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Stargazing in Your Campervan

We hope that you are able to get out and enjoy the wonders of our galaxy and hope that this quick guide has helped you along your way!

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Stargazing offers so many wonderful opportunities in life, not only as a switch off and a way to unwind but also a way to feel enlightened and humbled. It's a connection to something extraordinary and a way to calm down and unwind which is made even better in your campervan.

In this article we have outlined some dates for your diary in March along with some great stargazing spots as well as some recommendations for good stargazing books, enjoy!

March is a fantastic month to get out in your campervan and gaze at the wonders in our skies. As it is the first equinox of the calendar year, the seasons officially ‘change’ after the equinox passes.

Here are some dates to make in your diary!

## March 10th This is the last chance to see Venus and Jupiter shining in the same part of the sky!

March 14th

A planet parade

March 20th

March Equinox! This is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of fall in the Southern Hemisphere.

March 24th

Saturn Appears

March 28th

The Moon meets Mars

UK 10's best stargazing spots

If you fancy getting out to watch some of these incredible sites then we have listed the UK 10's best stargazing spots (in no particular order!)

  1. Galloway Forest Park, Scotland: This park has been designated as the first Dark Sky Park in the UK and offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in the country.
  2. Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, England: This park is home to some of the darkest skies in the UK and offers stunning views of the Milky Way.
  3. Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales: This park has been designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve and offers breathtaking views of the stars.
  4. Exmoor National Park, England: This park has some of the darkest skies in southern England due to its location and distance from surrounding light sources.
  5. Isle of Coll, Scotland: This remote island has some of the clearest skies in the UK and is an excellent place to stargaze.
  6. Kielder Observatory, England: This observatory is located in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and offers stargazing events and educational programs.
  7. Snowdonia National Park, Wales: This park has been designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve and offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in Wales.
  8. South Downs National Park, England: This park has been designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve and offers stunning views of the stars.
  9. Lake District National Park, England: This park has some of the darkest skies in the UK and on a clear night often the Milky Way can be seen by the naked eye! There are so many incredible spots in this National Park, with Grizedale Forest being a brilliant starting point.
  10. The Scottish Highlands, Scotland: The remote areas of the Scottish Highlands offer some of the best stargazing opportunities in the UK, away from light pollution.

Now if you're like me and you enjoy reading and researching then these books are a great purchase to help you on your stargazing quest!

  1. "The Stars: A New Way to See Them" by H.A. Rey - This classic book provides an easy-to-use guide to help readers identify and locate stars and constellations in the night sky.
  2. "NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe" by Terence Dickinson - This comprehensive guide includes information on how to choose and use telescopes, as well as tips on observing planets, galaxies, and other celestial objects.
  3. "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" by Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer - This book provides practical advice on all aspects of backyard astronomy, including selecting equipment, finding objects in the night sky, and photographing the stars.
  4. "The Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking - Although not specifically about stargazing, this book provides a fascinating overview of the universe and its mysteries, making it a great read for anyone interested in astronomy.
  5. "The Cambridge Star Atlas" by Wil Tirion and Roger W. Sinnott - This comprehensive atlas includes detailed maps of the night sky, making it an excellent resource for stargazers of all levels.

If you're like us and live in the South West of England then we have narrowed the spots down even further! Here are the 4 best star-gazing sites;

  1. Exmoor National Park - This location is listed above as one of the best places to stargaze, so it's no wonder we have highlighted it again! Located in North Devon and Somerset, Exmoor National Park is a designated Dark Sky Reserve, making it an excellent location for star-gazing. With very little light pollution, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the night sky.
  2. Bodmin Moor - Bodmin Moor is located in Cornwall and is known for its clear, dark skies. The moor has several designated dark sky sites, making it a popular destination for astronomers and star-gazers.
  3. Cranborne Chase - Cranborne Chase is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that straddles the border between Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire. With very little light pollution and excellent visibility, it is a great location for star-gazing.
  4. Dartmoor National Park - Dartmoor National Park is located in Devon and is another excellent location for star-gazing. With its dark skies and rolling hills, visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the night sky. The park also offers guided star-gazing walks and events throughout the year.
  5. We hope that you are able to get out and enjoy the wonders of our galaxy and hope that this quick guide has helped you along your way! We cannot wait to get out in our Sprinter Campervan this year and soak up the night sky with our children; hopefully teaching them some important lessons along the way in a very fun environment.

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