Ever looked to the sky and been amazed by the striking array of twinkling stars? We don’t often stop and take in the wonder that is the night sky, but when travelling, it’s the perfect opportunity to stand back and appreciate it all. If star gazing is your thing and you’re looking to find the best locations to see the likes of Ursa Major and Andromeda, we’ve pulled together a few options.
Death Valley, California
Where better to experience the night sky than darkest California? Death Valley provides an eerie yet magnificent location for those looking to check out the Milky Way. Covering three million acres, and with the benefit of its clear night skies and wide open landscapes, this is certainly a bucket list spot for budding astronomers.
The Caribbean Islands
Away from highly populated areas full of light pollution that distracts from the flawless night sky, Caribbean Islands like Guadeloupe and Martinique offer an unspoilt vision of constellations like Canis Minor and Aquarius. A night boat trip in this tropical location will provide you with an even better view, along with a feeling of complete relaxation.
Famous 17th century astronomer and physicist Galileo first used his invention, the refracting telescope, to view the surface of the moon in Tuscany. A picturesque location both day and night, Jupiter’s moons and sun spots can be spotted from the heights of the city. Florence’s Institute and Museum of the History of Science hosts a range of Galileo’s old instruments and stargazing equipment, for those looking to delve deeper into the history of this famous star gazer.
Yangtze River Valley, China
Escape from the light polluted cities of Shanghai and Beijing and you’ll find the Yangtze River Valley, a natural hotspot to catch a glimpse of a clear starry night, with breath-taking Chinese backdrops. China also boasts one of the earliest recorded observatories, built during the 15th century, and base their calendar on lunar phases.
Galloway Forest, Scotland
Closer to home, Scotland has the largest forest park in Britain, spanning over 300 sq. miles. Its wild scenery and lack of light pollution means that stars simply pop out to greet those wishing to take in the spectacular views of the Milky Way. The Dark Sky Observatory within the park has two impressive telescopes, as well as a roll-off roof which exposes even more of the captivating sky above.
Whether you are a budding astronomer or simply want to take in a sight you’ll never forget, head to one of these stargazing hotspots for a glimpse of galaxies, shooting stars and a view to rival no other.