Dartmoor National Park has ranked top of the list of stargazing spots in the UK

Dartmoor National Park crowned best stargazing spot in new study

Dartmoor National Park, based in Devon, has ranked top of the list of stargazing spots in the UK, according to new research. 

Property developers, Essential Living, scoped out the best spots for stargazing across the country, using a number of factors including the highest hills to help get closer to the stars, plus the volume of light pollution, and rainfall in each area to assure the stargazing experience is not ruined by bad weather.

The team also took into account how easy it is to access each stargazing spot by looking at accessibility by train at the number of Airbnb listings in the area.

On top of all of that, they assessed how well each spot scores on social media by comparing Instagram hashtags with Google reviews — all to determine the most perfect stargazing trip in the UK.

Dartmoor National Park was rated highly for its low Bortle Class light pollution score, a scale that measures the night sky's brightness, the astronomical observability of celestial objects and the interference caused by light pollution.

The twinkling skies above Castle Drogo in the Teign Valley provide the perfect fairytale-esque location for stargazing - where green and red colours of the Aurora Borealis often light up the sky. The luminous location has also been captured over 146k times on Instagram, and there’s little chance of rain in the area with just an average of 92.8cm of rain per year.

The spot is also one of the most accessible in the UK, with 283 Airbnb listings in the area, plus the nearest train station is only 4.5 miles away.

“Stargazing is a sure-fire way to feel closer to nature, as well as the people you choose to share the experience with,” said the team at Essential Living.

“The peaceful and low-cost nature of this activity means that it is also a great way to help relieve the stress of city life and find your inner peace.

“If you are going to take some time out in the countryside, then it should go without saying that you want the experience to feel perfect.”

The study also found popular dark sky spots include:

• Arinagour, based on the Isle of Coll. This spot takes the top spot in the UK for lack of light pollution, Nicknamed ‘Dark Sky Island’, the area is as dark as it gets with no street lights around.

• Cornwall’s COSMOS Observatory, boasts over 95k location hashtags on Instagram. The Observatory also boasts a low light pollution score with a Bortle Class rating of just two out of nine.

• Hampstead Observatory, based in Northumberland, offers a view of the London skies like no other through a stunning refracting telescope.

• Other great stargazing spots in the UK are Benone Beach in Somerset, with a total of 16 surrounding spots to lie down and watch the sun set into a dazzling night sky. 

• Located in the heart of the popular Lake District is Whinlatter Forest Park, which has been captured on Instagram over 369k times.

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