2021 saw a new space race unfold as billionaires strived to be the first to launch. With exciting innovations happening in the space industry and the possibility of commercial flights in the future, now is the perfect time to look up at the stars and gaze in wonder.
The night sky can look beautiful on any clear night, but to get the full effect you need to get away from light pollution. Here are five of the best places to head in the UK to stargaze.
1. Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve
If you look at a light pollution map of the UK, it’s clear why Wales is popular with stargazers. The Brecon Beacons has been a dark sky reserve since 2013 and it can offer you clear views of the constellations. The national park regularly hosts events you can take advantage of as well. Among the best spots to view the stars are Usk Reservoir, Llanthony Priory, and Crai Reservoir.
2. Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms is known for being beautiful, and it’s no different at night. It is the most northernly Dark Sky Park in the world, and for lucky visitors, the northern lights can sometimes be glimpsed here. The Cairngorms is on the same latitude as popular northern lights destinations like Norway and Alaska. The northern lights can be elusive but you can increase your chances by heading closer to the coast, where there is less chance of cloud.
3. Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve
Exmoor National Park was the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe. In the southwest of England, the park has minimal light pollution, and on a clear night you can even see the Milky Way with the naked eye. The park has lots of features that can make your trip special too. You can hire telescopes, walk the Dark Sky Discovery Trail, or book a guided stargazing event. The Dark Skies Festival will take place between 14 and 30 October 2022.