There is something so humbling about casting your eyes to the sky during a clear night and admiring the thousands of glistening stars. The dark and peaceful nights in Wales bring an incredible display for those willing to spend an hour or two in the great outdoors to appreciate the beauty. Not only is the country charming by day, but by night the constellations which can be seen are awe-inspiring! There are several locations in Wales that have been designated by astronomers as some of the best spots in the UK for stargazing, the International Dark Sky Reserves and the Dark Sky Parks are just some of the favoured places in the country. As the end of the day welcomes the night, it’s time to pack your blankets and big jumpers, fill up a flask of something warming and sweet and venture out to watch the night’s sky come to life.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire is renowned for the miles upon miles of stunning beaches and secluded coves, quaint villages and picturesque towns, but, did you know that the celebrated National Park is also a Dark Sky Discovery Site? Amongst the rolling Welsh hills, deep into the countryside, stepping outside during a clear night will reward those with breathtaking views above, including regular sightings of the Milky Way! Many of the constellations can be seen with the naked eye, but a pair of binoculars or a telescope will allow you to see the planets and stars in much more detail, as well as a glimpse of those that are much further away. Many of our holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire provide tranquillity for guests due to their remote location; this also makes them perfect for those looking to enjoy a spot of stargazing during a holiday. Whether you choose to just step outside your front door or head to one of the locations below, you are in for a fantastic evening.
Best Dark Sky locations in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park:
- Newgale Beach
- Poppit Sands
- Skrinkle Haven
Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons was the fifth location in the entire world to be granted the International Dark Sky Reserve for the whole of the National Park! The great feat takes dedication and hard work from the residents and visitors, who continually monitor and reduce the light pollution being emitted, proving stargazers with a dreamlike location to enjoy the beauty of the twilight hours. The months of January, February and March are particularly magical, as, on a clear night, the incredible Plough can be appreciated. Although the Plough isn’t a constellation independently, it is part of the famed, Ursa Major. The constellation was one of the original 48 which were listed by Ptolemy.
The stars and planets are not the only things to come alive at night, and part of the Dark Sky conservation is to support the array of nocturnal wildlife that makes the Brecon Beacons National Park their home. Sightings of owls, foxes and bats are frequent for those willing to brave the cold and the darkness.
Best Dark Sky locations in Brecon Beacons National Park:
- National Park Visitors Centre
- Usk Reservoir
- Carreg Cennen Castle
Snowdonia National Park
One of just 12 International Dark Sky Reserves in the world, Snowdonia National Park is a picture-perfect spot to see the beauty that comes when the sun has set. With the mountainous landscape as a backdrop and the immense lakes reflecting what is overhead, the scene set offers a space to be absorbed by the wonders of the night, allowing you to feel in touch with the inspiring landscape and the greater world around you. As one of the darkest skies in Britain, when it is free from cloud, and away from light pollution, the Milky Way can be seen, as well as many nebulas!
Best Dark Sky locations in Snowdonia National Park:
- Lake Geirionydd
- Bwlch Cwm Llan
When was the last time you spent an hour or two with your loved ones admiring the beauty of a clear nights sky? Pop it on your year’s bucket list, and we can assure you that it’ll be one of your fondest memories of your time in Wales!
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