The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) announced this week that only 1 in 50 people enjoys night skies free of light pollution.
Are you one of them? If so, you will still only be able to count less than thirty stars a night.
My suggestion for those wishing to up their star-gazing experiences, with a guaranteed over 3,000,000 stars on a cloud free night, is that they should try to factor in a visit to my list of relatively easily accessible ‘Best Night Skies’ destinations. All within a five-hour journey from the UK.
Apart being among my favourite destinations in daylight hours, these regions also offer an almost light pollution free period from twilight through to the midnight hours.
With time and budget in mind these are all accessible as a short break. After all, you don’t have to travel as far as some of our previous ‘night-sky holiday’ destinations, such as the Andes, Australia, Namibia, Central Asia, Hawaii or Himalayas, offering eclipse, comet and general Milky Way themed holidays.
- The Brecon Beacons, South Wales – staying in our holiday cottage Llwyn-y-fron
The Brecon Beacons National Park became the fifth destination in the world to be accredited as an International Dark Sky Reserve and the closest, and most easily accessed, ‘Night Sky’ destination for anyone living in the UK.
- Norway – from dramatic Fjord land West Coast
As well as the Northern Lights, the crystal clear north Atlantic coast – all the way up to the Arctic Circle – offers stars and night skies beyond imagination.
- Jordan – Wadi Rum desert et al
Biblical night skies from the deserts of Wadi Rum to Petra, Jerash, Madaba, Amman and the Dead Sea. Some celestial night-sky shows display nearly 60 meteors an hour.
- Iceland – Waterfalls under the stars
A year-round destination for star gazing as well as aurora hunting. The ‘Land of Fire & Ice’ is arguably at its best from the low light twilight hours through to the midnight sun and peak mid-winter periods.
- Egypt – night sky Egyptology
Sirius Constellation and Orion’s Belt central to the very design of the ancient Pyramids of Giza.