Europe's first "dark sky park". Up to 7,000 stars are visible at night.
- Kelling Heath, north Norfolk
An area of outstanding natural beauty near the north Norfolk steam railway. Hosts an annual "star party" in early spring.
- Stonehenge, Wiltshire
An ideal place for watching stars, given the stones' relationship to the skies. Local groups host an evening of stargazing and storytelling in April.
- Wenlock Edge, Shropshire
Five miles from Much Wenlock. The Veil Nebula has been spotted from here.
- Winsford Hill, Somerset
Located in the middle of Exmoor, yet still accessible by car, Winsford Hill is even less affected by light pollution than other nearby stargazing spots.
- Mam Tor, Derbyshire
A bronze age hill fort in the Peak District, Mam Tor is far enough away from Sheffield to be largely free from light pollution.
- Black Down, Sussex
The highest point on the South Downs: you'll see stars and maybe a few Pipistrelle bats.
- Knighton, Powys, Wales
Home of the Spaceguard observatory.
- Penbryn Beach, Ceredigion, Wales
Good for spotting both stars and Bottlenose dolphins.