Enjoy Star Gazing on Exmoor
In autumn 2011 Exmoor was designated Europe’s first International Dark Skies Reserve and second in the world.
You can star gaze at any time of year as long as it is a clear night. The darker months provide longer nights and March and April are particularly good. Shooting stars are best seen in late summer and autumn.
Start star gazing at least an hour and a half after sunset and the stars are more easily seen when there is no moon. Choose an open area without tall buildings or trees and away from the glare of lights. You can see a lot of interesting constellations and planets with the naked eye but binoculars are good for beginners who wish to see more clearly.
There are lots of star charts available as well as phone apps.
Porlock is an excellent base for a star gazing break. A number of accommodation providers have their own binoculars and telescopes to help you see the stars more clearly and some have special facilities. You can receive a list of these from Porlock Visitor Centre (01643) 863150 or email email@example.com
Star gazing event at Pinkery (image © Exmoor National Park Authority) and
Great Orion Nebula M42 (taken by Paul Jeanes from his observatory in Washford 'under the darkest skies').