Top 03 spots for nights of stargazing  February 28th, 2019

 

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Believe it or not, an increasing number of wanders and campers elect to shut down technology and turn all concentration to the heavens. Welcome to the captivating world of stargazing! The new pursuit is sweeping the globe by storm and the UK boasts of some of the darkest skies in Europe. You’ll find plenty of designated and unofficial dark sky locations dotting the UK, many of them ranging from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks to picnic areas and private backyards! Many such locations are set apart from light pollution and provide unhindered views of the boundless night sky above.

 

If you’re looking for a special location to stargaze, take a look at our list below. Once you’ve secured a site, pack in a pair of binoculars, a map of the night sky and pop into your motorhome or campervan hire, and embark on a memorable journey!

 

Galloway Forest Park

 

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Home to some of the darkest skies in the UK, Scotland’s skies are perfect for exploring the twinkling heavens. Galloway Forest Park was the first location to win an official Dark Sky designation in 2009. How good is the sky quality you ask? Pretty great! You’ll see a whopping 7,000 stars and planes with the naked eye alone. On an official scale ranging from 0 – 25, Galloway Forest Park rates an astonishing 21-23.6 reading which is nearly as lightless as a photographer’s dark room! For the least light obstruction and best viewing angles head to Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. The Scottish Dark Skies observatory provides a research-grade telescope for night sky observations.  Campers will find a host of campgrounds providing numerous dark corners.

 

Glentrool Camping and Caravan Site

 

Resting in the fringes of Galloway Forrest Park, Glentrool Camping and Caravan campsite is a tranquil location for those looking for a soothing setting. In operation for over 30 years, the site provides:

•    14 large hardstanding touring pitches  with electric hook-ups

•    On-site store open from 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

•    Laundry facilities

•    Shower and hot water amenities (charge included in pitch fee)

•    Awnings and dogs allowed at no additional cost

 

Northumberland National Park

 

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Stretching over 572 miles, Northumberland National Park, and its adjoining forest park is a perhaps the largest region of a protected night sky in Europe. Providing the perfect settings for stargazing and camping, the park even offers stunning views of Andromeda Galaxy and The Milky Way! You’ll see a range of exclusive sites like the numerous meteors, The Northern Lights, The Zodiacal Lights, and more! If you’d like to know more about the stars you’ll see, head over to the Kielder Observatory or the Dark Sky Observatory in Battlestead.

 

Bellingham Camping and Caravanning Club Site

 

Set within Northumberland National Park, Bellingham Club campsite is a relaxing campsite containing 70 pitches with modern amenities. There are many walking and cycling paths set around the campgrounds and historic sites like Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle is in proximity to the site. Facilities include:

•    Hardstanding pitches with electric hook-up

•    Grass pitch with electric hook-up

•    Flushing toilet and washbasin

•    Motorhome service point

•    Family shower room

•    Battery charging conveniences

•    Dedicated accessible services and more!

 

Snowdonia National Park

 

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Think spectacular skies, wild and rugged landscapes and you’ve got the globes 10th best site for night skies – Snowdonia National Park. Numerous dark sky locations dot the park and there are many secluded campsites set by scenic valleys and lakes. The environment and wildlife alone attract a multitude of hikers, walkers and adventures but the region is fast becoming a leading sky gazing site.

 

Cilcennus Farm Caravan Park

Sitting on a working farm in Snowdonia National Park, Cilcennus Farm Caravan Park provides stunning views of the night sky and rests in proximity to the historic town of Llanrwst. On-site facilities include:

 

•    Hot showers

•    Grass pitches and many electric hook-ups

•    Wi-fi

•    Toilet and shower block (including disabled toilet)

•    Kitchen for campers

•    Games room and more!

 

If you’re staying in Snowdonia National Park for a spot of hiking here’s how you can conquer Mount Snowdon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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