Where to see the Milky Way in the UK (the best places)


We're lucky here in the UK to have some of the best dark sky areas in the entire world.
A dark sky area is somewhere where it is so dark and there is so little light pollution that you can see the sky incredibly clearly making it excellent for stargazing and other night-time activities.

One of the most incredible sights to spot in the night-time sky would be the Milky Way.
The Milky Way is incredible - it's estimated to contain somewhere in the region of 100 to 400 billion stars, and at least that number of planets. So for us to be able to see this from planet Earth is quite incredible.

We've written extensively about dark sky areas in the UK, and we wanted to highlight specific areas where you get a really great view. We wanted to highlight the best areas to spot the Milky Way from in the UK, let's get into the article:

How to spot the Milky Way

We should, first of all, clarify that our solar system is based in the Milky Way. So technically everywhere you look up is the Milky Way. But if you specifically want to see the stars contained within the Milky Way, then your best bet is to choose a clear
dark night during a new moon period.
These periods happen during the winter months and involve the moon being very dark, making it easier to see everything in the sky.

Best places to see the Milky Way in the UK:

Some of the best places to see the Milky Way in the UK would be from our national parks, many of which have been awarded as dark sky areas. Here are the best parks to visit if you want to see the Milky Way fully:

Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons is one of the best dark sky areas in the entire UK and has been awarded an International Dark Sky Reserve, and on a clear night in the park, you can see the Milky Way clearly. The park was the 1st area in Wales to be accredited as an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Exmoor National Park

Exmoor National Park was the first Dark Sky Reserve in Europe and has long been considered one of the best places in the world to stargaze and see the Milky Way. There are dark sky events held at the park throughout the year and plenty of dark sky related activities, including The Exmoor Dark Sky Discovery Trail, which is a 2-mile long walk that takes you along some of the best areas in the park for seeing the night sky clearly.

Northumberland National Park

We wanted to include Northumberland National Park as a great place to head if you want to see the Milky Way because it has 2 observatories! The Kielder Observatory is open all year and is located right in the heart of the park, providing amazing views of the night skies, and the Battlesteads Dark Sky Observatory is open to the public and offers classes for anyone who is new to all this wonderful stargazing stuff. Learn more about it here -

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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