Wales has some of the darkest skies in Europe, we actually have the highest percentage of land protected by Dark Skies status in the world, making Wales a perfect destination for eager stargazers or for a thrilling experience for novices.
There are only a small number of designated International Dark Sky Reserves in the world and Wales proudly boasts two - the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park and Snowdonia National Park. International Dark Sky Sanctuary certification has also been awarded to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), meaning it is officially recognised for having one of the best night skies in the world.
As Wales has such clear and unpolluted skies, a Dark Skies experience in Wales means your clients could not only see thousands upon thousands of stars but comets, galaxies, shooting stars and even the Milky Way. There is also the chance to spot the international space station as it orbits.
When is the best time to go stargazing in Wales?
All year round but September - March is best
Where to go stargazing in Wales
One of our three National Parks:
Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park
As the first area in Wales and fifth place in the world to be awarded International Dark Sky status, the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park provides the opportunity to observe some of the darkest skies in the UK and on a clear night your clients could see the Milky Way. There are plenty of different sites to see the stars.
Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park
In Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park the Milky Way, all the major constellations, nebulas (bright clouds of gas and dust) and shooting stars can be seen. Discover the best dark sky viewing areas.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
There are many discovery sites in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The Milky Way or the constellations such as Orion can be seen. There are a range of sites to view the dark skies.
One of our Areas of Outstanding National Beauty:
The largest island off mainland Wales and England has several large beaches and low light pollution. There are a number of different locations within the area for stargazing and the aurora can sometimes be seen from Penmon.
Clwydian Range and Dee Valley
The landscape of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is so magnificent during the day, with its dramatic scenery, historic towns and stunning peaks, that it makes for a special backdrop for stargazing in the dark night sky. There are three locations that have been identified as great places to watch the stars.
On Gower your clients will find secluded beaches away from the busy daily life. At night the stargazing spots provide a different experience of watching some of the fantastic stars the dark skies provide whilst also hearing the waves crash in the distance. Discover some of the best areas to stargaze on Gower.
This area is a peninsula thats arm extends west from Snowdonia into the Irish sea and its low population density means good, Dark Skies. A remote car park at Mynydd Mawr, Uwchmynydd is ideal for bird watching by day and Dark Skies stargazing by night.
Other Dark Sky Discovery sites:
The Elan Valley is an International Dark Sky Park and the only privately owned such place in the world, with 45,000 acres in the Elan Valley protected against light pollution for the benefit of those who live, visit and work there, means there are plenty of places to stargaze.
Discover Dark Skies with the National Trust. Stargazing events are held at Dyffryn Gardens which is located near the capital city of Wales, Cardiff. The Cardiff Astronomical Society have an observatory there and clients can use some of the specialist telescopes. There is also the opportunity to sleep under the stars at the National Trust caravan site at Dolaucothi, visit Llanerchaeron, a historic working farm and also a Site of Special Scientific Interest for wildlife with a countryside setting perfect for Dark Skies. There are also numerous National Trust car parks that offer great stargazing opportunities within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
What can my clients do on a stargazing experience?
There are some amazing photographs just waiting to be taken of the many constellations and nebulae.
Ancient legends are told in the night sky and astronomy is one of the oldest sciences that connects the mysteries of the past with the present.
Shooting stars and comets
All over Wales on a clear night clients could have the opportunity to see both.
Sleeping under the stars
There are a number of campsites and accommodation providers based within Designated Dark Sky areas.
There are many tales and myths that the dark night sky hold, storytellers across Wales will bring them to life under the night sky.
A night walk with little light allows the senses to take over and can offer some amazing views.
Welsh Dark Skies Week
Each year, our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty come together to celebrate our dark skies and everything that makes them special. Different events, workshops and lectures take place across the country, For more information visit the Discovery In The Dark website and take a look at ‘Prosiect Nos’ on social media.