As the sun sets over the sea, marvel at the moon and the stars – seen at their heavenly best from the darkest coastal corners of the British Isles. Compiled by Helen Ochyra
1. ISLE OF SKYE
Head west on the Isle of Skye for the darkest skies, to the Waternish Peninsula, far from any light pollution and with unobstructed views over the Atlantic. The Sleat Peninsula on the island’s east is another good, dark spot for stargazing.
2. NORTH NORFOLK
Kelling Heath near Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast is known for its annual Star Party, said to be the largest in the UK. Taking place at the autumn equinox, it includes talks from astronomers and telescope tours of the night sky.
3. BIRLING GAP
There’s more to see at Birling Gap on the East Sussex coast than just the undulating chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters – this is also a great place to look out over a dark English Channel and take in the stars.
4. CARRICK-A-REDE, ANTRIM
The famous rope bridge isn’t just a test of nerves, it’s also a Dark Sky Discovery Site, home to some of the darkest skies in Northern Ireland. The National Trust site has easy access and very little light pollution.
5. LUNDY ISLAND
Out in the Bristol Channel, Lundy Island is away from most sources of manmade light and has just four street lights itself – making this tiny island a great place to view the night sky. Head to the airstrip for the best viewing, it’s a Dark Sky Discovery Site.