Picture this. You’re laying in your Lotus Belle tent, the stove is on, the bed is comfortable and warm. Looking up through the top of your Stargazer the sky is an inky blue (admittedly looking at stars through a layer of PVC is not the best way to spot constellations, but it is warm). You realise that if you lay here just long enough you’ll be able to see thousands of stars in the night sky without leaving your bed. Pretty cool, right? If you’re into glamping and astrology is your thing, then read on…
How to see the best stars
Living in the city means that we aren’t able to see many of the stars in the sky due to the light pollution.
To see the best and brightest that the universe has to offer grab your Lotus Belle (or book your glamping nights at the glampsite of your choice) and your binoculars, (any telescopes in the room?!) and head for the countryside, or a high vantage point if you can.
You can see lots in the night sky just with your eyes, they’re clever organs! If you’d like to see more you could use a telescope or binoculars but you don’t always need them. They do however come in handy for seeing fainter objects. If the moon is your ‘thing’, you can also get a better look at the Moon and star clusters through a great telescope or pair of binoculars! Wait around 15 minutes when using binoculars as this gives them time to cool down outside.
Scout out the darkest spot you can and get as far away from street-lights or moonlight, even if it's just in the shadow of a tree or wall. Your eyes take up to 20 minutes to get used to the dark. Be patient! Take a thermos of something to keep you company -the longer you wait, the more you'll see.
Our top tip: Get luxurious! Stargazing while lying down is a truly wonderful experience, so don’t forget those picnic blankets and cushions.
Where to go to see the Milky Way
Did you know that there are places in the UK that have been named as the best places to see the Milky Way? The best known of these locations is Exmoor National Park which, in 2011, became Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. This means “a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment.” Which translates into ‘you want to go here’!
The best viewing points in the national park are: Brendon Two Gates, Webbers Post, Haddon Hill, Wimblehall Lake and County Gate.
Our top tip: Look ahead and plan your journey by joining two walks together for an extended trip and having a midnight picnic beneath the stars!
Get your cameras ready!
The latest smartphone cameras achieve amazing images like the ones below- so don’t feel like you need fancy equipment. Spend some time tinkering with your existing technology and you’ll be able to get great results.
Our top tip: Practice your skills before you leave so you’re not distracted from the view. Plus, you’ll then have comparative photos to show just how much light pollution there is in built up city areas.