The Best Places To Sleep Under the Stars This Summer

A few months ago now, I made a list; a list of things that I would/could do on my gap year. Now, as the final weeks of university draw to their swift conclusion and student life slips slowly but surely into memory, I thought it was time to start exploring what this list actually meant.

The first item related to the stars - sleeping under them in a blissful and cosy night of dreaming. This is something that I have always wanted to do, but not yet achieved. Here are a few of the possible destinations in Britain I could go to check No.1 off my long, anticipated list.


1. Exmoor, Somerset/ Devon

Coming from Somerset, I am always slightly bias towards my home county. However it appears that multiple Google searches agree with me: this is one of the most beautiful places in the UK, and a fantastic spot for a bit of star gazing.

The park holds a Dark Skies Festival every year, including a range of events for families and enthusiasts, all with the intention of encouraging people to come to the beautiful scenery and see its glittering skies. This year's includes a Talk and Stargazing session, allowing you to gaze upon the twinkling lights of the southern moors with guides pointing out the various constellations. It will be held on October 20th to November 4th, and as someone with little plans post-September, perhaps this is a great place to start. 


2. Black Mountains, Brecon Beacon

Again, this spot occurred on multiple Google searches. The Brecon Beacons are not only a gob-stopping place to walk (which I highly recommend) but also provide a clean and clear view of the unobstructed night sky. Apparently on a clear night you can see the Milky Way sitting on top of this turbulent Welsh landscape.

The International Dark Sky Association has marked the National Park as an International Dark Sky Reserve, becoming the 5th destination in the world to do so! Therefore if you fancy a trip across the Severn Bridge, this seems like the place to go, sit and stew; under mother earth’s nighttime blanket.


3. Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire

Another place in the UK currently bidding for Dark Skies Reserve Status is the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Plans are currently underway to achieve the status by 2021, which apparently, requires a lot of hard effort and planning – who knew?

From the looks of Mr. Google, however, this badge of recognition is well deserved. Holding their own Dark Skies Festival in February, the park draws visitors from across the UK to gawk at its fantastic nighttime views. Accompanied by night time cycle rides, lantern walks, workshops, talks about astronomy and more, this seems like a great social opportunity to appreciate Britain’s beauty and her starry eyes.


4. Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall

If you are a fan of sandy beaches then this is a good place for you. Credited as one of the most popular destinations in the county, the steps are known for their beautiful views on to the rocky Atlantic waves.

However, they are also a great place for star watching; the area has even won the Dark Star Discovery Status as one of the best places to go in Cornwall for looking up at the night sky. Close to civilisation, beds and bars included, this seems like a fun spot to come and visit.


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