Dark Sky Discovery Sites
Welcome to the brand new network of Dark Sky Discovery Sites!
|North East||Kielder Forest Observatory, Northumberland||Moray||Cabrach|
|North West||Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre, Ennerdale||Skye and Lochalsh||Trumpan Carpark|
|South West||Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor||Stein Jetty Car Park|
|East||WaterWorks Nature Reserve, Lee Valley Regional Park||Knockbreck Primary School Car Park|
|South||Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire||Kinloch Forest|
|Brecon Beacons||Mountain Centre, Libanus||Camas na Sgianadin|
|Clan Donald - Steadings|
|Clan Donald - Back Lawn|
|Clan Donald - Front Lawn|
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 not necessarily freely open 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
- “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.
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
- Follow the countryside code for England, Scotland, Wales or Northern
For full details of Dark Sky Discovery Sites, download the criteria [61KB
These notes explain the criteria that are met by the places that are
officially recognised as Dark Sky Discovery Sites (DSDS). We are not currently
seeking nominations for further DSDS except through the programmes being
led by the DSD Lead Partners in the English regions and in Scotland, Wales
and Northern Ireland. Please see those Partners’ contact details via the
homepage if you wish to find out more about their programmes. We hope to
open up nominations more widely in the future.
The UK also has three internationally designated Dark Sky Parks and Reserves.
There are large, dark areas which are specially protected.