Iconic North Yorkshire location among top stargazing (and Northern Lights) spots

Have you ever taken a trip to the North York Moors to see the Northern Lights? <i>(Image: Getty)</i>
Have you ever taken a trip to the North York Moors to see the Northern Lights? (Image: Getty)

A popular outdoor spot in North Yorkshire has officially been crowned one of the UK’s top 10 places to go stargazing.

North York Moors Dark Sky Reserve has been ranked in 4th place by Jessops - did you know you can see more than 2,000 stars in the “darkest” areas at any one time?

It comes as the Northern Lights put on a magnificent show across England last weekend – some of us were even captivated by the spectacular aurora borealis for the first time in our lives.

The photography retailer commented: “Whether you're a newcomer eager to marvel at the Milky Way or simply seeking a break from city lights to admire the night sky's beauty, stargazing offers something special for everyone.

“But where are the best stargazing spots in the UK?

“To answer that question and help you decide on your next trip, we've compiled a list of the UK's dark sky parks, reserves, and islands.”

It added: “We've then ranked the top 10 stargazing locations based on the number of stargazing events, viewing locations across the region and accommodation.”

Why is North York Moors Dark Sky Reserve among UK’s best stargazing spots?

Jessops explained: “North York Moors National Park was designated a Dark Sky Reserve in 2020, making it one of the best places in the country to see stars, moons, planets and more.

“You can see over 2,000 stars in the darkest parts of the park at any one time!

“It has 21 observational spots for viewing and 10 stargazing-friendly accommodation to pick from.”

The UK’s top 10 stargazing spots

  1. Northumberland Dark Sky Park

  2. South Downs Dark Sky Reserve

  3. Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve

  4. North York Moors Dark Sky Reserve

  5. Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Reserve

  6. Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve

  7. Cranborne Chase Dark Sky Reserve

  8. Bodmin Moor Dark Sky Landscape

  9. Elan Valley Dark Sky Park

  10. Snowdonia Dark Sky Reserve

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Product Specialist Lizzie James at Jessops said: "For the best stargazing experience, venture away from the glow of city lights to a location with minimal light pollution. Look for places like national parks, rural areas, or designated Dark Sky Reserves where the night sky remains unpolluted by artificial lights.

"Beaches, mountains, and open fields can also provide excellent points. Just remember to check the weather forecast beforehand and choose a clear night for the best visibility of the stars."

You can read more about each of the best stargazing locations across the UK and find expert tips on the Jessops website.