The winter months here in the UK are some of the best for stargazing. October through to March is known as the ‘observing months’ as they have longer and darker nights, and now is a great time to get outdoors to look to the skies and the perfect excuse for a UK mini-break.
There are currently just 18 recognised Dark Sky Parks worldwide, and incredibly, the UK is home to seven of them. With unparalleled pristine skies and unspoiled views of the night, Exmoor National Park in Devon is a hotspot for catching a glimpse of the cosmos and the perfect destination for a star-studded staycation.
Exmoor National Park offers some of the darkest skies in the country with eighteen notable stargazing and Dark Sky Discovery Sites, some of which even combine starry nights with coastal views.
Areas not to miss include Molland Moor with open moorland and 360-degree views, Exmoor Dark Sky Discovery Trail with low horizons in all directions and not a single light to be seen, and Wimbleball lake a locally recognised Dark Sky Discovery Site where stars can be seen reflected across the water.
Devon isn’t the only place to catch a glimpse of the magical night skies, the full list of officially recognised Dark Sky Parks in the UK is as follows:
· Brecon Beacons National Park
· Cranbourne Chase
· Exmoor National Park
· Moore’s Reserve, South Downs National Park
· North York Moors National Park
· Snowdonia National Park
· Yorkshire Dales National Park
For those looking to wish upon a star this season, Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays have a selection of properties across East Devon, perfect for those looking for somewhere cosy to curl up after a night of stargazing in Exmoor. Prices start at £449 PW with family and pet-friendly stays available.