When was the last time you looked up at the sky at night and could make out more than just a few stars? Within the last hundred years, it has become harder and harder to make out stars, constellations and planets in Britain’s night sky due to light pollution in most towns and cities. However, if you head out to the countryside or Snowdonia National Park, one of eleven Dark Sky Reserves in the world, you can take advantage of its remoteness to catch some extraordinary sights of the starry sky above.
There are several great stargazing spots near our static caravans for sale North Wales, and it is a great family activity to do when staying at our holiday parks. No special equipment is required to get you started, all you need is a blanket, flask of a hot drink to keep you warm and your eyes! Though winter is considered the best time for stargazing in the UK, as there are more recognisable constellations in the sky, such as Orion, clear skies in the spring and summer offer up plenty of opportunities to go stargazing.
In the summer, one constellation to look for is the Plough, which will lead you to identify the star Arcturus. On dark summer nights, you can also make out the Milky Way. You might also be lucky enough to see a meteor shower, such as Perseids in August, and they are best seen when there is no moon, as the light reflected from the moon will obscure your view of the night sky.
So where are the best places for stargazing in North Wales? Read on to find out!
A popular lake in Gwydir Forest near Betws-y-Coed, Llyn Geirionydd and is recommended as a stargazing sight by Snowdonia National Park. Its remoteness, away from buildings and settlements, have made it a prime spot for stargazing year round, and events introducing the activity to beginners are sometimes held by the lake.
Llanelian Community Centre
The North Wales Astronomical Society comes together every month for stargazing events and welcomes members of the public for a small charge. You can benefit from expert advice, and the events involve stargazing and observing the sky if the weather permits. The society also has lecture nights, where a guest speaker gives talks about astronomy.
Llyn Conwy is where the River Conwy begins its journey through Snowdonia to the coast. The reservoir is remote, but worth a drive for the stargazing and wildlife you will encounter on a clear night – owls and foxes are sure to appear! You can park easily by the old gamekeeper’s house, and the lack of light pollution offers great views of the sky, so you can easily identify constellations.
Llyn y Dywarchen
Llyn y Dywarchen above the village of Drws y Coed in Dyffryn Nantlle near Rhyd Ddu is a popular fishing lake during the day and a top stargazing spot at night as the lake is a recommended place for stargazing by Snowdonia National Park. Llyn y Dywarchen is also steeped in myth and legend, revolving around the Tylwyth Teg or Welsh fairy.