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The best places for stargazing in the UK

As summer starts creeping towards me, I begin to dream of nights spent under the stars. This is the first year I'll have a car for those summer road trips, so I've found some of my ultimate destinations for a night under the big, big sky.

  1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

    Stars at Stonehenge

    You might have driven past it or even celebrated a messy Summer Solstice there - but have you ever seen the stones silhouetted against a sky full of stars?

    Stay at the nearby Stonehenge Campsite and take an after-dark trek (or cheat by driving...) across 5 miles of beautiful countryside to get a view of Stonehenge without the crowds.

    Bonus points if you stay up to see the sunrise.

    Stonehenge Campsite

    Stonehenge Campsite - complete with glamping pods

  2. Powys, Wales

    Llangorse Lake, Powys

    Llangorse Lake, Powys by Geoff Moore

    Powys has the lowest light pollution in Britain - making it perfect for looking out for shooting stars. Can confirm: god-mother lives there and the sky at night is mind-blowing.

    Powys itself has stunning countryside with plenty of campsites, castles and caves - plus fairly decent weather for Wales.

  3. Kielder, Northumberland

    Stars over Kielder2

    Milky Way from Kielder Observatory by Jake Cook

    Kielder Forest is supposed to be the darkest place in the UK. Located right next to the UK's largest artificial lake, Kielder Water, it has its own observatory - a bloomin' WEIRD building made of wood.

    Definitely worth a trip if you're in the vicinity. (There's nothing else but a pub for miles so the observatory is a top destination for sure.)

    Kielder Observatory
  4. Midmar, Aberdeenshire

    Northern lights in Midmar, Aberdeenshire

    Icy sky at night by Nick Bramhall

    The best thing about Midmar is not the stars (which are incredible because it's a dark sky site); it's the possibility you'll manage to snatch a glipse of a celestial phenomenon: the Northern Lights.

    The Northern Lights are more likely to be visible during the winter but this far north - where you're nearer Norway than London - it's not unheard of for them to dance their way across spring skies.

Tempted? Pack the car, grab a friend and head off for the stars.