With lockdown 2.0 now underway, new research reveals where Brits should head if they want to take a break from daily life and gaze into the cosmos - and how doing so could improve their wellbeing.
As tourism grinds to a halt once more, a new study from UKCaravans4hire.com highlights how families in the UK can take a break locally, and where astrologically inclined Brits can visit in order to catch the best views of the stars.
Looking at the regions across the UK, the new analysis reveals the best places to stargaze based on the number of stargazing spots nearby1:
South West England - 79 stargazing locations
Wales - 48 stargazing locations
North East England - 40 stargazing locations
Yorkshire and the Humber - 33 stargazing locations
Scotland - 31 stargazing locations
South East England - 25 stargazing locations
North West England - 24 stargazing locations
East of England - 21 stargazing locations
East Midlands - 14 stargazing locations
West Midlands - 8 stargazing locations
From meteor showers to the milky way, the research also showcases stargazing spots where Brits are more likely to catch a glimpse of something special. For those living in Yorkshire, UKCaravans4hire.com recommend heading to North York Moors National Park, where on an autumn evening you can often spot the Milky Way alongside up to 2,000 stars in the darkest spots of the park.
For Brits living in East of England, Westleton Common is a recommended location due to its designated Dark Sky Discovery Site status. Here, visitors are bound to see something spectacular, with amazing visibility due to the coastal location. Carding Mill Valley in Shropshire is also named as a must visit if you’re close by, where visitors can often spot the Milky Way with their naked eye.
Other than getting to know the stars, spending this time outside can also have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. Wellbeing expert and Co-Founder of Everyday Juice Limited, Gary Butterfield, commented on the research: “Being surrounded by nature is proven to lift your mood, reduce stress or anger, and to help you relax. This is of course extremely beneficial to an individual's mental health.
“Social connection is incredibly important to our wellbeing, and by exploring your immediate surroundings you can foster a greater connection to the place that you call home and discover local areas of interest that you never even knew about.
“The beauty of this time of year is that it now gets dark earlier, so activities like stargazing have become more accessible. For me, looking up at the stars allows me the opportunity to reflect on the world and my place in it, because after all, there’s nothing more sobering than seeing just how big the universe really is. In addition, I like spending time under the stars because it fosters greater creativity, relieves stress and anxiety, and on a clear night it’s always exciting.”
But when should you get out to see the stars? The best time to go stargazing is in the days before, during and soon after a new moon. Nights when there is no bright moon at night and when the sun sets enough so that twilight does not affect observations present the best conditions. To catch the best sights, Brits should head out around the remaining two new moons of 2020 (15th November and 14th December)2.
Gareth Irving, director of UKCaravans4Hire.com commented: “With new lockdown restrictions limiting what activities families can do together and where they can travel, many are turning to new hobbies and local surroundings to keep entertained. Enjoying your local area and taking in the natural beauty is something many of us take for granted, especially when it’s right on our doorstep.
“Activities such as stargazing present an opportunity to explore our local areas in a new and immersive way, matching many people’s desire to improve their health and wellbeing whilst discovering the outdoors and getting closer to nature.
“It’s great to see just how many perfect stargazing spots there are as well as how many local authorities are now promoting their parks and outdoor spaces as stargazing spots. As autumn and winter present ideal stargazing conditions, there no better time for Brits to head out and stare at the stars, especially now that winter getaways are on hold.”
To find out more about the study as well as your nearest stargazing spots, please visit: https://www.ukcaravans4hire.com/blog/stargazing-in-the-uk