best-stargazing

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7 secluded staycations for unparalleled views of the stars

Unlock a sense of tranquility and remoteness

Georgia Brown

There's nothing quite like the escapism of travelling somewhere remote. Whether you’re an avid astronomer or looking for a peaceful getaway from the pollution of the city, a stargazing staycation could just be the perfect choice.

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There are currently just 18 recognised Dark Sky Reserves worldwide, a space known to have an exceptional view of the stars and unparalleled quality of darkness. Luckily, keen stargazers don't have to travel far, as the UK is home to seven of them.

Thanks to the travel experts at Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays and our HELLO! writers, we've sourced some of the best locations around the UK with pristine skies and unspoilt views of the night.

Read on to discover the best UK destinations for catching a glimpse of the cosmos.

Best staycations in the UK to see the stars

Dorset

Where to see the stars

dorset-stars

With the largest area of darkness of any Dark Sky Reserve in the UK, the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a must visit. From Cley Hill car park, head up the trail to the summit of the ancient hill fort and witness unforgettable views.

Where to stay

goathillfarm

Amongst the rolling hills of Dorset is Goathill Farm, where two peaceful and secluded shepherd’s huts are situated amongst a picturesque organic dairy farm. Leaving you fully equipped with everything you need for a relaxing stay, these luxe shepherd's huts feel like a home away from home.

To book, visit atgoathillfarm.co.uk

Exmoor National Park

Where to see the stars

exmoor-stars

Offering some of the darkest skies in the country, Exmoor National Park certainly delivers on a stargazing staycation and Molland Moor is an area not to miss. With open moorland and 360-degree views, you can set up for an evening surrounded by the stars with ease.

Where to stay

sweetcombe-cottages

Extend your trip and head west to Topsham and you will find The Warehouse, from Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays. Staycations here start at £949 for a seven-night stay, the perfect sanctuary after a night viewing the stars.

To book, visit www.sweetcombecottages.co.uk

South Downs National Park

Where to see the stars

south-downs-stars

Only a stone's throw away from London, the park nicknamed 'Gateway to England' boasts forests and rare chalk grassland. Another rarity - it is the only place to host all of the UK’s native amphibian and reptile species. If that isn't enough, it holds International Dark Sky Reserve status, making it one of the best places in the world to view the night sky.

Where to stay

hilton

Originally a Georgian manor house, Hilton Avisford Park sits on 89 acres of English countryside. Situated in the heart of the South Downs, this stunning retreat is perfect for the star seeking traveller.

To book, visit hilton.com

North York Moors National Park

Where to see the stars

north-york-moors-stars

With dramatic landscapes and unpolluted night skies, the North York Moors is a perfect place to go stargazing, with some even catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights! Only a seven-minute drive from the A174 will you find the sleepy hamlet of Kettleness, a perfect stargazing destination.

Where to stay

anchorage-cottages

The Anchorage Cottage, is one of the few holiday cottages in Kettleness and is based only a two-minute walk from stargazing hotspots, with prices around £1350 for 7 nights.

To book, visit shoreline-cottages.com

Snowdonia National Park

Where to see the stars

snowdonia-stars

One of the darkest places in southern Britain, Snowdonia is a mountainous and dramatic region in Wales. Head to Llyn Geirionydd on the edge of Gwydyr Forest for striking lakeside views of the night sky.

Where to stay

snowdonia-hotel

Built by a visionary architect in 1925, Portmeirion Village & Castell Deudraeth overlooks the beautiful Dywryd Estaury. Located just south of the coastal village of Porthmadog on a private peninsula, the hotel offers a spa and wellness centre, an on-site mini market, a bar and a restaurant.

To book, visit booking.com

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Where to see the stars

yorkshire-dales-stars

With waterfalls, glens, dales, Abbeys and gorges in abundance, this wild and rugged national park will have you feeling like Cathy from Wuthering Heights! It is also home to the Three Peaks Challenge, should you wish to embark on a challenging outdoor hike before sitting back to watch the cosmos take over the rolling hills.

Where to stay

tan-hill-camping

Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in England has camping on-site, with a stay under the starry blanket costing you just £10 a night for a tent plot.

MORE: Camping essentials for your staycation: 71 things you must pack

Brecon Beacons National Park

Where to see the stars

brecon-beacons-stars

Home to Wales' famous Pen-Y-Fan hike and waterfalls walk, the mid-Wales national park covers 520 square miles from Monmouthshire to Merthyr. Established in 1957, the park, whose name derives from the central Beacons which dominate Brecon's skyline, hosts eight places on Cadw's Register of Landscapes of Outstanding and Special Historic Interest. With over 250 ancient monuments to visit and quaint villages, you're in for a treat.

Where to stay

brecon-castle

The oldest hotel in Wales, this charming country house has a tranquil location, set in the Brecon Beacons with riverside and mountain views. For a cosy escape from the city, the restaurant and pub serve homemade pub food, local ales and ciders, complete with quaint a riverside beer garden.

To book, visit booking.com

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