What and where are the UK's dark sky parks?

11th February 2016

Dark Sky Parks are designated by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) as being sufficiently low in light pollution to allow the viewing of exceptionally starry skies. They also offer facilities that promote dark-skies education and appreciation.

There are two designated parks in the UK: Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park, the biggest in Europe, and Galloway Forest Park in south-west Scotland.

Britain also boasts two IDA-designated Dark Sky Reserves – larger and less remote places that put measures in place to minimise light pollution and protect the nocturnal environment: Exmoor National Park and Brecon Beacons National Park. There are also two IDA recognised islands: Coll in Scotland and Sark in the Channel Islands.

Other great stargazing spots in the UK include the Ennerdale valley in west Cumbria and Kelling Heath in North Norfolk.

For a directory of recommended stargazing locations and events see here

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