The UK’s best stargazing sites

A view of the stars with trees in the foreground

Astrotourism is predicted to be on the rise in 2024 and stargazing goes well with a trip away in a caravan or motorhome.

After all, leisure vehicles take you one step closer to nature and offer the chance to pitch up in some great dark sky locations.

With this in mind, StressFreeCarRental.com has put together a list of the best locations in the UK to get a clear view of the stars.

John Charnock, CEO of StressFreeCarRental.com said: “With interest in the stars, skies and space growing, many are switching out beaches and sun loungers for dark skies and meteor showers. 

“We expect that astrotourism will be a huge trend in 2024, and more people than ever will flock to remote spots to witness celestial events like the northern lights and a lunar eclipse.” 

So, why not pack up your caravan or motorhome and explore the heavens?

Galloway Forest, Scotland

The Galloway Forest in Scotland boasts some of the darkest skies in the whole of Europe, due to its very small population of people. Fewer residents means less light pollution and the opportunity to see more of the milky way.

On a cloudless night, you can expect to spot more than 7,000 celestial objects, putting Britain’s largest forest park at the top of our list of stargazing sites.

Northumberland, England

On your way up to Scotland, why not stop off in Northumberland, which is home to an internationally-recognised dark sky park? Or, alternatively, you could make it your ultimate destination.

It’s the largest expanse of protected dark skies in the UK and even enables visitors to see the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye.

Malin Head, Northern Ireland

Malin Head has been used as a Star Wars filming location, which is particularly fitting because it offers epic views of the Milky Way and the Northern Lights fairly regularly.

Take your leisure vehicle on the ferry to Belfast or Larne from Douglas, Liverpool Birkenhead or Cairnryan.

Brecon Beacons, Wales

The Brecon Beacons has a multitude of world-class stargazing spots, including the Usk Reservoir, Llanthony Priory and Carreg Cennen.

From these locations you can expect to see major constellations, meteor showers and bright nebulae, as well as galaxies such as M81, M82 and the Leo triplet. 

Top tips for stargazing on your next caravan or motorhome trip

  • Wrap up warm. The UK can be cold, especially at night, and stargazing is an activity that requires you to stand or sit still for a long period of time.
  • Bring a chair. One of the fold up chairs you put up outside your van or under the awning is perfect for getting comfortable as you look skyward.
  • Red light torches are best for seeing in the dark without emitting light pollution.
  • If you’re going to invest in stargazing equipment, a telescope or 10×50 binoculars are recommended.


Photo credit: Unsplash/Amanda Mocci