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Stargazing and astronomy holidays

Gazing skywards to spot constellations and far-off planets has become astronomically popular in recent years – and there are many accessible places across the UK and beyond to partake in this fascinating hobby. All you need is to know where to go, then pack a stargazing kit containing a star map, torch, waterproofs and a flask with a hot drink, and blast off! 

We have a range of accessible holiday accommodation in the UK and around the world in destinations popular with astronomy fans, including sites awarded Dark Sky status, areas unaffected by light pollution and places close to observatories.

Call us on 0161 804 9898 or submit an enquiry to book your stargazing break with us today.

Girl stargazing with telescope

Popular stargazing holidays in the UK

Cornwall harbour

Cornwall
Cornwall is home to a wealth of Dark Sky Sites, including the first to be situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Bodmin Moor. On the north coast, you’ll find Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps and St Agnes and Chapel Porth, both of which are owned by the National Trust and afford star-spotters the chance to observe Orion uninterrupted by manmade light pollution.

Lighthouse and rock pools, Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway
The dark skies of Dumfries and Galloway make it a go-to destination for amateur astronomers. One hour from Carlisle and just a couple of hours from Glasgow, Galloway Forest Park is glorious for galaxy gazing, with Loch Trool the park’s most popular spot. The Machars – the moorland south of Newton Stewart – is also highly recommended.

Accessible stargazing lodge in Kielder Forest

Kielder Forest
Officially the darkest place in England, Kielder Forest in Northumberland boasts Dark Sky status, along with some of the best woodland scenery in the UK. Scan the skies from a wood-clad observatory on the slopes of Black Fell above Kielder Water, or stargaze from the comfort of this comfortable lodge for six, which comes with its very own telescope.

Lake and mountains in the Lake District

Lake District
With minimal light pollution and wide open skies, the Lake District offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in the UK. The region boasts two Dark Sky Discovery Sites, at Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre and the historic house at Allan Bank, by Grasmere. Both venues offer excellent viewing conditions to see Orion and the Milky Way with the naked eye. The more adventurous can also seek out prime spots at Grizedale Forest and the remote Blea Tarn.

Manchester cathedral

Manchester
Manchester offers numerous opportunities for stargazing, with astronomy sessions held at Heaton Park and the Godlee Observatory. Just a few miles out of town you’ll also find the fully accessible Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, home to the world-famous Lovell Telescope. Here you can explore the centre’s fascinating interactive displays and exhibits to learn all about the mysteries of the night skies.

Woodland waterfall in Powys, Wales

Powys
Powys is part of the mysterious Welsh Triangle, where numerous UFO sightings have been reported over the years. It’s also home to the Brecon Beacons, which became the country’s first International Dark Sky Reserve in 2012. Today the Beacons provide excellent opportunities for spotting meteor showers, comets and star clusters at several Discovery Sites, most of them centred around the scenic Elan Valley.

Popular stargazing holidays abroad

Northern lights in the Lofoten Islands, Norway

Northern Lights cruise
A Northern Lights cruise allows you to get up close to Arctic wildlife, sail past breathtaking glaciers and witness the world’s most amazing natural light show. The vivid colours that dance across the clear, dark skies of the northern hemisphere are out of this world, while the modern facilities and features on a cruise are like a home away from home. If you adore natural phenomena on the Earth and in the skies, a Northern Lights cruise offers the best of both worlds.

Lisbon skyline, Portugal

Portugal
Alqueva in southern Portugal, close to the Spanish border, is the first site in the world to receive the Starlight Tourism Destination award. Conceived by UNESCO and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, it recognises destinations that are characterised by excellent quality for the contemplation of starry skies, as well as associated tourist provisions. The Algarve also offers the amateur astronomer the chance to observe the Andromeda Galaxy free from light pollution.

Las Teresitas beach, Tenerife

Tenerife
Not only do parts of Tenerife resemble the surface of the moon, but the island itself is a perfect place from which to see it. With its clear, dark skies free from light and atmospheric pollution, Tenerife is baked by the sun in the day and bathed by stars at night. The biggest telescope in Europe is on the island of La Palma, which is also the site of the astronomy festival Starmus. Previous speakers at the event have included Neil Armstrong, Brian May and Stephen Hawking.

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