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Britain’s Best Stargazing Locations

Last week’s Sunday Telegraph featured an excellent article on where to go stargazing in the UK.  In that article Norman Miller quotes both me and my friend Marek Kukula, the public astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.


You don't need a telescope to enjoy the show - take binoculars, a hot drink and a deckchair (from the Sunday Telegraph)

“The night sky is an amazing spectacle that 90 per cent of the population doesn’t get to see,” says Royal Observatory astronomer Marek Kukula. Astronomer Steve Owens agrees: “People have been looking at the night sky, telling stories, for the entirety of recorded human history. But when we moved into cities, we lost that deep connection with the universe.”

Specific mention is made of Galloway Forest Park, the UK’s first International Dark Sky Park that I helped establish last year, as well as Exmoor National Park that I’m helping with their application to become a Dark Sky Reserve later this year.

These two top the list of 11 of “Britain’s Best”, but as with all these lists there’s a problem. Namely that you probably don’t live near any of them, or if you do it still means an hour’s cxar ride to the nearest one.

While your local skies are probably significantly more light polluted than the 11 featured in the Telegraph’s list, there will almost certainly be somewhere on the outskirts of your town or city that makes for a not-quite-perfect-but-much-better-than-you-normally-get observing site.

These little hidden gems will be used frequently by your local astronomy society, so find out who there are, join their club, and learn the location of the many dark sky discovery sites dotted throughout the country.

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