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Stargazing in UK

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
30 reviews
Stargazing in UK

I’m looking for a place to go stargazing on my own. I’ve been having a difficult time in my life and would like to just go somewhere nice and peaceful.

I don’t have a car. Can someone please recommend me what’s the best way and how to go to somewhere for stargazing and accommodation?

Ideally, I would like to just lie on the ground or somewhere and look up the sky safely.

Will be travelling from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Thanks.

7 replies to this topic
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,313 posts
155 reviews
1. Re: Stargazing in UK

I will preface by saying I don't know UK well, but you need to travel to areas with minimal light pollution. There are bound to be places in the Highlands, or on Skye where you can get to by public transport that doesn't have a lot of light interference. The other thing to consider is you don't want to do this at full moon. No moon, or new moon would be best.

Once you find a place, you can download apps for plotting the night sky at the coordinates and dates to show you the constellations, galaxies, etc.

"safe' is more a personal frame of mind that actual danger to one's self. Use the common sense you use every day in Edinburgh and it should be fine.

If what you had in mind was to camp rough out on the moors or something, well, that might be more of a risk.

If you can afford it, you may find some small cottage through AirBnB or a rental agency that you can still get to by public transport. Some basic food and a lock on the door means you can star gaze in your yard, and still have solitude during the day.

Otherwise, perhaps a small rural hostel, though that requires sharing space.

It is tough when life throws you curve balls, so got for peace, but perhaps also use a little down time to bring home strategies to find that peace or happiness in your day to day.

Good luck.

Canada
Level Contributor
10,543 posts
81 reviews
2. Re: Stargazing in UK

Take a local bus to one of the many small villages near Edinburgh. Check in at a guest house or hotel and then ask a local for a good place to stargaze.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
12,634 posts
220 reviews
3. Re: Stargazing in UK

Here in south central Cornwall stars are visible every night, other than when it’s cloudy. In many nearby villages it would be possible to stay in a B&B then lie on the beach looking at the skies.

Of course Cornwall is about as far as you can go from Edinburgh if you’re staying on the U.K. mainland so may not be suitable. In which case just look for a place with limited or no light pollution.

Edited: 17 August 2018, 14:04
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17,995 posts
106 reviews
4. Re: Stargazing in UK

This might help you find somewhere....

http://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
35,075 posts
111 reviews
5. Re: Stargazing in UK

Good advice as the dark skies are in places where there is not light so no population or housing so no public transport.

This means it's pretty safe as n'er do wells tend not to hang about in the countryside on the off chance of someone passing is extreemly slim. Believe me I've been night walking a lot and while it causes many to gasp it's rare you meet anyone unless they are of a similar mind. To enjoy the night sky.

You're own country is an ideal location. Here;s some previous threads you can take relevant bits from

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186…

…trivago.co.uk/scotlands-dark-sky-hotels/

visitsouthernscotland.co.uk/folder-1707-gall…

http://www.cloudcuckoolodge.co.uk/

It does mean that you have to work out a way to get there but you can sit in peace and enjoy the stars.

There are lots of other places and it is really worth it. The sight is amazing and really puts our world into perspective.

I would think that many of the islands of the West Coast you could wander down to a beach away from a town and see an amazing sky. A camp site would be an idea also. Loch Lomond doesn't have much light poloution.

So look up the dark sky places that appeal and the ones you can get to and you should find lodges or lodgings which are a walk away from a dark sky. Take a torch (and a panic alarm if it makes you feel safer) though as I say, I've only met others also star watching or been on my own.

You can download a site that will show you what you are looking at too though I'm quite happy to just look in wonder.

Move quickly as the warm nights will soon go but on the other hand it gets darker earlier so you can still get you're 8hrs sleep in.

I would post on the Scotland or Uk forums where you'll get more local knowledge about areas and transport.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
11,106 posts
28 reviews
6. Re: Stargazing in UK

Mondial's map is a good place to start.

Here is an article about the best places to stargaze.

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/feb/…

and

https:/…best-places-for-stargazing-in-the-uk

The biggest difficulty will be finding an isolated location that you can get to by public transport but a combination of trains, buses and local taxis should get you wherever you want to be.

Edited: 17 August 2018, 20:14
Newcastle upon...
Level Contributor
42 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: Stargazing in UK

Being based in Edinburgh have you considered getting the train to alnmouth? It is only an hour away and advance train tickets can be bought to make the journey really cheap. You can walk from the station down to the very small village and then out onto the beach. It is basically pitch black especially as you walk further down the beach. I'd recommend getting there to see sunset and staying a few hours. Alternatively you can walk along the river path from the station away from the coast, here you'll all but guarantee seeing nobody, there are just fields and empty space. The last train is at 22:13. In the summer this wont give you a lot of time so you may want to consider an overnight stay somewhere but in the winter you have hours of darkness to enjoy the beautiful sky. You can even see the milky way here which as someone from the city I am amazed at and love!

Now I'm suggesting this as this is somewhere I know and is one of the best places for me from Newcastle, but from edinburgh I'm sure there are loads of other places a few stops north on the trains or maybe one of the more rural stops on the line out to dunbar? (I am only speculating) . Also, have you considered camping out? In scotland wild camping is legal everywhere so you could walk out from a town into the hills and find somewhere. But if you are looking for something simpler you'll be more than isolated enough at Alnmouth and probably many other places near stations.

Edited: 23 August 2018, 01:09
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