Where to see stars
Use the map below to discover the network of Dark Sky Discovery Sites and other stargazing places which may host events.
Why not nominate the best stargazing place where you live as a Dark Sky Discovery Site? Find out how below ...
NOTICE - While we welcome enquiries about nominations for new Dark Sky Discovery Sites please note that due to staff turnover we will not be responding in detail or processing these until early 2017. For enquiries please use email below.
|Marker||Type of Site - scroll down for more information|
|Dark Sky Discovery Site (Milky Way class)|
|Dark Sky Discovery Site (Milky Way class, hosts events)|
|Dark Sky Discovery Site (Orion Class)|
|Dark Sky Discovery Site (Orion Class, hosts events)|
|Other sites that host stargazing events|
|International Dark Sky Places|
Dark Sky Discovery Sites are places that:
- are away from the worst of any local light pollution
- provide good sightlines of the sky
- have good public access, including firm ground for wheelchairs. The sites are generally freely accessible at all times - please check the links for any special access arrangements.
There are two darkness ratings:
- "Orion" sites. At these sites, the seven main stars in the winter constellation Orion are visible to the naked eye. Typically, this means away from, or shielded from, bright lights such as street lights, security lights or approaching car lights.
- "Milky Way" sites. At these sites the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye. They are much darker sites found only in more rural areas.
The blue and green circles indicate the following:
- Other sites around the UK run regular stargazing events for the public, for example Observatories. These places may not be Dark Sky Discovery Sites. Some Dark Sky Discovery Sites do run events however, so some of the markers you see above combine a blue circle with either an "Orion"-class star or a "Milky Way"-class star.
- Internationally recognised Dark Sky Places are much larger areas of land that have been been awarded special status due to the quality of their dark skies.
Have a look at our night sky pages for more about Orion, the Milky Way and other things to see. Other tips for visiting the sites are:
- Visit with a group of people – it’s safer and more fun!
- Check the website for the Site (via the links above) for the latest access information.
- Follow the countryside code for England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
NOTICE - While we welcome enquiries about nominations for new Dark Sky Discovery Sites please note that due to staff turnover we will not be responding in detail or processing these until June 2016. For enquiries please use email below.
For full details of Dark Sky Discovery Sites and how to nominate them, download the Dark Sky Discovery Sites Guidance notes [PDF/56KB]. Then complete and email us your nomination form. [DOC/37KB]Please use one nomination form per site. If you have any questions about nominating a site, please contact us at email@example.com.