Although vast swathes of the UK’s countryside are polluted by the sinister orange glow of our street lamps, you needn’t journey too far to find ideal spots for your astronomical telescopes.
Galloway Forest Park, Southern Scotland
In 2010, Galloway Forest Park ascertained a level of acclaim thanks to its status as a Dark Sky Park, making it an ideal location to thoroughly enjoy your astronomical telescope, toasty flask of tea and jam sandwiches. The most popular spot in the park is Loch Trool.
Kielder Forest, Northumberland
Kielder Forest’s 250 square miles of dense woodland beauty are noted as being amongst the darkest in England. Check out Kielder Observatory (situated on the impressive Black Feel looking down on Kielder Water) if you fancy using your telescopes in a little more comfort than usual!
Lundy Island, Devon Coast
Although Exmoor boasts darker skies than many other parks, the ten mile trip across the Celtic Sea to Lundy Island is well worth the journey; a favourite spot for holidaying astronomers.
Nestled just over a mile off the coast of the Wirral peninsula, Hilbre Island is a private island where public overnight stays are unfortunately not permitted. Special permission is intermittently granted to astronomy societies and professional groups via the Friends of Hilbre Island.
Although most of us are within relatively easy reach of a decent spot to set up our telescopes, we heartily recommend a few tailored nights on unfamiliar territory. Coinciding your travels with celestial events is a great way to make the most of your trip.