Stargazing Wales

Stargazing in Wales

Wales is the place to be to experience stargazing at its best - 18% of the landmass of Wales is internationally recognised for its 'Dark Skies'.

With only 11 International Dark Sky Reserves in the world, Wales boasts two - the Brecon Beacons National Park and Snowdonia National Park. On a clear night you can see the Milky Way, major constellations, nebulas (bright clouds of gas and dust) and even shooting stars.

'Dark Sky Reserve' recognition means the area meets criteria for sky quality and natural darkness. The area supports dark sky preservation and achieves exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment. 

The picturesque Elan Valley Estate in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains, stretches for 70 square miles from Rhayader westwards towards Aberystwyth and is the world’s first privately owned, but publicly accessed International Dark Sky Park.

The 45,000 acre estate is protected against light pollution for the benefit of those who live and work there, as well as for visitors and the abundance of wildlife found there.

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Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park is the first UK National Park named in Wales, and at more than 2,100 square kilometers of territory covers some ten percent of the total land area of Wales.

The rugged interior of the National Park supports little human settlement to this day, and is a naturally dark haven separate from coastal cities.

Along with Dark Sky Parks Brecon Beacons National Park and the Elan Valley Estate to its south, Snowdonia is among the darkest places remaining in southern Britain.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Brecon Beacons National Park is home to some 33,000 residents. The area offers a terrific environment for stargazing and appreciating the natural nighttime environment.

The park has gone to great lengths in replacing lighting that used to make it difficult to see the night sky and continues to work toward making 100 percent of lighting within the reserve’s core zone dark sky friendly.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Elan Valley Estate

The Elan Valley of central Mid Wales is a popular destination for tourists. Its location in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains places it midway between the other two International Dark Sky Reserves in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia.

The conservation of natural resources in the Valley is managed by the Elan Valley Trust.

Recognising the significance of the Valley’s dark skies, the Trust has taken steps to secure the sky quality with a quality lighting plan and raise awareness of the Valley’s dark, fragile nighttime environment.

The Elan Valley