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Top Places to See Stars in the UK in 2019

22 December 2018 | London Calling

The Winter Equinox (a.k.a. the Shortest Day) is recently behind us, and while some may grumble about the lack of light, a few bright sparks will see the opportunity for a spot of astronomy. Things are looking up!

Isle of Coll, Scotland
This island off Scotland's West Coast is part of the International Dark-Sky Association and one of the best places to see not just stars but the Northern Lights as well, which are most visible during the Winter months, when the night-time darkness on Coll can last up to 17 hours. You just need a clear sky, and you’re all set for some epic star-gazing… Just don’t forget your torch, as they don’t have street lamps.
 

Image credit: @ScottishHostels via Twitter

For more information, see here.
 
 
Kielder Observatory, Northumberland
Just south of the border, the Kielder Observatory is a public astronomical observatory located in Kielder Forest, in the largest area of protected sky in Europe, granted by the International Dark-Sky Association. They have a busy calendar of events that allows visitors to make the most of their visit – and learn to better enjoy future star-gazing missions.
 

Image credit: @Kielder_Obs via Twitter

For more information, read our Kielder Observatory review, or visit the website here.

 
Yorkshire Dales
Heading further south, the Yorkshire Dales is a renowned are of natural beauty – and with its abundant dark skies and open spaces it’s a great choice for aspiring astronomers. Don’t miss their Dark Skies Festival, which takes place at various National Parks in February and March 2019. Previous festivals have included night-time cycle rides and lantern walks, rocket and planet-making workshops, talks about astronomy, discovering nocturnal creatures, and multimedia experiences at a pop-up planetarium.


Image credit: @HabrokImaging via Twitter 

For more information, see here.
 
 
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
Snowdonia’s Park Authority has ensured one of just 13 International Dark-Sky Reserve statuses for this Welsh wonder. On a clear night in Snowdonia you can see the Milky Way, all the major constellations, nebulas (bright clouds of gas and dust) and shooting stars.
 

Image credit: @MirrorlessView via Twitter


Find out more about star-gazing in Snowdonia here.
 
 
Exmoor National Park
Another International Dark Sky Reserve – Europe’s first, in fact – Exmoor boasts a whole host of beautiful locations for looking up at the night sky. The Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2019 will run from 14th October (when there is a full moon) until Sunday 3rd November.
 

Image credit: @WillGater via Twitter

To find out more about Exmoor National Park, see here.

 
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