International Dark Sky Places
The UK has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe. You can find dark skies near where you live, if you can get away from bright lights such as street lighting. That could be in your back garden, a local park, or getting out of town altogether. From a city centre location we might see about 100 stars with our naked eyes, and the further away from the streetlights you go, the better the view becomes. Under a really dark sky we can see over 1,000 stars. We can even see our own galaxy, The Milky Way, stretching across the sky.
(Picture Credit: www.cpre.org.uk)
The dark areas on these maps have less light pollution, showing just how special
some parts of the UK's dark skies really are.
Dark Sky places are areas or sites that have been officially recognised for
their low levels of light pollution and good public access.
The International Dark Sky Association officially recognises large areas in countries around the world as Dark Sky Places for their low levels of light pollution and good public access. Within the British Isles three large dark have been recognised in this way:
UK Dark Sky Discovery Sites
Separately, the Dark Sky Discovery Partnership's growing network of Dark Sky Discovery Sites pinpoints the best spots in a number of rural and urban areas to see the night sky in the UK.
Here is some guidance if you are interested in developing your area’s Dark
Some good websites on dark skies are:
Philip’s publishes a Dark Sky Map of Britain and Ireland.
The website My Dark Sky is building up records of light pollution surveys
in the UK.